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Trip Planning: Going Completely Paperless

paperless livingPhoto by “Rosmary” on Fickr.

It’s getting closer! Only a few weeks left before I hit the open road. I’m CRAZY excited but I have to pull it all together to ensure I’ve got everything in order before the big day.

One of my goals going into this whole adventure is to be able to live entirely on the go. So that means no depending on one location for anything, including mail! I’ve gone paperless folks, and I can’t say that I’m ever going back.

I basically followed the steps in this post by Tim Ferriss, but to break it down for you, here’s what I did in order to go 100% paperless:

  1. First things first – get rid of all junk mail deliveries. I went to stopjunkmail.org, and followed the steps on the site to discontinue the credit card requests, magazine offers, etc. The site looks totally sketch but it’s legit. And while it took a little longer than I expect – there are a least three forms to fill out and mail into various companies – so far, it’s worked!
  2. What about important mail that you should have hard copies of, you ask? No problem! I signed up for this awesome electronic mail service called Earth Class Mail. It’s perfect for people who still need to receive mail in some capacity; they assign you a new mailing address, located at one of their headquarters. Your mail gets delivered there, they scan it in for you and deliver it via email. Pretty brilliant business model if you ask me. I know what you’re thinking, “they open your mail? But what about sensitive documents, and things?” It’s true, they have staff than hand open your mail in order to scan it to you. But I researched the crap outta the company and they’re secure, legit, and reliable. I’m not worried in the least! The only downside is there’s a monthly cost. But for those of you who might be serious about going paperless for the environment and/or your travels, it’s definitely worth it.
  3. Next step was to fill out the USPS mail forwarding card to my new Earth Class Mail address. Oh, I forgot to mention – you can choose an address almost anywhere in the country. For now, I “live” in Chicago. A place I love and will hopefully really live someday. Haha! It’s kinda cool.
  4. Finally, I signed up for a LifeLock account. This is something you might actually want to consider whether traveling or not. It’s a system that monitors your identity and online security. Any funny activity and they halt your accounts and notify you immediately. After having my apartment broken into and then my car stolen, within a few months of each other, I thought it best to not take any risks, especially while on the road.

That’s pretty much it! It took just a few hours to get everything sorted out. At the very least it makes me feel more organized and more secure.

For those of you interested in taking it to the next level, and want to learn how to get rid of phone calls and voicemails – yes for realzies – check out these ninja moves over at The 4-Hour Work Week blog.

Have you taken any steps to go paperless? Would love to hear your ideas in the comments below! :)

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Comments

  1. Em

    Be careful with lifelock, husband and I had it a few years ago and received a check last fall for right around $11 as our portion of a settlement that was awarded because identities had been stolen during the year we were supposed to be protected. I had a good experience with them but others did not so for your own sake please just keep an eye on your bank accounts and credit scores! People can steal almost anything these days, protected or not! Safe travels!!!
    @emilyrvegan

    • Hi Em – thanks for the heads up. I’ll keep an eye on this. :)

  2. Mmm…that sounds quite liberating! I tend to neglect the post I get (i.e. I don’t open it for weeks at at time!) which sometimes has unfortunate repercussions! I like the idea of going paper free – sounds like a weight being lifted off your shoulders.

    • Hi Tom! Yes, once I got everything sorted out, it felt awesome. You should give it a go. :)

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