Last month, I shared our new filing cabinet makeover — as well as how I pared down our paper piles from 4 large filing drawers down to 2 much smaller filing drawers (with room to spare!
) It felt SOOO good to purge that extra paper weight (pun intended) and to have all my files neat and organized BEFORE the New Year… However, after I published that post, I received a massive amount of emails asking for LOTS more details on how exactly we got rid of SO much paper. I think a big reason I’ve been able to pare down our paper piles is because I’m learning that it’s actually not necessary to keep many papers these days — digital OR hard copies — because so much of the information is available via the internet with a few clicks.
Credit card, bank, investment, retirement, and utility bill statements: Not only do we not KEEP any of these statements, we don’t even GET them anymore (digital or hard copy).
We simply get an email once a month, alerting us that the statements are available online, and then we can log into our account whenever we want/need to view them.
They are always there — and since we have ALL our bills set up for auto-pay, we don’t ever have to worry about bills getting lost or having a late payment.
Receipts: We don’t keep any receipts — except for large ticket items (like electronics or furniture).
I hate shopping — so the majority of what we buy on a monthly basis is gas and groceries; and we don’t keep those receipts.
Also, since we buy everything with our one credit card (and then pay that credit card in full at the end of the month) almost any store computer system can easily look up any potential returns just by swiping our credit card.Any online shopping we do sends receipts to our email or saves them in our online account (like or Thred Up.com) so I’ll usually keep those emails until the item arrives; then I delete the email.Extra “filler papers”: For the papers we DO keep (like insurance paperwork, legal documents, etc.) there are usually several pieces of “filler paper” that is shoved into the envelope too.For example, our home/auto insurance is 2 pieces of paper — but EVERY SINGLE TIME it gets mailed out to us, it comes with an entire booklet of disclaimers and information about our insurance policy.All of that information is available via the company’s website (and by simply calling an agent) so there is no reason we need to store that big packet of information two times each year!Anything else we can find digitally: Ok, so this is kind of broad — but it basically encompasses a mass amount of paper clutter that would otherwise be on our counters, piled on our desk, or taking up way too much space in our filing cabinet drawers.