Going paperless: scanning important documents


Another project I have been considering for a long time but procrastinating about has been going paperless with all of our “important” filed documents, such as certain medical records, vaccinations, school records and diplomas,  birth certificates, marriage records, documentation of my continuing education credits, and so forth. I had been gradually keeping PDF files of certain receipts that I obtained online rather than printing them and keeping a hard copy, but otherwise I was still keeping mostly paper files – with lots of paper files at both work and home. Now that we are moving abroad, I was faced with the fact that I finally needed to deal with this task.

I looked at my files at work (I’m a social worker), and realized that most of the papers there I can do without. I use far fewer handouts now than I used to, given the availability of so much online material.  I do need to continue to have documentation of my continuing education credits which I am required to do for my license. I then went through my files at home. Most of it I just threw away, but I did come up with some piles (above) that I thought I might need and I spent the afternoon scanning them. Most of the papers I could then just throw away after I scanned them, but I kept a handful, such as our original birth certificates and vaccination records, which I put in one envelope to bring with me to England. We are putting copies of the scanned documents onto both of our computers and into Dropbox. We will still need to store some paper records when we move abroad (hopefully just a banker’s box or two)– our prior tax documents from before we went digital — but we are hoping to go paperless for the most part for now on. No more filing cabinets full of papers!! Hurray!!