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How to Reduce Paperwork

Posted by Valencia on July 23rd, 2009

Regardless of how hard I try, I can’t seem to keep a clean office. But it’s not entirely my fault. I share my home office with my husband, who also runs a small business in addition to his day job. I’m happy to say that more than 90 percent of the paperwork belongs to him. And because of his busy schedule, he’s not always in a position to straighten the mess–which forces me to work around a pile of junk.

Well, I’ve had enough. Not only does the mess irritate me, but lately, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate in chaos. So, I’ve come up with a solution..one that’ll benefit the both of us. The goal is to reduce paperwork, which in turn should alleviate the clutter and mess. We’ve yet to put the plan into action. But if we work together and stick with the plan, things should turn out well.

We’ve decided to go through our mail on a daily basis..rather than let the pile collect and sit for days. Junk mails gets immediately tossed–with the exception of the occasional two-for-one coupon deal from a local restaurant, which gets posted on our bulletin board. Bills and other important documents are filed away, and any advertisements that are left on our front door will no longer have a home on the corner of our desk.

But that’s not the end.

Last year I made the decision to stop hitting the print button whenever I read something interesting. This has produced less paperwork in our office. My husband, on the other hand, hasn’t gotten that memo, and he’ll print anything from funny e-mails to work correspondences. But after a long talk, he finally realized that printing a hard copy wasn’t always necessary. Less printing means less documents cluttering our work space.

And don’t get me started on the countless magazines that arrive…but are rarely read. And then there’s our newspaper subscription that should have been canceled a year ago. In the end, everything from bills to old cell phone manuals seem to migrate to the office.

But we’re turning over a new leaf…a cleaner, organized, and hopefully clutter-free leaf. I don’t expect perfection, and I know it’ll take more than a week to adjust to our new arrangement. But I’m sure it’ll work out….if not…I might lose my mind.


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