5 Simple Way to Reduce Paper Piles

Published on: Author: Anne Langton

PAPER, PAPER, PAPER…we may dream of the paperless office but most of us are still forced to deal with it one way or another.  It’s like an infiltrating army of ants.  It comes via mailbox, meetings, and marketing.  In fact I think it may even come in through the air vents a night.  There are truly only two ways to reduce paper…

  • Throw It Out
  • Don’t Generate It

Okay here’s where you probably rolled your eyes and had an unkind thought about the author.  So this is where I would like to pass along 5 simple ways to reduce paper piles in the home and office.


More than likely the place WHERE you open your mail is where the mail STAYS…if even for a short time.  Save yourself a step and open your mail NEAR the recycling and shredding containers.  Make instant decisions and go with it.  Be ruthless…after all you are defending your OPEN SPACE!  It’s valuable…toss out accordingly!


By now you have probably heard that by registering with these websites you can reduce your junk mail…and you probably think its a fantastic idea…and you have every intention of doing it…someday.   Well here are the links so that someday could be today!  Keep in mind that it could take up to 6 months for these requests to process through the system.

To reduce direct mail offers:    https://www.dmachoice.org/

To reduce catalogs:   https://www.catalogchoice.org/

To reduce credit card offers:  https://www.optoutprescreen.com/?rf=t


Think twice before you hit that “Print” button.  If you are like me, you might feel more secure having a hard copy “just in case something happens to the computer”  Even I, (lover of pencils, abacus and rotary dial phones) has to admit this is old thinking.  Rather have a back up of sorts to your computer.  This can be achieved several ways.  Stephen Almeida of Almeida & Associates advises…

To go truly paperless, or at least use less paper, preparation for life’s little speed bumps is necessary. Use as many tools as you can to secure your important documents.  With prices dropping significantly in the last 2-3 years on external hard drives, purchase one.  Most come with software that will do a decent job, or you can always obtain more comprehensive backup or synchronization software.  This will make copies from your local computer to the external hard drive that is sitting on your desk.

As a second line of defense, that is even better than printing out the paper for safety, is looking into a good cloud based (storage out on the internet) service.  These services will back up selected items and store them in a secure off site location.  So if there is human error, or a natural disaster, your documents are safe.


No longer are we tethered to paper since so much information can be found on the internet.  Kindles and tablets have made electronic reading far more accessible.   If space and paper piles are an issue,  consider purging any of the following items and becoming more active online.

  • Equipment Manuals
  • Newspapers and Periodicals
  • Monthly Bills
  • Catalogs


Even with all the electronic gizmos, there will still be an unending inflow of reading material on paper that will require review.  There will be reading for education, entertainment and professional purposes.  Before automatically adding something to your “reading pile”


Langton Designs creates offices that work well and feel right