In home office organizing one of the major impediments to cleanup is the large quantity of paper that has to be sorted, filed, subsequently out of files for viewing, and put back again. As Abrahamson and Freedman (2005) accurately note, this can be a time consuming and expensive process, especially if you keep a voluminous number of documents. The hassle of having to physically file paperwork, combined with the opportunity cost present in filing and retrieval are what prompted me to go paperless.
All my bills are now directly debited from my bank account. I received mailed transaction receipts until I chose the “eco-friendly option,” which allowed me to view these statements online. The resulting financial control has enabled me to switch money between accounts (banking and retirement), see my statements 24/7 without having to request backup copies, and to browse archives of past statements. The online option has provided the convenience of transacting business from my home, and the freedom to make my own choices. Other added bonuses include less mail, (and in the case of bill paying) improved credit as a byproduct of electronic punctuality.
Decreased stamp usage, less worry that personal information will be compromised (in either a mailbox or garbage raid), and a peace of mind that everything is being handled behind the scenes are byproducts of virtual bill paying.
Decreased need to shred and store help save time and space, while conserving your resources for more important tasks. I took the added step of calling vendors that send me unwanted advertisements, and I asked to be removed from their mailing lists. Many of these institutions maintain a privacy department that is specifically designated to handle such requests.
“Going paperless” requires some work upfront, but it’s a onetime occurrence that pays off handsomely in terms of improved efficiency and clutter elimination.
Abrahamson, E., & Freedman, D. H. (2005). A Perfect Mess. New York: Bay Back Books.