Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tips and Tools: Electronic information

Receiving, storing and finding information that is printed on paper is a constant struggle for all of us. Most of the problem stems from our worry that if we get rid of something, we won't be able to get it back again. Yet much of the paper we are bombarded with we are likely never going to look at or need, but we have a hard time giving ourselves permission to get rid of it for good.

It is time that many of us realize how much information there can be had online. Not only can you stop paper statements and get your billing information online, but you can access so much more. There is no reason to a keep a paper copy of something that you *think* you *might* need at some point down the line (and probably won't) if you can get it electronically on demand when that mythical day should come. I'm talking about manuals for appliances, restaurant menus, contact information for businessess, maps, directions and those fat prospectuses and quarterly reviews that investment companies send you and you never look at but feel guilty throwing away. Yeah, you can get all of that stuff online. Why use your precious resources to store these items when you can use the magic of the Internet to let someone else store it electronically? And since it's "in the cloud" you don't even have to worry about backing up the data. Plus, information changes so quickly that most of the printed stuff is out of date very quickly. When you look at a piece of paper and ask yourself if you could easily get the information on it should you need in the future and the answer is yes, send it to the recycle bin.

Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email


  1. love your blog. i'll be back often! especially as i'm decluttering all month! thanks for visiting my site as well. glad we've connected!

  2. Thanks, Shannon. I'm glad we've connected, too, and best of luck with your month of decluttering!