Russ and Tiña De Maris live full-time in a recreational vehicle and have written about a solution: they digitize everything and throw the paper away. Actually, I have been doing the same for several years now and recommend it to everyone, whether you live on the road or in a normal home. It simplifies your life and helps immensely in becoming organized. Having everything available at your fingertips within seconds, wherever you are, is a great convenience. I no longer have a need for filing cabinets or even boxes of papers. Yet I can find any scanned document within seconds, wherever I am.
Russ and Tiña's article heavily promotes the products from the Neat Company, one of the leaders on the field. In fact, I used the company's product, called NeatReceipts, for some time and wrote about it several years ago at http://goo.gl/sDxzi. I have since "moved up" to a bigger scanner and a somewhat more manual method of storing receipts, insurance documents, owners' manuals, and more. However, NeatReceipts is easier to use and probably meets the needs of most people better than my somewhat manual system of filing digital documents.
You can read Russ and Tiña De Maris' article at http://goo.gl/Wfu50.
I do feel there is one thing missing in the article: backups. You want to protect your documents from hard drive crashes, power failures, or accidental erasures. It makes no sense to scan hundreds or even thousands of documents and then lose them all later due to a malfunction. In short, you don't want to place all your eggs in one basket.
In my case, I scan most paper documents using a scanner and laptop computer in my motor home which stores the files on the laptop's hard drive. Within seconds, backup copies are made to the Time Machine external hard drive in the motor home that has a backup of every file on my laptop. In addition, within five minutes or so (if I am connected to the Internet) an additional copy is made "in the cloud" on Dropbox.com and then within a few more minutes another copy is made on the desktop computer back in my home (I leave that computer running 24 hours a day, connected to the Internet and to Dropbox.com at all times). In addition, I can retrieve an additional copy at any time from "the cloud" on any desktop or laptop computer as well as on most tablet computers and iPhones or Android cell phones.
In short, I think I have sufficient backup copies to protect from most any loss.
All this works on any Windows or Macintosh computer. I can even add more "scanned" images by taking pictures of the documents with my cell phone's camera and then uploading those to the cloud. Within minutes, copies are placed on my home desktop computer and on my laptop computer as well. If these computers are not connected to the Internet at that moment, such as when they are powered off, the documents are "queued up" on Dropbox and will be copied when the computer is next powered up and connected online.
Since I converted to all digital documents, the mass of paperwork in my life has almost disappeared. I save very little paper.
Life without paper is great!
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