The Paperless Home

Cutting down on paper will help keep your space greener and clutter-free.

Household papers: You can stack them, sort them and store them, but why not do without them entirely? Electronic technologies offer new options for paper-free bill-paying and record-keeping, while "going paperless" reduces storage needs and landfill volumes. Try these ideas to encourage paper-free information handling in your organized home:

  • Begin with the bank. Today's banks offer a full range of safe, sophisticated money-management tools. Whether accessed through specialized money management software or via the Web, families can download statements, transfer funds, pay bills and reconcile accounts —without touching pencil to paper. Contact your bank to learn about paperless options for household financial transactions.
  • Opt for online. Check websites for utilities, tax authorities and local governments: chances are, you can handle most day-to-day transactions and bill paying online. Signing up for e-mail billing cuts the daily mail volume and provides a built-in reminder service. Renewing car tabs or business licenses over the Internet means no more time in line at the motor vehicle office!
  • Yes, you scan! Home scanners turn a bulging pile of papers into streamlined digital content. Scan must-keep information into the computer for safekeeping, then shred or recycle the unwanted paper.
  • Become a whiteboard whiz. Sticky notes, scribbled reminders and to-do lists are a refrigerator fixture in many households. Replace the scraps and scrawls with a family whiteboard. Track the calendar, assign chores, keep a shopping list — and share love notes — using erasable markers. No more paper clutter!

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