Avoid the Paper Pile Up – Tips for Reducing Paper Clutter

In spite of the fact that so much of our communication takes place digitally, there  seems to be more paper in our lives than we’d like.  In fact, the average adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail each year!  If you feel like you’re drowning in paper, here are some tips for reducing paper clutter.

  1. Consolidate both credit card accounts and bank accounts. The more accounts you have, the more accounts you have to monitor.
  2. Cancel accounts you no longer use. Extra paperwork from unused accounts creates unnecessary clutter.
  3. Avoid the temptation of new credit cards and the annoyance of insurance offers by using OptOutPrescreen.com or by calling 1-888-567-8688 (1-888-5-OPT-OUT). You can opt out each member of your family for 5 years or forever!
  4. Reduce unwanted catalogs by contacting the mail-order companies directly or use a free service at (http://www.catalogchoice.org/), which will send opt-out requests on your behalf.
  5. Stop mailings for deceased family members by going online to the DMA’s Deceased Do Not Contact List (http://www.ims-dm.com/cgi/ddnc.php).
  6. Use automatic transactions whenever possible. Pay bills online, have your employer use direct deposit for your paychecks.
  7. Shred ATM receipts, bank deposit slips, and credit card receipts each month (once you’ve checked them against your statement).
  8. Take bills and statements out of the envelopes. Discard the outer envelope, and put bills in an in-box.
  9. Have a set routine regarding bill paying. For example, pay bills on the same day every week. When bills are left unpaid, they get sent again and again until they’re paid, causing even more clutter.
  10. Touch each piece of paper once. Take care of what you can immediately. Put the date in your calendar, send the check, RSVP, and be done!
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