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.

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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.

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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.

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

 

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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

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#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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Posted in clutter, Organizing

Ready for a timesaver?

OK easy. Simplify your life.

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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…

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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.

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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

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#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?

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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

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#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.”

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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.

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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…

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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

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

Posted in clutter, Organizing

Is this your year to park in the garage? Tips to make that happen

 

November means fall, or some of you say autumn but what ever you say soon there will be falling leaves and falling temperatures. We moved to Arizona to not have cold winds, freezing rain and snow. But the rest of you will soon have to be dealing with just those things. We have always had a rule; if we have a two-car garage we will be parking two cars in it. Not allow it to be filled with clutter and stuff. If you have a garage and you can’t park your car in it and you want to; lets work together and make that happen.

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Now is the perfect time of the year. Not too hot, not too cold. Just right.

First things first: Timing

Start this project the day after your regular trash pick up. Next if you have “Big trash day” or “bulk trash day” start the weekend before that day.

Get lots of big garbage bags.

If you have not used it in a year and it is not a tool let it go.

You have 3 choices; you can throw it away, donate it or sell it.

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Rubbermaid Garage Makeover before

If you moved into your house over 2 years ago and you have boxes that you still have not opened. Don’t. Just donate them. You have not needed them they are taking up space.

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If you have unfinished projects that have been unfinished for over 2 years, news flash you are not going to finish them. Let them go. If not set a firm deadline and if that deadline passes without you completing them you have to let them go.

If you have used oil, paint or other chemicals that you need to get rid of Waste Management has some tips. municipalities residential-solutions household-hazardous-waste

If you are using your garage as a storage facility for excess furniture that you do not have a timetable to use, you need to let it go. Most likely when you move into that new house your old stuff that has been sitting in the garage with the spiders, bugs, mice and dust will not work in your space. I can only assume it does not work in your current house.   If you are holding on to your bachelor furniture that your wife will not let you move into the house, just let it go. She is not going to change her mind. Wouldn’t you rather park your car in the garage then sit in that ratty recliner with the oversized rear projection screen TV?

juha-lakaniemi-photo-of-icy-carRemember, months of winter weather are fast approaching. Just saying 10 to 20 more minutes of sleep vs. starting a cold car, scraping off the windshield. Being the wonderful man who you are you will not have to do the same thing for your wife. She will be so happy.

Remember Happy Wife….Happy Life.

Maybe she will buy you a new amazing recliner for your dream man cave.

In summary!

Garages: Just because you have a Garage for storage, doesn’t mean you have to keep everything there forever. Schedule one or two days a year to give the Garage a once over. Once you get the hang of it you wont have to make a big project out of it. Just look for a few things that you can toss or donate. And then do it!

Thanks PamelaPam's Bee.jpg

#mancave #garage #organize #overwhelmed #momlife

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

NATIONAL CLEAN OUT YOUR REFRIGERATOR DAY – November 15

Later this week is national clean out your refrigerator day. So you know what that means…

Empty the containers that are way in the back.

Toss out the takeout from 3 weeks ago. (You will thank me later.)

Do you have an almost empty bottle of mayo or Catalina dressing? Do you even like Catalina dressing? No? Well, why are you keeping the ½ ounce that is at the bottom of that bottle?condiments photo-1465060780892-48505fc8f941.jpg

Do you have a beer that you have been saving for the Astro’s to win the world series? They did and that beer may not be as satisfying as the last game was. Ditto for any other expired food you have in there.  Let it go.

Besides if you live in the USA, Thanksgiving is coming. You need room for all the food. The dressing, pumpkin pie and the turkey, oh my. You must make room for the goodies.

Now that you have tossed the science experiments that were growing in your refrigerator it’s time to clean all the shelves, wash the crisper drawers.  Don’t forget to vacuum condenser coils and vacuum out under the refrigerator.

Again you are welcome!  Now enjoy your nice clean refrigerator.

So Happy Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day!!!

Thanks!

Pamela

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#refrigerator #clean #thanksgiving #family #parenting #momlife #dadlife

 

 

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Do you have a Tiny fleet of exotic toddler cars but no toddler?

 

Happy Fall Y’all!   Since the weather is changing we are going to review somegarage issues and tips. Now is a great time to evaluate your children’s toys. Do they have lots of outdoor toys that they just did not play with this past summer? Do you have a toddler-sized fleet of power ride on toys? Maybe a Barbie Jeep, a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe and a Peg Perego John Deere Gator in your garage and your Mommy Mobile has to sit out side?

What is wrong with this picture?

How about if your garage has enough scooters, bikes, wagons and skates to outfit the entire street and your kids are not interested in any of them.barbie-jeep

I get that it might be nice for you to say you have a Corvette, an Escalade, a Jeep, a Gator, motorcycle and scooter in your garage but seriously.  Winter is coming and wouldn’t you rather have your car in the garage so you don’t have to ice off of scrape your windshield?   Just saying.

Look I know how cute her 12” huffy Disney bike is but really she is now 14. When did she last hop in the Barbie Jeep and take it for a cruise? If you need a garage for your kid’s ride on toys and your kid doesn’t ride them you need to let them go. Think sell them or donate them. They are worth some money. Sell them and use that money towards something they will use and play with.

Little Tike Car
Cutie for a Christmas Card

While we are on the subject of toys, which have been outgrown, lets talk about your yard. Are you still hanging on to the sand box or the pink peppermint patty playhouse? Your baby is a boy. He’s 13 there is no way he will be playing in the sand box no matter what you bribe him with. Besides it might now be a kitty litter box. Is that what you really want in your yard? Do you have a trampoline in the back yard that is so worn out it should be declared a hazard zone? Get rid of that accident and lawsuit waiting to happen. There is no reason to keep all the outdoor oversized toys your children have outgrown. Unless you are running a daycare your yard should not look like a toddler used car lot. Embrace change! Let go of clutter.

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Thanks Pamela!

#toddler #momlife #parenting #family #clutter #toys #rideontoys #garagespace