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Even in the digital world that we live in, many of us still find that we have paper clutter in our homes and offices. Here are some tips for tackling the paper in your life.

1. Go paperless when possible. — Most banking transactions, credit card and utility payments can be done online, and you can opt to receive your statements via email.

2. Receipts — Have receipts emailed to you when given the option. For important items, scan the receipt and keep all receipts in a folder on your computer and/or in the cloud. Have an envelope for all other receipts and review them periodically to toss those that you don’t need.

3. Coupons — Whether they are for groceries or your favorite store or restaurant, coupons can be a pain to manage, and it’s especially frustrating when you forget to take them with you. Consider keeping a binder in your car and adding to it, keeping things labeled, of course, so that you can easily find what you need. Also, many stores have digital offers that you can sign up for, allowing deals to be added online to a loyalty card or received on your mobile device.

4. Tax information — Important tax documents start to come in the mail early in the year, and it’s imperative that you keep these items in a safe place. Maintain some type of file that is labeled for the current tax year, and add to it as you have items that you will need come tax time.

5. Deal with your mail right away. — Mail can pile up quickly if you don’t stay on top of it. Try to go through it as soon as you bring it in by tossing what you don’t want and filing what you need. In addition to having your bills emailed to you, you can avoid some mail by going to www.optoutprescreen.com. If you have magazines, put them in a box or container for either recycling or donation when you are done with them.

6. Business cards and company brochures. — Store contact information electronically for easy reference. If you are planning a home project and getting bids, or you want to keep good contractors’ information handy, start a file folder to store those items specific to your home, or create a digital folder and scan the flyers and cards.

It’s nearly impossible to keep all paper out of your life, but having a process and place for things that you get on a regular basis will help you keep your home tidy. It will also aid you when it comes to finding what you need. Consider using a color-coded filing system to find things easily, and always keep important documents in a secure place.

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Janis Bradley, Broker/Owner, JB Real Estate Consultants


Diana Rice-Wilkerson, Loan Originator, Fairway Mortage