Decluttering My Life, One Step at a Time

Going Paperless in the Future

I am great at filing and organizing papers.  I can usually find any specific receipt, bill or statement in less than ten minutes.

I am terrible at purging those papers.  I have an ugly filing cabinet and a closet full of bankers boxes filled with over ten years worth of papers that I no longer need.

Yes, it’s great that I can quickly find the receipt for the furniture that I bought 20 years ago or the instruction manual for the TV that I no longer own.  But I no longer need those documents and it’s time to get rid of them.

It’s a task that I need to do but I dislike doing.  Paper is heavy, takes up a lot of space (even shredded) and dealing with several boxes of paper is a lot of work.  But I will do it since I want to reclaim the space that all of those boxes are taking up.

I believe that I can get rid of about 70% of the paper stored.  All I would like to keep are current records, tax returns, legal papers, vehicle titles and maybe a few other things.

Document Scanners
It wouldn’t be worth my time to scan in all of the papers that I already have.  Most are past their time limit for keeping and they just need to be shredded or thrown away.  But what about the future?  It’s December and soon I will need to move the Year 2013 papers into a box and make room for the 2014 papers in my filing cabinet drawer.  In ten years from now, will I be going through the 2013 papers? It’s not a task that I look forward to doing.  Maybe it’s time to start a digital filing system.

I’ve been thinking about going paperless ever since I saw a NeatDesk informercial.  I’ve been researching NeatDesk Desktop Scanner and other document scanners and I like that I would be able to scan a bunch of papers at the same time.  The scanner will convert each piece of paper to a digital file on my computer.  NeatDesk claims that their software will identify and organize the papers for me, but I don’t even need to go that far.  As long as the device creates a PDF file, then I can create my own filing system that makes sense for me.

But before I go out and spend $250 to $400.00 on a NeatDesk or any document scanner that has all of the cool features that I desire, I better make sure that it makes sense for me to do so.  Here are the pros and cons of purchasing one:

Pros:

  • Less papers = more space, less clutter
  • Organizing, retrieving and deleteing paper documents on the computer will be physically easier than doing the same with real papers
  • Will be able to keep more history records while taking up relatively little computer space

Cons:

  • $250 to $400 to purchase
  • Another piece of office equipment that will need desk space
  • More $$$ and storage space needed for an external backup system – I would not trust having only one digital copy of my papers
  • Will still need to keep originals of some important papers – therefore I will still need to store some documents in a storage box.

I believe that purchasing a document scanner will be beneficial for me because I no longer want to take the time to process large boxes of paper today or in the future.  I am also tired of looking at those boxes every time I open my closet.

I’m not sure yet on which document scanner I will purchase.  I’m on a budget, so I need to weigh in the money factor.  Once I decide on which one, I’ll let you know.

UPDATE: I purchased the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i and you can read more about it in my post, Going Paperless with the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i Document Scanner.

On a side note, whenever I do go through my old paper receipts and statements, I enjoy seeing how much the cost of gas, food and utilities have changed over the years.  With a digital system, I will be able to quickly look at historical records.  The best part is that I can keep as many as I want without taking up any closet space.

Best,

Diana

To learn my system for organizing my files and receipts, please check out my article, “How to Create and Maintain a Filing System for Bills and Receipts” on InfoBarrel.  Once I start creating my digital filing system, I am sure I will still follow the same principles that I explained in the article.

Photo Credit: Dental Record Papers – © Jonny McCullagh – Fotolia.com

An Article By -

I work full time in retail sales. I'm married, have a pet cockatiel and my mom lives with us. When I'm not working, I spend most of my spare time on my websites. For exercise, I'm training to do 100 push ups! I love to eat good food, but am watching my weight. For my chocolate fix, I turn to Quest Bars as they taste like desert. Big Walking Dead fan!

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Dave December 16, 2013, 4:55 am

    I have a friend who has that Neat Desk one, I can ask what he thinks of it. I’ve done a lot of research myself, and the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 has a cult-like following it seems. The number of positive reviews is crazy for that one. They recently made a version of the same scanner for evernote (which costs a little more), but from the reviews I read on the original, getting everything into evernote is no problem anyway.

    Reply
    • Dave December 16, 2013, 5:09 am

      Edit: I’m 99% sure he has one, again, I’ll see if he has any info.

      Reply
      • Diana December 16, 2013, 2:24 pm

        I am also looking at the Fujitsu as I did notice it had great reviews. I am interested in hearing what your friends says about his scanner.

        Reply

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About Me!


I'm Diana and this where I share my progress, tips and everything I learn while I progress towards my goal of a simpler life!

I want less distractions, less stress and more time to focus on what matters to me. I believe that decluttering my home and my mind are the first steps in achieving that.

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