I lose my glasses, cuss and mutter, but my worst quality is clutter! I have a drawer just filled with socks I never wear. And pans and woks, old dishes, fondue pots and skewers, a fourteen-year-old bottle of Dewars not one friend drinks, much less myself, sitting there upon my shelf. Everything I buy just clings. I can’t seem to part with things! In boxes on my garage shelves are all my former castoff selves.
The slides from art shows long ago? I dreaded sorting them and so they remain in plastic crates, labeled with their types and dates. Old letters, class notes, tax returns? I’ve heard that paper easily burns as well as shreds, yet still I wait. Years pass as I equivocate. They might be needed someday so, get rid of them? I just say no! With finite space in drawer and bin, I buy new things and…
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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?
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.
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
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 ~
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
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?
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.
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.