Declutter and Digitize These 4 Things for Less Home Office Clutter
Bills, bank statements, tax forms, papers from school. Walk into your home office and you can probably spot all of these papers—and more—dotting your desk, the top of your filing cabinet, or even your desk chair.
Paper clutter comes in all forms, some of them very necessary. After all, the notion of leaving a “paper trail” to document bills that have been paid or tax forms that have been submitted is important. But in this age of just about digital everything, it’s not necessary to keep paper documents for everything anymore.
These bills, cards, manuals, old CD-ROMs and who knows what else are stuffed in your desk drawers, cluttering your desktop and making it harder to find the things you do actually need when you need them. Rather than keeping paper copies of everything, you can declutter and digitize them to keep paper from continually clogging up your home office, den, kitchen counters and any other “landing zone” for this stuff.
Here are some tips on how to declutter and digitze your home office and create a productive workspace.
Digitizing all of the bills you receive in the mail each month can not only help you keep your desktop clean, it can also save a ton of paper. If you haven’t started this process already, look for information on how to receive email notifications rather than paper bills for things like credit card statements, bank statements, your cable bill and your utilities. You can “go paperless” for just about any bill now and pay them free online.
When you are changing your bill settings to receive digital bills, you can check to see if all of your past bill payment information is stored online. If that’s the case, you can shred your old bills to safely discard them. If you need to view past statements in the future, you can download them.
Though many of us conduct business online, one tool, the business card, keeps hanging on. Business cards are still the easiest way to share your contact information at networking events, and apps that replace business cards haven’t really caught on yet. This means you likely have small piles of other peoples’ cards sitting on your desk, in your wallet or purse, in a junk drawer and in your filing cabinet.
Though business cards can sometimes be cool keepsakes, the chance that you know where someone’s contact information is when you actually need it is slim. Enter card-scanning tools. To digitize your business cards you can either buy a card scanner or, even easier, use your phone’s camera.
We’ve all bought a new microwave, vacuum cleaner, phone, TV or other gadget and thought twice about actually keeping the user manual. But around the time that you decide to stop saving user manuals, you’ll need to remove the filter from your vacuum cleaner or connect a new component to your TV.
But rather than stash user manuals in various drawers in your kitchen, home office and entertainment center, you can rest assured that most user manuals are available online right now. To find the manuals for all of your appliances and tech gadgets, a simple Google search will often yield a PDF. You can also turn to the manufacturer’s website or to third-party sites such as ManualsOnline, which boasts documents for over 700,000 products.
If you haven’t touched that faraway metal filing cabinet in several years or you haven’t sorted through your desk drawers, you’re bound to stumble upon software installation CDs. They may seem like ancient relics at this point, but just a few years ago you wouldn’t have dared toss that Microsoft Office CD-ROM. Now, all of your software updates are available online. You can safely toss these CDs that are cluttering the corners of your office and taking up extra space.
Even if you begin receiving paperless bills and shred your old ones, turn to the internet for user manuals and get rid of other unnecessary papers, there are still some documents you’d rather not shred, such as tax forms, marriage and divorce documents and other legal papers. Some of these documents could be scanned and saved, and other can be organized and stored in your home office. The best way to keep your office uncluttered and organized is with a custom home office organization solution.
If you’re interested in learning more about how The Closet Works can make your office work harder for you, reach out to us for a free, in-home consultation