Think about it. If everything were available digitally for you - bills, letters/greeting cards, newspapers, receipts, tax info, magazines/catalogs, recipes, manuals, etc. - life would be easier. Everything would be searchable - which would be awesome. Everything could be categorized in it's own place on my PC or in an online storage program.
Sure, all of these things are currently available digitally, but we're so afraid to let go. I'll admit that I'm a sucker for the actual paper copy of everything, but I'm really not sure why now that I think about it. I never refer to product manuals. If I had my tax info online it'd be just as easy, if not easier - I'd receive it a heck of a lot faster rather than waiting for it to come in the mail. My magazines wouldn't stress me out as they pile up, unread. Recipes would be more manageable. But as easy as this all sounds, it's just not as easily accessible for all as it will be in a few years from now. For example, I won't take my laptop into the kitchen while I'm cooking...and that's why my recipes aren't completely digital yet. As for greeting cards and letters - I love receiving mail from family, especially now that I live 2,000 miles away from everyone. My step-grandmother always sends me handwritten cards each month. I love that. But I'm just not the type of person to keep things like that, even if it's super sentimental. I just can't do it. If it were digital, I think I probably would keep it because it'd be easily "archive-able" in my email.
But anyways...off my soapbox (for now). This week I kept a list of my paper clutter issues at home. I tracked the item/type, source, and then rated the annoyance level (1 being minimal). Here's what I found...
You can download a copy of this document for free here.
The whole point for identifying the source is so if your annoyance level is high enough, you'll know where to stop the paper clutter from coming in and overwhelming you. For example, if a lot of your paper "issues" are coming into your home inside your purse, you can come up with a plan for that area - such as making a point to clean out your purse each night and appropriately file or discard the paper that is sneaking in. The items with my highest annoyance level are the ones I want to focus on first (personally) and find a fix for this month.
The March Challenge will cover all sorts of paper issues and will have a few posts each week during the month. There will always be one on Thursdays, and the extras will show up during the week as I address them. I plan to address those paper bugs suggested by my lovely readers (read them or add yours here).
Your challenge for this week is to make a list of all of the incoming paper at home. If you don't have time to search your home for a few days and write things down, then take a basket and walk around, collecting everything that's out of place. Look through the basket and list what you've found. Whatever was misplaced doesn't have a paper management system and needs assistance. Those are great places to start on your paper clutter conquering journey!