Why Go Paperless And What To Keep

by Lori

Go Paperless At HomeEver feel like you are drowning in paper? It comes through the mail or delivered straight to your porch in the form of a newspaper. It fills your children’s backpacks. It sits on the desk, waiting to be dealt with, or filed. The towers of papers make us yearn to go paperless.
All of these items could be received and read digitally. In today’s article we’ll focus on reasons to go paperless at home and which items you should keep physical copies of.

First of all, why go paperless at home?

Individual reasons will differ but here are some of the top incentives

  • Environmental concerns – decrease the amount of paper going into a landfill and even getting created in the first place by reducing the demand
  • Reduce clutter - papers can pile up and be a headache. So many things to deal with. If you decrease the paper there is less hassle and “clutter” in your home and your mind
  • Be better organized – If you aren’t good at filing and organizing your papers it may not matter if you keep a document, you’ll probably never be able to find it. There are tools online that will help you be more organized with a minimum of effort.
  • Be more efficient when finding documents.  You will be able to find your personal documents with a search, similarly to how you use google to find websites.
  • Save money – no need to buy reams of paper, notebooks or binders
  • Fewer paper cuts!

Be sure as you convert important documents to paper that you:

  • Have a backup of your digital files
  • Have a local copy of important files and information in case of a power outage.

What to keep a paper copy of

  • Tax records the government requires you to keep on hand. Keep digital files of these forever though.
  • Legal documents such as wills, trusts, titles, birth, marriage and divorce certificates and other legal documents. Keep a digital copy of these as well. They will be easy to find for reference and can be available anywhere you are.
  • Any document with a raised seal or that has been notarized.

What are your top reasons for wanting to go paperless at home? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Disclosure: Please note that some of the links on this site are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. These are all resources that I am recommending because they are helpful and are companies that I trust, not because of the commissions that I may earn from you using these products. Please do not spend money unless you really need the resource and it will help you reach your goals.   


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Lori Thayer is passionate about finding ways to optimize life. As a step-mom of two teenagers, a full-time software tester and a momprenuer she knows how busy life can be. She is dedicated to finding ways to be more efficient and find tools to optimize life so that she can spend more time enjoying life with her family. She loves to hike, camp, read, learn about energy, wellness and online marketing as well as singing karaoke with her husband on the xbox at home.

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  • http://twitter.com/donw Don Whiteside™

    “Tax records the government requires you to keep on hand” isn’t a very useful guideline, absent some sort of links or pointers.

    • http://lorithayer.com Lori Thayer

       Good point. However the answer isn’t simple. You can reference this document (http://publications.usa.gov/epublications/keeprecords/keeprecords.htm) for some guidelines but if you are self-employed or have a business the rules may be slightly different.
      Your best bet is to do a quick google search and find the answer for your situation, IRS laws do change so be sure to check every year to see if the requirements have changed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jermaine.denee.bowens Jermaine Denee Bowens

    Thanks for the article!! Great advice and tips :-)

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