Three months ago, my husband and I hit our limit and knew that we had to get the paper clutter in our house under control. Our paper clutter problem has since been greatly reduced and I would like to share some tips for how we accomplished this task in a series of posts on the topic.
Our filing cabinet was the worst of our paper monstrosity. Crammed into folders were papers that we wanted but didn’t necessarily need in tangible form. We knew that there were some papers that we had to keep in paper form — like mortgage documents, tax returns, and insurance policies — but finding them was next to impossible because of all of the other clutter. Ultimately, we decided that we wanted our filing cabinet to only include those documents that were at must-keep status.
To rid our home of the unnecessary papers, we invested in the Fujitsu ScanSnap (available for the Mac and PC) and scanned all of the papers that weren’t vital for us to have in paper form.
The ScanSnap is surprisingly small (about the size of a football) and takes up less of a footprint than the papers it scans. It comes with a copy of Acrobat Standard, which means that in addition to the image of the document you can also OCR the text. In one pass, it scans BOTH SIDES of a piece of paper in color or black and white, and it even deletes empty pages. It’s fast (up to 15 pages per minute based on quality settings), and it automatically straightens your pages with its de-skew function. And, the Mac version integrates with DevonTHINK Pro Office for great organizational help.
After having so much success with reducing the paper clutter in our filing cabinet, we went next to our magazines. We pulled out each article or image that we wanted to keep and scanned it. Now, I have files on my computer such as “sewing inspiration,” which are right at my fingertips.
If paper clutter is overwhelming your home, I highly recommend putting the money into buying a Fujitsu ScanSnap for either your Mac or PC.
Visit the whole Paper Clutter Begone series:
- Part 2 — Organizing digitally scanned data
- Part 3 — Paper file organization systems
- Part 4 — Shredding unnecessary paper