Whether you are starting a mail processing system, a home filing system, or a business, there are two tools that will be the handiest in minimizing your filing. Files? A filing cabinet? Labels? These all come after the two essentials:
#1This needs to be near the place paper comes into the home or office. There is a lot of junk that should never even touch your desk. The important mail may also be pared down considerably, if you put the critical pieces (stapled together) in your inbox or file, and immediately recycle the envelope it came in with the newsletters and blank pages.
#2Anything with more information about you than can be found in the phone book should be shredded. Bank statements, receipts that you no longer need, anything with credit card numbers, social insurance numbers… If your shredder is handy, those things can go right in, saving you the trouble of making the decision all over again when you look at it later.
A shredder of reasonable quality for your home may be found at an office supply or big-box store.