How to Go Paperless at Home or in the Office | A Beginner's Guide

how to go paperless at home or office green workplace digital business

Have you ever had the feeling that your home or office is cluttered? Are you tired of shuffling through drawers of loose paper to find the receipt for that expensive work expense?

Receipts, sticky notes, and crumpled papers somehow have magic ways to end up in the weirdest places.

It's time to end the clutter, save the trees, and switch to paperless. 

Keep reading to learn how to go paperless at home and in the office.

Scan Everything

Your boss says it’s time to stop and count every single receipt that you have on your desk right now. Don’t forget the ones in the trashcan, too.

If you had already switched to paperless, this would be a simple task that could be completed in 10 minutes. But, if you are still buried in paper clutter, you’re probably thinking about setting your boss on fire right about now.

This is just one prime example of why you should scan everything into a digital software program. 

From receipts to invoices, work life is 100% easier with digital copies and going paper free.

Even if you aren’t in the office, it’s a good idea to scan everything onto your home computer. That way when tax season comes around, you can easily deduct all of those receipts and bills. 

Switch to Paperless Billing

Every month you probably get a bill in the mail for electricity, water, credit cards, phone, etc.

It may not seem like a lot of paper, but if we told you to leave every single bill on your kitchen table for a year, you’d be pulling your hair out.

Most companies offer paperless billing options, and many offer incentives, such as lower rates, to switch. Once you switch, you’ll start getting emails instead of letters. This could be particularly helpful if you’re looking for a specific bill, as you can just use the search bar. 

Opt for Digital Alternatives

Don’t get us wrong, we love sticky notes. Sticky notes are the perfect bite-size reminders for everything in your life.

But aside from eating up all the trees, these single-use notes are particularly bad for the environment, as they tend to cause recycling problems due to some of their components.

The good news is that most computers have digital sticky notes already programmed in. Just search for sticky notes in your search bar and in no time you can clutter your home screen with all the digital notes.

If this doesn’t prove that you can digitize anything, we don’t know what will. From sticky notes to books, to note pads and sketch pads, there’s a digital version out there.

Digitize Your Signature

How many times has someone sent a document over to you in need of a signature?

Whether it’s the boss or the kid's teacher that’s demanding a signature, you can easily comply and still be green. Simply ask for an electronic copy of the document that needs your signature and with one click you can add a real, personalized signature.

Once you find the right software, it’s easy to sign documents online.

Remove Temptations

Three steps to remove Temptations:

1. Go to your printer
2. Unplug it
3. Throw it out the window

Easy as 1,2,3… 

Okay, please don’t throw your printer out the window. But you should remove any temptations from your home. There are tons of tech companies out there that offer recycling options for old computers, printers, etc.

You can also recycle or donate the notepads and pens that you have just lying around.

Stock the Shelves With Reusable Items

Going paperless means more than tossing the notepads. If you really want to make an impact, you’ll need to purge all the paper. This means paper towels, paper coffee cups, and paper straws, too. 

Once you’ve gotten rid of the paper products around your home and office, you’ve got to replace them with something reusable or you’re going to be left with messy hands and dirty countertops.

Opt for reusable microfiber cloths instead of paper towels, invest in a nice coffee mug to go, and get yourself a silicone straw.

Recycled Toilet Paper Is a Thing, and You Should Be Buying It

Yes, you can even get rid of the toilet paper in your life.

Some people completely stop buying toilet paper and use washable rags and tissues instead. It’s the same idea as reusable baby diapers, but for us big kids.

If you’re not ready to cut out toilet paper, we get it. But there are steps that you can take to make potty time a little greener, such as using recycled toilet paper.

It sounds gross at first, but once you realize that it’s not recycled from previously used toilet paper, it’s not so bad.

Recycle Everything You Can’t Cut Out

If you feel like you just can’t cut out every single piece of paper, it’s okay. Most people take a long time to transition to completely paperless.

In the meantime, be sure to purchase eco-friendly, recycled products, and re-recycle when you’re done with them.

Teach Your Friends How to Go Paperless at Home and in the Office

Man has been using paper since around 100 BC. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re having trouble breaking a habit that’s been around for more than 2,000 years. 

Every piece of paper that you remove from your life is a step in the right direction of going green. 

So just do your best, and don't forget to teach your friends how to go paperless at home and in the office.

Browse through the rest of our site for more ways to declutter your life and stay green. We have a lot of great budgeting and DIY tips to help you stay green while saving some green!

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