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8 tips for going paperless at home

Going paperless.


Paper clutter is the bane of my existence. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, the stuff just seems to multiply overnight. Our house always seems to be littered with paper!

When I was talking to a friend about this problem a few weeks ago, she suggested that I try to go paperless at home. I never really considered this option before… I just assumed that paper would always be in my life – but, I’ve since learned that it doesn’t have to be.

I tried a few of my friend’s suggestions right away and then went a step further and tried some of my own ideas. Now, only 3 weeks after that conversation, I’m well on my way to a paperless home – and it feels great!

Here are 8 tips for making your home paperless.

1. Pay bills online.

Most banks allow you to pay your bills online and it is extremely safe to do so. Sign up for online banking and tell your bank to stop sending you paper bills and statements.

Some banks even offer some type of incentive for going paperless!

2. Cancel magazine subscriptions.

Many magazines are actually available for free online, believe it or not. Check with the magazines you are subscribed to see if this is an option for you.

If you are just reading them for inspiration only, check out Pinterest or Real Simple instead.

3. Cancel newspaper subscriptions.

There is an abundance of news available online – for FREE! There really is no need to have a newspaper subscription anymore (unless you are only subscribed to get coupon inserts – in which case you should throw the paper into your recycling bin immediately after taking the coupon insert out).

4. Don’t keep all of your children’s’ artwork.

Try not to be too sentimental about the artwork that your child creates. Only keep your absolute favorites and get rid of the rest. Take some photos before you toss them so you will still be able to look at them from time to time.

5. Purge your coupons often.

I love using coupons to save money, but those tiny slips of paper can really start to take over if you don’t get a handle on them.

Remember to go through your coupon stash on a regular basis (weekly is best) and get rid of any that are expired or that you don’t anticipate using.

6. Purge your books.

You should also go through your book collection a few times per year and get rid of books you no longer wish to keep.

Do this not only for your own books but children’s books, cookbooks – everything.

7. Don’t let receipts take over.

If you hold on to receipts for entering into your monthly budget, keep them all in one spot in your home.

Update your budget weekly and then throw out the receipts (or file them away if they are important).

8. Remove yourself from mailing lists.

Stop that junk mail from entering your home. Remove yourself from mailing lists to prevent junk from showing up in your mailbox.

Making your home paperless is a great way to get organized, save money, and live a more simple life. Not only that but the less paper you have, the less of an impact you have on the environment.

Though it takes a bit of time to go paperless at home, the benefits of doing so are well worth the effort.

Do you have a paperless home? Leave a comment with your tips for going paperless!


  1. Michelle

    I get all my bills online (except one.. a credit card company says it has to sent out paper, when the other ones don’t). My bank pays me $1 every month for not having them print it out and send it to me. It’s great.

    I scan everything – important receipts, bills, time cards from work, etc. I have very little room in my office for bills and just having them all electronically is great!

  2. Jen

    Instead of keeping all of a child’s artwork, take a good photo of it, and keep it in a online album. Paperless, and it’s fun to see how the young artist evolves.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  3. K

    Wow, What bank are you with, Michelle?

  4. anne hicks

    on-line banking is great….I only have my flyers for price matching and then into the recycle it goes……I either watch the news on TV,or go online…..never thought about scanning receipts..Great idea Michelle

  5. Fred

    I am with you on most things.. but the kids artwork i keep. doesn’t take much room and a scan or photo of it wont have the same connection to the little hands who crafted the gift.

  6. Judi

    These are great ideas. I already do many of them but I still have paper clutter, ie. scraps of paper that i’ve written notes on to remind myself to do something. Any suggestions? Also it seems that if I’ve got a flat surface it becomes a dumping ground for — whatever. Any suggestions?

    I enjoy your blog and want to thank you for sharing!!

  7. Jaclyn

    I can’t give up my newspaper subscriptions, they give me so many extra and duplicate coupons! Hehe;)

  8. angela

    I noticed you didn’t make any suggestions about what to do with the stuff you’re getting rid of! Schools and Libraries rely heavily on donations of books and money. Alternatively, try selling them in a yard sale or online if they’re in good repair.

    Also, if you’re getting rid of paperwork, make sure you’re shredding anything personal. Its not unheard of for people to commit identity fraud using information they’ve gleaned from recycle bins and trash.

  9. The Scrapbooking Housewife

    I love having my bills online, we have gone one step further and have set up automatic monthly payment plans with most of our monthly bills.

    A great way to get rid of all of your papers is to scan them and store them on an external harddrive, or if they are on your computer just be sure you back up on a regular basis. Also remember to shred any papers you are throwing away. 🙂

    If you have problems with papers accumulating, make sure you have a home for all of your papers and create a file system as part of your home “control centre.” I could go on and on with tips on how to organize your paperwork, etc. 🙂

  10. The Scrapbooking Housewife

    Forgot to mention in response to Judi: I keep a small notebook that I wite my to-do lists and other notes to myself. Also, I am a post-it note junkie and I have pads all over the house that I will use to jot down notes, and it’s so easy to grab them and stick them into the notebook. 🙂 Another idea is to put up a bulletin board inside a cabinet (or on the wall) so you can pin all of your little notes in one place. 🙂

  11. Poorfatchick

    One great thing that my mum used to do with our artwork as kids was use them as wrapping paper for presents. Its great for saving on wrapping paper and people love getting personalized wrapping paper from the kids. I told this to my friend and she uses her kids art work for wrapping paper all the time. You will be surprised how people love it

  12. Eve

    Please, oh please, tell me what documents are vital to keep. Tax papers for the past 7 years is obvious. Our will and insurance papers are obvious. Receipts and flyers and catalogues can go, but what should be filed away?

  13. Cassie Howard
  14. Pamela @

    Thanks for posting this – I was just wondering how to get rid of all clutter in my house as I went frantically searching for my tax slips on Saturday! I need a better system & going paperless will definitely help. I used to have a lot of book clutter, but I started frequenting the library – saves a lot of $$$ too 🙂 And I’m happy you mentioned getting rid of kids artwork – I recently started recycling a ton of my son’s – I felt a bit guilty, but there’s just so much of it!

  15. Cassie Howard

    Pamela: My mom was bad for collecting mine and my siblings’ artwork and she had TONS of it – it took up so much space, I don’t know why she kept it. When I saw how much space it took up in her home, I vowed to never hoard my kids’ artwork. Just take photos. 🙂

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