Drowning in Paper–Digital Organization

Posted on Jul 23 2012 - 8:37pm by Jessica Johnson

Extra Space Storage


You know what drives me crazy? Old receipts. They are in my desk drawers, in my wallet, on my kitchen counter, on my dresser, in my pockets, coming out of my ears. Well, it feels like they are coming out of my ears sometimes.

Do I throw them away? Should I file them? Save them for returns or warranties? Track my spending more thoroughly?

It’s not just receipts. It’s also bills, paystubs, contracts, notices, reminders, all types of documents and paper.

I will amend my earlier sentiment. What really drives me crazy is PAPER!

Here we are living in this incredible digital age and yet I feel like I am still drowning in paper.



Even though paper is drowning me, I feel guilty throwing out any receipt or document, just in case. Do you know that feeling? Just in case I need it for returns, just in case I need it if I get audited, just in case I need something to put my used gum in. So I hang on to all of them.

Enough is enough. I am going to reduce the amount of paper in my life. I have a scanner on my printer, and that is exactly how I am going to start. There are also many pretty incredible digital organizers on the market today that do a lot of the work for you. I’m thinking early birthday present! Check these out: Neat Digital Filing Systems; Visioneer Portable Scanner


Neat, Specifically

Can I just talk about the Neat Digital Filing System a little bit more? Scanning all of your documents and receipts is great for beginning the process of cleaning out the paper mess, but then you have to import all of the information into your software program. You type, you organize, you add up the sums, etc. Neat does this all for you. It is entirely simple and effective. And, for the record, they have no affiliation with Extra Space Storage or me, nor have they paid for any endorsement. They are just a really cool product that I think you should know more about.



After you scan your papers, be honest with yourself. Do you really need that paper? Really? If all you need is the scan, then put it in the recycling—after you shred it, of course. Get it out of your house, your purse, your wallet, and out of your hair.

If you really need a place for that used piece of gum, then you can keep ONE.



I am new to this digital organizing concept and I am really excited to jump in. Next week, I will share with you some tips and tricks for those of you who are also drowning in paper like me. We will breath again, I promise.

What do you do to reduce the paper in your home and office? Is there another system that you use that is as good as or better than Neat? What works for you?


Jessica Johnson


1 Comment so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Tim July 26, 2012 at 3:33 am -

    I have been scanning all my receipts and documents for years however I thought I still needed to hang on to the originals. This year I got rid of 25+ years of paper! I have a shred envelope on my desk and the first of the month I take it to OfficeMax for shredding, They only charge 86 cents per pound and I have never paid over $1 per month.

    I file ever item to their appropriate folders in a pdf format. This also works great for those warrenty and instruction manuals.