Tips for going digital with your paperwork:
1. Find a system that works for you. It has to be easy to use, easy to back up, and easy to access, otherwise youll never do it and papers will pile up. I use the Neat system because the scanners are accurate, simple to use, portable and small enough to tuck away, and the software is really useful. If I need a document, print to PDF and I can file it or email it to myself as needed.
2. Create a cloud. You could pay for one, which Neat now offers, but I don't really like paying for monthly services like that. What I do is I email documents to myself in gmail, and then label them under different folder names and archive them. I put the document in the subject title, and now I can access the document anywhere anytime, and it serves as an oh-shit back up. Computer crashes, hard drive crashes, no problem.
3. Multiple back ups. I back up my neat database everytime I update it. I keep the back up on my portable harddrive. I also email myself the backup every once in a while so I can download it from online if I need it. I don't really back up the email one too much, every so often I'll have to scan something important and ill email myself a bunch of files at once during that time.. but overall it gives me security. I have an offline access, an online access, and a daily access at any given point in time. This helped a lot when my computer suddenly decided to crash on me.. I downloaded the software onto a friend's computer, pulled up my files, and had my promotion packet printed before the end of the day. I couldn't say that if it were a box of actual papers destroyed somehow.
4. Keep the most important documents. It's okay to have a stack of "I haven't filed these yet--I dont know if I need them.." and its okay to have an "I Love Me" binder with all the essentials and important things in it. I keep a folder with a copy of important documents in my car just in case, and originals in a binder protected at home. I use the digital files 99% of the time, but there is always that one time someone wants a copy right then and there--and usually I shock them by actually having it.
What I'm still trying to figure out is how to declutter as a nerd. Books are difficult for me, as are gadgets, games, and electronics. I think Steam has been a HUGE asset for me in this regard, and so has having friends interested in similar hobbies--we can swap, trade, and borrow without buying tons of new items. But my collection of sculptures and art projects? My japanese inspired decor? Those panels that don't match an effin' thing that I still cant bring myself to rid of? And all of the swords and weaponry? when I get home, I see that easily being my biggest hurdle.
I'm still trying to simplify my beauty regime even more too. I've done PRETTY well, lowering it all to the size of my full-sized tote and a wall-hanger with extras. But I'd like to have everything I use be able to also fit into a traveling container. My tote isn't really made to pack in a suitcase to take with me. I'm going to start giving some of these Lush products a try--if they work out well, I could have my answer by finding something that helps my skin and getting to reduce a lot of these creams and potions I currently use on and off.