Ugh….paper. It is everywhere and is likely coming in your home quicker than you can review and toss! I’m a big believer in making decisions about paper the minute it enters my home (recycle, shred or needs action), but sometimes if we don’t have an alternative in place, those items turn into a mound on the kitchen island.
No more. I’m sharing my four favorite online tools for decreasing paper clutter and would love to hear all about your experience or solutions for managing paper in your own home in the comments.
I’ve raved about Pinterest again and again, but I use it to organize just about everything! As a result it has truly minimized the amount of sticky notes floating around OR the amount of catalogs that are piling up with dog-eared pages.
Here are a few boards that I use to organize all sorts of important things in one spot:
Virtual Bookshelf: I find that many people hold onto books because they don’t want to forget that they liked them in case they are asked for a recommendation. It’s not that they even plan to read them again! I’ve made a big push to switch to reading on my Kindle and renting through Overdrive on our local library’s website. With that being said, my Virtual Bookshelf Pinterest Board has a section dedicated to books I’ve loved and a separate section of books I plan to read!
Recipes I’ve Tried: For those who know me well, this board should be called “Recipes that Sounded Good to Maria that Tyler (my husband) Executed.” He gets all of the credit for the yummy meals in our house. Years ago, I created a board to keep track of recipes we’ve tried and enjoyed. From there, I’ve broken it down into sections: Appetizers, Main Courses - Meat, Main Courses - Vegetarian, Cocktails, Desserts, etc. When we are stumped on what to add to our meal plan for the week, this is always where I turn. Beyond that, I have been able to part ways with several cookbooks that I was holding onto for those couple recipes that turned out to be a hit.
Gifts: Throughout the year, as I come across ideas that are perfect for holidays and birthdays for my nearest and dearest, I add a pin of the item to my “Gifts” board. This board is marked as “Secret” so nobody accidentally sees what is wrapped under the tree. I’m always thankful for this board come November when the Christmas shopping begins.
Personal Style Wishlist OR Home Decor Wishlist: One way to keep catalogs at bay is to recycle the same day they come in your door. Better yet, unsubscribe completely through the National Do Not Mail list. I have a board for both fashion and home decor that I pin items to as I come across them (whether in a catalog or online). The best part about this is, if my hubby is questioning what might be a good gift idea, he knows exactly where to look.
Baby Resources: I feel like I’ve had information coming at my from all directions over the last several months. Much of which I don’t want to forget! I created a board specifically for resources with sections for Pregnancy, Infant and Toddler stages. I’ve pulled in information from my hospital, websites like Lucie’s List (which has been a total god-send) and random pins that have popped up that I don’t want to forget - but probably will because….pregnancy.
While I personally haven’t had a reason to use Artkive yet, I have recommended it to countless clients. Managing kid’s artwork is a struggle that a lot of parents have in common. Many parents have rules surrounding what they will keep and what they won’t, but that guilt factor can still exist as items hit the recycling bin. Enter ARTKIVE!
So how does Artkive work? Head over to their website to order your shipping kit (for $39) and fill it with as many art pieces from your little Picasso that you want to remember. From there, Artkive professionally scans all of the pieces, sends you a virtual link so you can access or share them at any time, and also creates a beautiful, hardcover photobook for you featuring the pieces you’ve sent in. I’m totally obsessed with how easy this process is!
When sorting and decluttering an office, basement or garage we often times come across a box or binder full of user manuals (many times for appliances the homeowner no longer owns). Personally, up until late last year, I had a huge box full of manuals myself. Any time something went wrong, I’d have to lug this box down and riffle through it to find what I was looking for. Well, I found out recently that that is totally unneccesary.
CENTRIQ is a free online resource that allows you to catalog all of the electronics in your home. From your coffee maker to your refrigerator and everything in between, CENTRIQ creates a virtual space for you to easily access user manuals, help and DIY videos, service providers, and parts/accessories with direct links to purchase in one space. And the best part is, all you have to do is upload a photo of the serial number and they will pull in the rest.
Finally, one of the biggest game-changers of all. If you’re anything like me, you may have been using a single password for tons of different sites. That all changed a few years ago when I learned about Dashlane.
Dashlane is a password manager with both free and paid versions. It syncs between your computer and your phone and allows you to create complex passwords that would be tough to crack with the click of a button. It also alerts you if any of the websites you frequently access with a password are compromised, ensuring you are one of the first to know that you should update your password.