to trash or not to trashYou can get rid of a lot more paper than you think.. Here are several questions to ask yourself when deciding whether to keep or trash a piece of paper.

  1. Is this the only paper copy in existence? No sense in multiple people filing multiple copies.
  2. Is there an electronic version? With a good backup system there’s no need to keep paper copies of items stored electronically.  (Your unique legal reasons notwithstanding.)
  3. If yougot rid of it and ended up needing it again how expensive or difficult would it be to re-create it?
  4. Can I think of a specific instance when I would need it.  “I might need it someday” is not specific.
  5. Is the information current? Articles about anything electronic are almost obsolete by the time they make it to print.
  6. Could I find the same information with a Google search?
  7. Are there legal, historical or sentimental reasons to keep the document?

Armed with these questions it’s easier to be ruthless and get rid of the piles of clutter.  And anything you trash is one more thing you don’t have to file.  And that’s always a good thing.