6 Secret Steps to Going Paperless


A paperless life is a myth. But you can achieve a “less paper” life by making a few simple changes. Follow these suggestions to leave those paper piles behind and closer to a paperless life.

Do one To-Do each month, for the next 6 months.

  1. Sign up for online bill paying. You can go through your bank or through each service (like utility companies) to pay each month. If you finances are secure, consider setting up automatic payments.
  2. Sign up to receive your bills and statements by email.  This task will take some time, since you will have to go to each organizations website to sign up. You will receive email notices that your bills are due and your statements are available, so it’s easy to stay current.
  3. Set up folders on your computer for your statements. This will eliminate having to store paper in a file cabinet.
  4. Back up regularly or automatically – Now that you are keeping electronic copies you need to make sure that you are backing up your computer or using a cloud service to save your documents.
  5. Scan old documents. Now that you have gone electronic with your current paperwork, move to scanning your important, older documents and move more closely to a paperless life
  6. Slow incoming paper. Register to stop receiving junk mail and catalogs and get into the habit of recycling any junk that slips through the cracks by not even bringing it into your home.
A paperless life is a myth. But you can achieve a “less paper” life by making a few simple changes. Click To Tweet

Check out these additional posts on reducing paper:

Conquer Your Paper Piles

5 Steps to Super Simple Paper Management

Organizing Paperwork in the Kitchen

How to Live With Less Paper by JotForm

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Emily on February 18, 2012 at 4:56 am

    These are some great tips, Janet! It is not possible to stop the world from trying to give you paper, but it is possible to start saying “no!”

    • Basic Organization on February 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      I SO agree Emily. Less paper – less decisions – less clutter.

      • Melanie on September 28, 2020 at 1:55 pm

        Auto bill pay is such a game changer and I’m always surprised when more people are still not setting it up!

        This post will help a lot of people because of your approach to “less” not “none.”

        Thanks for another great post.

        • Janet Schiesl on September 28, 2020 at 8:05 pm

          Thank you Melanie. I just set my mom up with some online bill paying. She’s 88. Most of her bills are auto-pay, but she was still writing checks for a few bills. She asked me to set up bill paying through her bank. She’s very 21st century now!

  2. Janet Barclay on September 28, 2020 at 8:49 am

    I do most of these, but #5 is a good idea – thank you!

    • Janet Schiesl on September 28, 2020 at 8:08 pm

      If all you need to do is #5, you are doing well Janet.

  3. Seana Turner on September 28, 2020 at 11:13 am

    I have to admit that I have been a slow adapter to paperless. My bank recently started charging a fee for paper statements, so I made the switch to electronic statements and did set up a folder for them. This is very important for me to feel in control. I think many people just delete the statements, assuming they can just look online. I believe you should have some sort of record, and now I am getting onto downloading them to the appropriate folder.

    • Janet Schiesl on September 28, 2020 at 8:10 pm

      That is what I do too. It take a little time but I agree that having a copy of the statements in your electronic files is good. I think my kids think of that as “old school” though. They don’t even want the electronic files. Everyone needs to find their comfort level.

  4. Sabrina Quairoli on September 28, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    I still print out statements just for my business. But, the other personal statements are saved digitally. Thanks for sharing these great tips. It’s important to revisit this process every few years to streamline it even more. =)

    • Janet Schiesl on September 28, 2020 at 8:13 pm

      I agree. Technology changes so often that doing a review of how you are doing things every once in awhile is a good idea. There may be something better out there that will save you time and/or money that could be implemented.

  5. Liana George on September 28, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Love these ideas! They are so practical and do-able! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Janet Schiesl on September 28, 2020 at 8:40 pm

      Thanks Liana. Welcome to the Basic blog.

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