February 21, 2022

7 Tricks for Trimming Your Paper Collection

From bills and magazines to receipts and tax documents, the average person can accumulate thousands of items that generally get tucked away in a filing cabinet or drawer. Unfortunately, you may not realize just how many documents you have until it is time to pack them up to relocate to a new house. So check out this list of quick tricks to trim down a massive paper collection before you move.

1. Start with three containers

Grab three containers or cardboard boxes. Label or mentally note each container for its intended purpose:

  • Container 1 is for safe-to-throw-away trash
  • Container 2 is for documents that need to be destroyed
  • Container 3 is documents and paper to keep

As a side note, if your extensive paper collection involves a lot of newspapers or magazines, you may also want to add a fourth container specifically for these. Again, both can be donated or used for a secondary purpose.

2. Donate magazines to local organizations

People often read magazines once or twice and then tuck them away for another day and rarely retrieve them again. However, many places take old magazines because they can put them to good use. For example, local schools may use them for arts and crafts projects, and nursing homes may collect them for residents. Some old magazines may also be worth money. For example, certain Sports Illustrated magazines may be worth up to $1,800.

3. Scan documents to make digital copies

Digital copies of documents only take up space on a hard drive or disc and are not in your drawer. Check to see which documents you can scan and upload to your computer or save to a flash drive. While scanning documents can take some time, this is an easy way to reduce a substantial amount of clutter.

4. Consider if a document is something you will need

There are specific circumstances when you may need a copy later. However, a lot of what people keep is kept with a vague sense that this document could be helpful later. Home Storage Solutions recommends that you safely discard the record if your inclination to maintain something is the latter.

5. Eliminate old financial documents

Financial documents like bills, tax returns, receipts, and service contracts can take up a lot of space. However, you don’t need to maintain all of these for the rest of your days. For instance, you can generally get rid of old tax returns after three years.

6. Find new uses for old newspapers

Old newspapers can be handy when you are packing. Go through your stack, cut out any significant sections you want to keep and add them to a scrapbook. You can use the rest of the paper to protect breakables, fill dead space in packed boxes, and even layered between dishes.

7. Make use of file folders

Sorting your document collection into file folders gives you an idea of which documents have an important place in your life. Create a series of labeled folders and sort what you have left after putting everything into its own file. Whatever you have left that does not belong in a logical place may not be something worth keeping.

Ready to Make Your Next Big Move?

Moving can be a chore, but the less clutter you have, the easier the process. Need some help making your next big move? Reach out and get a free quote to get started.


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