I am sure you have heard the statistic that 80% of what is filed is never looked at again.
Do you know the difference between papers that are references and those that are records? Learning the difference can save a lot of work and maybe a few trees in the process.
Records are papers that you need to keep for legal or business reasons. You can check with your accountant, lawyer and/or the IRS for a list of these documents and the recommended retention for each type of record.
On the other hand references are papers that are nice to have but are not needed. They may contain interesting information or ideas but are not necessary to have. You can typically find the information in the reference again via the same or another source.
Now take a look in your current filing cabinet, on the floor or table top piles and in your filing boxes. Are you keeping references or records? What percentage of what you are keeping are actual records needed for legal or business reasons.
Now ask yourself why you are keeping so many reference papers. Are you concerned that you won’t be current on business information or you saving the craft instructions for someday when you have the time?
Understanding what you currently keep in your files and piles and why you keep it is a starting point for taming the paper in your life.