Posted in clutter, family, Organizing, Uncategorized

Are You Facing A Paper Avalanche?

Paper work. Paper avalanche. Paper chase. Whatever you call it I know papers they are the downfall of many of you.  What to do what do you need to keep?

Most financial papers fit in to one of 3 categories

  • Keep indefinitely
  • Keep for 7 years
  • Keep for a year or less

Keep For A Calendar Year Or Less

ATM receipts and deposit slips –  when you receive your bank statements you can shred them.

Charge slips (unless it is for a major purchase), for minor purchases once you are satisfied with the purchase. Shred the receipt when your credit card statement.

If you do not have a home office you don’t need to keep your utility bills, monthly  mortgage statements or quarterly investment reports.

Keep your pay stubs, credit card statements and investment reports until you receive the W-2 or year-end summaries. Once you have those you don’t need the monthly statements.

Mari Helin-Tuominen photo-1444427169197-de497742b62d
Photo by Mari-Helin-Tuominen

Keep Seven Years

Year end credit-card summaries, along with your W-2s and 1099s.

If you itemize your tax return you need to keep all documents you utilized to determine your deductions. These additional documents you should retain include: canceled checks and receipts for all deductible business expenses (such as those for entertainment, home-office equipment, and professional dues), retirement-account contributions, charitable donations, child-care bills, out-of-pocket medical expenses, alimony, and mortgage-interest and property-tax payments.

After 7 years you should scan the actual tax returns or the year-end summaries of your investment accounts as they can come in very handy for future financial planning.  Then you can store them on a flash drive or a CD in a safe place.1024px-Usb-thumb-drive

Infinitely:

Keep receipts for major purchases and receipts that show how much you’ve paid for home improvements as long at your own your home. This will satisfy three things: Insurance claims, potential buyers and when you sell your home to reduce possible capital gains.

Keep beneficiary designation confirmation and purchase price slips that show beneficiary designations and the purchase price of stocks, mutual funds, and any other investments you hold.

It goes without saying that you need to keep your will, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, property deeds, and other permanent records in a safe but accessible place near your other financial documents, so you and your heirs will always be able to get to them quickly, if they need to.

Invest in a fireproof safe or a safe deposit box for your forever documents.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I  suggest scanning and digitizing your important personal documents as a back up copy. More info on this by News Leavitt Just remember a digital copy is not the same as a paper copy but it is much easier to obtain a replacement copy of you have a photo copy.

Also, invest in a shredder.  In today’s world you really don’t want personal information floating around out there.  You can find them for not much money.

For more information  how long to keep your documents check here for more info from bankrate.com.  They have a very detailed list.

Now that you know what to keep and what to shred, I have a post on how to deal your paper as it come in the door.  If you would like to read it here is the link  Did you get Stacked?

I hope this helps you let go of your papers.  I love your comments.

Pam's Bee.jpg

 

 

#organize, #clutter, #paperwork, #documents #taxtime

 

Advertisements
Posted in Organizing

Organize your life!

I have been saying you need to be organized;

Disorganization wastes your time;

clear glass with red sand grainer
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Disorganization wastes your money;

cash coins money pattern
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

But no you don’t want to.  Now you hear some “person” says if ‘it doesn’t bring you joy’, and now you are looking for tips to be life organized.

woman holding a smiley balloon
Photo by i love simple beyond on Pexels.com

Now are you ready?  Great!  Let’s get started.

First identify the most important area of disorganization.

Maybe you can’t find your keys every morning or your kids always forget their homework?

Could it be that you avoid opening the door to your hall closet or that one cabinet (you know the one) because every time you do an avalanche of stuff falls out?

woman in grey shirt holding brown cardboard box
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Are you planning on moving your stuff across country on your dime?  Is it really necessary to move your hand me downs and collage textbooks?   Let me let you in a a secret.  It usually costs more money to move your stuff across country than to sell or donate it and buy new at your new location.

Where do you need help?   Follow me and I will help you because you can  Bee Organized!

Thanks

Pamela

bee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

Posted in Organizing, Uncategorized

Is it time to downsize? Is your parent needing to go into a smaller place ~ think tiny

Today we are going to talk about downsizing, whether it’s for you, or for a parent.  Many times we find that just don’t need as much space.  But what is tiny? It could be 100, 200, 300 or 500 square feet?

apartment apple business chair
Photo by Tranmautritam on Pexels.com

There is a big difference in 200 and 500 square feet. We just spent a week in an 800 square foot cabin it had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms plus a separate laundry room. All in all  it had everything we needed. We had plenty of room. But I could see how it would require some changes to how we shopped. There was not a pantry or a linen closet. But it was certainly doable.

apartment bed bedroom chair
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We have lived in smaller. Back when we were first married we lived in a one-bedroom apartment it was probably less than 500 square feet. Of course we did not have anything so we had plenty of room. LOL

When you start thinking about living in less than 500 square feet you

ashtray book cushion decoration
Photo by Terje Sollie on Pexels.com

will have to be really smart about what you own. Your spaces will have to do double duty. Your dining area will probably be your office. You will need to have furniture that fits the space. You can’t have an oversized overstuffed sectional and a big man recliner. You will not be able to host thanksgiving dinner for 10 and expect to seat them all at your huge farmhouse table with the matching hutch. Nope ~ Not going to fit.

If you think you might want to go tiny there are some things you have to ask your self ~

man and woman sitting in front of table with books and cup of coffee facing each other
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

How do you live?

  • Do you have big parties?
  • Are you a cook or a baker?
  • Do you need a stove and an oven? Or do you just need a microwave and a coffee pot?
  • Must you have a large soaking tub? Did you know most tiny houses have a 6-gallon hot water heater? That is something to keep in mind if you insist on taking long hot showers. You can add a tankless hot water system at a cost.
  • How about laundry? Are you willing to go to a laundry mat? You can get an all in one machine but the downside is it is small and smaller appliances may end up costing your more than their full size versions.
  • Do you plan to work at home? Do you need a lounge area or just a place to sleep?
  • How many people will be sharing this space with you?
  • Can you be in a confined space together for extended periods of time or do you each need your own space?
  • What are you hobbies and how much stuff goes with that?

Downsizing ~ Can be painful Litmus Test

close up photography of white poodle
Photo by Cal David on Pexels.com

Anyone who is thinking tiny sounds like something they might want to try I suggest you be willing to part with at least 80% of your stuff. Are you willing to let go of those special over sized antiques or other large family mementos? If you said no, then tiny is not for you.

Still thinking you can go tiny?

tiny apartment photo-1468323867382-6a9fcbbd68f2

Would you like to dip your toe in tiny the water?

Try an efficiency apartment or buy a used RV or travel trailer. You can find a well-maintained RV for less than $5000. An RV is a quick and easy way to try tiny living.   You can’t really customize the floor plan but they are ready to go.

However if you have seriously given this thought and you are ready to do it.

Go for it.

There are great benefits of living tiny. Lower cost for purchase, utilities will be lower than in a full size house. You will need less stuff to fill it. You can spend time enjoying your new tiny lifestyle and less time to clean it. If you tiny house is on wheels it can be moved with you if you have to relocate.tiny house photo-1446144525544-808f420174ec

Lots of people are taking the tiny plunge. Even if you are not thinking less than 500 square feet you might be thinking about downsizing your home. You can define your own tiny.

So is tiny living for you?

Thanks ~ Pamela

bee-LOGO

 

#downsizing #tinyliving #lessstuff #tinyhouse #organized #clutter #overwhelmed

Posted in clutter, Organizing

Psst…Let’s go into the bedroom and Create a Clutter Free Zone.

Create a Clutter Free Zone of Electronics in the Bedroom

While I know there are people who feel there should not be TV in bed and then there are the others who feel that having a TV in the bedroom is better than falling asleep on the couch.   We enjoy watching TV, but we don’t bring our tablets or laptops into the bedroom. For us this is our time to unplug and settle down. Plus our fur babies insist on going to bed at 9:30 or 10 at the latest.
Electronic gadgets photo by Hector Martinez-1468495244123-6c6c332eeece

If you are like us we have LOTS of electronic devices all of which need to be charged.

Fitness monitors, golf watch, I-pod and cell phones. We no longer have a landline so I want my cell phone by my bed. Night is the perfect time to charge it but I don’t want cords all over my bedside table.

What to do with the Chargers?

We have created the perfect solution for us.   I purchased a decorative box for all the chargers. Then we placed a power strip inside of the box. I leave all the chargers plugged in and just flip the power strip off when not in use.

This might work for you if you have a drawer. Put the power strip in the drawer.

Power strip in the drawer from Flickr3781870700_d28a1ed3dd_b
Power Strip in a Drawer – photo from Flikr.com

You can also use dividers for your drawers. Make a place for your remote, Chap Stick, glasses, notepad, pen and whatnot.

If you don’t have a nightstand you can DIY a floating one easily by taking a magazine file holder by mounting it sideways on the wall. Bonus it floats and takes up no floor space and most of them already have a hole for wires.

If you or your significant other has a CPAP machine you can now find a nightstand built and designed to hold this specific machine.

Create A Clutter Free Zone.

Keep your nightstand or bedside table free of clutter. Leave room for a lamp, a good book and your clock. Which in my case is my phone but my phone is set on silent and has a scheduled do not disturb.do not distrub sign-1185059_640

Of all the places in your home that needs to be a sanctuary it needs to be your bedroom. Don’t bring you work papers into the bedroom. You need to relax and you can’t do that if you are working in bed.bed photo-1450776598040-e0dbb5665213.jpg

So TV or No TV in the bedroom?

Sweet Dreams Ya’ll. 

Pamela

pams-bee-jpg

 

#electronics #bedroom #sanctuary #electronicfreezone #family #organized #clutter

 

 

Posted in clutter, Organizing

Is you exercise or sporting equipment just gathering dust?

Some of you made new years resolutions to get fit. It’s not even February and some of you have already given up! I read somewhere that 80% quit before the middle of February.

Some of you have lots of exercise equipment that you are using as a coat rack or a hall tree. News flash that is not the intended use.

adult beverage breakfast celebration
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

photo by Scott Webb-1434656742621-5c4a7d73d0e7

How about you weekend warriors who have not played ball in many, many moons? Did you think you would be the next Tiger Woods but then you found out that Golf is a 5-hour round and you only have 3 hours to spare? So, those golf clubs are just sitting in the closet or garage gathering cobwebs.

dsc02212_1024

Fishing? Really when did you go last? Maybe bowling or tennis is what was to be your game. Now you have tennis elbow and can’t play or roll the ball down the lane. If you are not going to use these things you need to let them go.

dsc02163_1024

Sell them, donate them or give them away…You can use that space for your new hobby……………What is your new hobby? Have you been eyeing a new Harley or a Dune buggy? Maybe it’s now yoga or Tai Chi?yoga-photo-1470919543690-22e21c13163d

Let go of the stuff the clutter in your home and make room for the new. (Not new clutter.) You can get organized and I am here to help.

bee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

 

 

#fitnessequipment #clutter #sportsequipment #organize #letitgo #hobbies #new

Posted in family, Organizing

Are you a Procrastinator or Just Overwhelmed?

feeling overwhelmed today 6187904322_22fe521616_z

If you procrastinate, you put off until later what you should probably do right now or you wait until the last-minute to start a project.

Stop me if this it you:

  • You know you have to make dinner every day. (I know right, why does my family feel like they need to eat every day.) But you do not even think about what’s for dinner until 7:00 pm.
  • You know your husband only has 7 pairs of underwear but you don’t do laundry until the 8th day. Can you say commando?
  • It’s December 24 and you have not started shopping? I personally love gifts from CVS.
  • The school bake sale is today. You have no plans or baked goods?
  • Your vehicle gas is on empty and the low fuel light came on yesterday morning. You know your drive is 42 miles from the school to work and home. So does the light mean you have 50 miles to go before you run out of gas?
  • You are possibly overwhelmedoverwhelmed 5-1 a

Putting this off until the last-minute is stressful. Wondering if you will make it to the gas station or not with your kids in the car…yep, that is stressful.

Are you the type of person who thrives on adrenalin and intentionally puts off what they know needs to be done for the thrill? Probably not intentionally. More likely you are overwhelmed.

So do you procrastinate or are you overwhelmed?

You have too much to do and not enough time to get it done.

Try doing the following:

  • Delegate some of the responsibility. I know your kids may not load the dishwasher the way you would but it’s OK. The dishes will get clean. Also, so what if your husband does not fold the towels the way you would. They will still dry you off.
  • Make the most of your time. If you could get organized you will find you have more time.
  • Don’t assume. Have clear expectations and responsibilities.  You may have heard the saying, if you assume you make an ass out of you and me.
  • Make time for you. Mom is a 24/7 job and you deserve a break even if it is only taking a shower without interruptions.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Set up a support system
  • It’s OK to say NO. You don’t have to do it all.pexels-photo-907486.jpeg

Remember

  • This is a phase. It’s OK  and you will get through it.  Your kids will get older.
  • Each Mom has their favorite phase of Motherhood and that is OK too.
  • Take Joy in the moments.  The moments your little one hugs your neck and gives you messy kisses.  Each moment is an opportunity to make a memory.

Mom’s now it’s your turn share or vent about your personal experiences.

Thanks Pamela

Pam's Bee.jpg

#overwhelmed #procrastinate #motherhood #parents #momslife

 

 

Posted in clutter, Organizing

Ready for a timesaver?

OK easy. Simplify your life.

man looking at postcards
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Un-subscribe to emails that you don’t read. Boom! OK so this time of the year you are bombarded with emails! Sale for golf balls, sale for snow skies, Sale for sweaters, Sale for boots, Pet food on sale… Book your spring trip to the beach, buy your swimsuit now. (Right, most of us are getting into our fat pants this weekend in the USA) we survived Black Friday, cyber Monday, Internet sale. Free shipping……….save $$$$!!

 

ARGH!! How about Comcast, DIRECTV, Cox communication, or Shaw… watch this movie. New episode of the next housewife… The voice, dancing with the stars…

adult boy break browsing
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Are you feeling like the Walking Dead?? You know you will not be watching movies this week. So un-subscribe to your cable providers emails for now. You can always re-subscribe next year when you have time.

adult article assortment background
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Dare I say it….if you don’t read some of the blogs you are following. You can un-subscribe as well. But of course not mine because I will save you time and hopefully money!!! Just kidding. Seriously I know your time is valuable.   Use it wisely. If you are overwhelmed ~ cut out the crap.

You are welcome! What do you wish you had more time for?

Thanks  Pamelabee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

#overwhelmed #email #unsubscribe #Family #time #momlife #dadlife

Posted in clutter, Organizing

Decisions and Resolutions

Is this the year you resolve to be organized?  Are you going to control your clutter?  You came to the right place.  Pull up a chair, pour a cup of coffee or a tea and lets talk about what needs to happen next.

I was ask why I named my blog Bee Organized With Pamela and not by Pamela.  The reason is that you have to do the work.  I can go in to any house and organize it, but that most likely will not work for you.  You see your lifestyle is different from mine.  You might be right-handed or tall and I am left-handed and short.  So you naturally have different needs than I do.

You might be someone who home schools your 9 children or runs a business out of your home.  What ever your needs are most likely different from the next person reading this. Let’s think about your specific needs.Alejandra Parejo- Cup photo-1448632055520-5180f82474e2

How about your family?  How many of you are there?  Who all lives in your house?  Do they share rooms or bathrooms?  What is your schedule?  Do you want more family time?  Where does your clutter start?  What areas are the most clutter proned in your home?MoreFamilyTime 5-1 b

Before you can be organized you have to think about what you need.  Discuss wants and needs with other people so you are not banging your head against a wall.  If you are the only one with a plan that may not work.  You need to find a plan that works for all people in the household.  Also, discuss your expectations.  Take a look back at some of my prior posts to help you make a plan.dont make change too complicated 5-9

Tips to make a plan

If this is your year I can help.  Over the next few weeks we will revisit some old ideas and introduce some new thoughts.  Remember your clutter most likely did not appear overnight and so if it takes some time to control it and get organized don’t get discouraged.  You can be organized and control your clutter one step at a time.

Is this your year?  Are you ready to make a plan? Happy 2019!

Thanks Pamela

bee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

 

#organized #clutter #familytime #overwhelmed #makeaplan #2019

 

Posted in clutter, family

Greeting Card Quandary

Now that Christmas is over and you are putting away the decorations, I have a question? Do you still send Christmas cards? I do.   For me I enjoy finding cards that say Merry Christmas with an Arizona twist. Living in Arizona I don’t think I can send cards with snow and pine trees. So, I try to find ones that have cactus and palm trees. I have found some amazing photographers who make cards. I love receiving cards.  But that presents a slight problem.  They can easily become clutter.  What to do with all those cards that are not special?

red-truck-recn8ob83ei-louis-magnotti

Do you keep your cards?   Do you keep them but some are clutter? Of course some of these cards are special and you want to keep them but others…. Well they are pretty and what to do with them. I have a few suggestions for you.

Are you looking for a great way to pay those cards forward?

Did you know that St. Jude recycles greeting cards? https://www.stjudesranch.org/contribute/recycled-card-program/ More than 30 years ago, wishing to show our donors appreciation for making St. Jude’s Ranch for Children possible, the idea was conceived to turn the previous year’s Christmas cards into “new” cards for the coming season. The recipients were so delighted when they received the unique “thank you,” that they requested to purchase the special cards. The program soon expanded to include all-occasion greeting cards.snowflake-qll_mif7xjc-kelly-sikkema

Or you can donate them to a daycare or school. Cards are great for little ones to practice their skills with scissors.  (Sounds like a good way for grandparents to engage with the grand’s.)

Another thought is to turn them into gift tags or garland. What about using them to embellish gift bags.christmas-tags-1ujxuwqlfo8-ben-white

What do you do with your greeting cards? Do you think you might do any of this?

Happy New Year’s Eve. Have a wonderful and wonder filled new year.

Pamela

bee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

#clutter #cards #greetingcards #recycle #chrismas #stjude #stnicholaseve

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Come on! I just cleaned that.

Do you feel like you are caught in a riptide? Swimming upstream?underwater - julian-svoboda-78075

When it comes to organization I find that sometimes only one person is really on board. Normally that person is Mom. Why? Because Mom is expected to know where everything is.

So Mom has to stop and find the missing shoe, or the homework, the favorite tie, did you pick up the dry cleaning? Did you get milk? Mom, we are out of Frosted Sugar Bits!! Mom, I need 35 cupcakes today.

Sound familiar? EEK! It’s no wonder that Mom’s are the ones primarily on board to get organized. It’s call self-preservation.

Sometimes I have mom’s that tell me I have tried this and that and no one else helps me so I fall back into my old ways and chaos ensues.

I get that the others in your house may not feel the same way. They are not seeing the big picture or getting it. Don’t assume they are intentionally sabotaging you or that they just don’t care. They probably just don’t get it.

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

communication-1015376_1280

You have to talk to them.

Communication is key.

Make you kids see that if they help, you will have more time to do fun things. Give them the right incentive. If you put your toys away Mommy will read you a story. (If you don’t Mommy will make your toys disappear!) Don’t be a doormat. Kids can be helpful. They can learn to put their dirty clothes in the hamper if they want them washes and their homework in their backpacks.

kid with toy photo-1467930555454-0cfbfd9beab9

Adults can understand that if you have help staying organized you can save money and time.  Saving money for maybe that dream vacation or new RV toy…

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Being positive about housework can go a long way in getting your brood to help you out.

I love chore charts for children. I also suggest for children use a 10/5 system. Clean for 10 minutes and then a 5-minute break. For adults and older children increase that to a 20/10 system. Don’t try to do it all at once.meter josh-newton-21688

Also, remember your home and organizing method does not have to be perfect, you just need to find a happy medium that reduces your stress.

Thanks and have a great day!!

Pamela

bee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

#organized #clutter #chaos #momslife #overwhelmed #momshelper #setlimits #fixmylife