Living a Paperless Expat Life Shouldn't Be Complicated!

I find that going paperless is a struggle. I believe that it's the way of the future, but not everyone has gotten that memo yet. And when I say it's a struggle, it's not so much on my end, I've been working at it for a couple of years now. It's because we get bombarded with paper all day long.

For example, when I lived in AZ, I was the homeroom mum volunteer for my daughter's class and when I offered to send the announcements via email (99% of the parents had email), I was shut down. Apparently everyone has to have access to the same things in the public school system and we can't offend anyone by using a tool that someone might not have access to. Wait a second. I could easily print the paper to the 1% of the people who didn't have email... but they wouldn't have it.

There are bills, there are advertisements, take out menus, receipts and many, many more. I started on my journey to becoming 100% paperless when I started working in Real Estate. I found that I didn't need to print pages and more pages of home listings. I could email them to my clients, with my Ipad I had it all on the tip of my hand. I've even written contracts sitting in a Starbucks or believe it or not, in my car.

I am not 100% paperless, but I've come a long way. The thing is, when you become paperless, you must organize your digital world just like you would your physical world or else, it becomes one big clutter that you can't keep track of.

As I move so often, it has become even more important to scan and get rid of junk that is not useful to me now or will be in the future.

For example, what do you do with children's art work? I have it planned, I organize it in my computer so that I have the memories and I can see her development as the years go by, but I don't necessarily need to hold on to the paper or object, with a few exceptions of course.

A few reasons that led me to think that way:

  • Papers add to the weight of your boxes.
  • Paper is clutter
  • There is no use to it in the long term
  • Everything (almost everything) is scannable
  • We need to save the trees!
  • It clears up physical space in your home
  • You won't need as much furniture to keep your clutter.
  • It will save money on folders and shelves.

I have also stopped buying physical books and moved on to kindle books, I can read them on my computer, on my tablet and on my Android phone. Yes, I do miss the smell, the turning pages, but guess what, I will get over it. Just like vinyls, the way we read has evolved and I like it.

My life has become simpler because of my efforts to go paperless.

I get it, some people like clutter and like to hold paper and all of that. I did too! There are things that I am just now getting better at, which is using a virtual calendar. I always had the paper version and like everything else, change takes a little time. Now, I have it all on my google calendar, and I check it and I use it, which is a win for me!

I also get that some countries are more advanced than others when it comes to not dealing with paper. It's normal, but if you do your part with the tools you have at your fingertips, you will be able to simplify your life by a long haul. Think about it...