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.

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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.

Pam's Bee.jpg

 

 

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

 

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Posted in clutter, Organizing

Found Money ~ Is it free money?- Leftover Change

Did you know that American’s have on average $90 in loose change.

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SO how many of you have a change jar, mug or bowl? I know some of you have spare change in multiple places..

Do you have any change in the laundry room from when you are emptying pockets, or that you found in the washer or dryer. Remember, finders keepers!

How about in a closet then you empty you pockets? Or in the bottom of your handbags, are you guilty or just taking out the “stuff you need” and leaving the rest?

Look in your old wallets and don’t forget to check all your coats too.

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Do you have spare change in a drawer maybe from the change you get from when you have pizza delivered? What about your desk drawer? How about those greeting cards did you forget that you have $5 dollars from your Aunt Dolly? What about your kids toy boxes? (I am not suggesting you raid you kid’s piggy banks.)

Are you hoarding rolls of coins in a box in a closet or under your bed?

Could there be spare change in your car, under the seats, in the ashtray, deep in the center console or the cup holders that have a few grimy coins that are covered in soda syrup?  Sometimes there is a stash of spare change in the garage from when you cleaned out the car.

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Oh just in case you thought I might forget ~ check those cushions in your furniture.

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So if you take this opportunity to gather all those coins you might find that you have some unexpected fun money. Possibly you have lots of spare change just gathering dust. Wouldn’t it be fun to find out how much you can find?

Most banks will take your change and count it for you. They will then just add it to your account for no fee. Many other places there are coin machines that will cash in your coins on the spot.

See organizing can be fun and profitable.  Well maybe ~  it’s almost like free money. Not really more like forgotten money, but what are you waiting for. Round up those coins! I can’t wait to hear about your discover. What will you do with your spare change? Tell me where you found your spare change.bee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

#Money #change #coins #organized #clutter #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, Organizing

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

October means fall, or some of you say autumn but whatever you say soon there will be falling leaves and falling temperatures. We moved to Arizona to not have cold winds, freezing rain and snow. In looking at the weather I see that snow is already falling in the north.  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. We do 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; let’s 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 day.  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 4 choices; you can throw it away, donate it, give it away or sell it.

If you live in a neighborhood you can put your stuff on the curb with a “free” sign and more than likely it will disappear.   Last weekend was our big trash day and we put our a broken mini-fridge and a heater along with some tree limbs.  We barely closed the garage door before someone swooped in and grabbed the broken mini-fridge.  They had plans to convert it into a cooler. (Thank you Pinterest!). The next morning the heater was gone too.

Just a word of warning – Don’t leave your junk on the curb for very long.  Your neighbors will not take too kindly to a junky street.

garage-before
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.  I Repeat Don’t Open them!  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 than 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 won’t 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, Organizing

Is Frankenstein in your house?

I know you are thinking where the heck is she going with this?  Halloween?  Movie time?  Stay with me.

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Photo from Pixabay.com

So do you have a bookcase made from cement blocks and wood planks?

How about a chair that you are using a book as a chair leg?

Does your grill cover have more duct tape showing than original fabric?

Are you using duct tape on an outlet that you need to have repaired? Dangerous!

How about zip ties? Are you using them to hold your hair dryer together?

How about Safety pins? Are you using them on your underwear or Slip? Or tape on your Bra’s underwire? OUCH! You deserve better.

These are Frankenstein projects. Bits and pieces from here and there.

The bigger Frankenstein can be clutter and disorganization.  Like the monster, it can become out of control.  It can be so stressful trying to control the monster.  It can take on a life of its own – Taking over your life by controlling your home.  Time to take control of your Frankenstein.

Where does your monster lurk?  By the front door?  Shoes, bags, keys or the dog’s leash?  Maybe the monster is in your bathroom?  Hiding in the potions, lotions and torture devices you use on your hair and lashes?

Or is your monster creeping around your kitchen?  Hiding your lid and Tupperware from you?  Stashing your to go mug lids where you can’t find them…

So if you have monsters in your closet..kid’s room or the playroom.  You have to get the monster out of their room.  No child wants a monster in their room.

Being that Halloween is near, I challenge you to take control of your very own Frankenstein.

Clear out the clutter!  Take that monster to the trash, donate it to a new zoo, or sell that freak show.  Cash in on your clutter.  You can be organized.  Think of all the time you will save and wouldn’t you rather be enjoying time with our family and friends than searching for your shoe the monster took under the bed.

What is your Frankenstein project?

Thanks!  Pamela

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#clutter #organized #overwhelmed #newpost #momlife #priorities #Seizetheday

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Tips to bring Order to your Chaos—

“Creating order in our lives allows us to live a life full of endless possibilities.”

~ © Norma Bobb-Semple 2016

Photo credited to Unsplash Creating order in our lives allows us to live a life full of endless possibilities. © Norma Bobb-Semple 2016

via Order — normabobb

Hello,  Anyone who has been here before knows that I am all about controlling your chaos,  organizing your life and corralling your clutter.  Clutter is a time thief.  If you can’t find what you need you spend valuable time searching.  You look under the bed, in the car or between the couch cushions.  Sometimes you give up and buy a new whatever was lost.  That is a budget buster.  You know you bought the funniest birthday card for your sister months ago now her birthday is in a week and you can’t find it.What do you do?  You know what you are going to do.  You buy a new card.  Then the week after her birthday you find the first one.  But you can’t send it to anyone else because it says To my Sister for her 30th Birthday…. ARGH!!

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You know you need to put some order in your life.  But you are overwhelmed?  Where to start?  I am here to help.  You can look back at some of my prior posts to give you an idea.

It does not matter where you start.  The first step is to begin.   The thing that you lose all the time is a good place to start.  If that is keys.  Determine a set place for them.  Put them there every single time.  Without fail.

If it is that your kids can’t seem to get their school stuff together in the morning before school.  You have a nightmarish morning trying to like trying to herd cats.    Set up a system.  Backpacks in a designated spot, homework checked before they go to bed, determine what everyone is wearing the night before and you will eliminate much of the morning chaos.  You might actually enjoy breakfast with your kids.wp-1474664786272.jpg

Maybe you plan on making dinner but what to make?  What do you have?  What do you need?  Organize your pantry.  That way you will know what you have and if you keep a running shopping list you will not run out of ketchup, butter or sugar.  When you open the last of something put it on the shopping list.  If you keep this list on your cell phone it will always be with you.  You can then make a plan the night before as to what you are making for dinner. You will know what you have and what you need to get.

You can get organized.  I am here to help you bring order to your life.  Where do you find are your biggest clutter areas?  What do you frequently lose?

Thanks, Pamela!

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#newpost #organized #overwhelmed #momlife #priorities #Seizetheday #parenting

Posted in clutter, Organizing

National Handbag Day!!!

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Hermes Ostrich Birkin Bag photo from Wikipedia

Ladies we all carry them. Handbags. Some are large. Some are small. There are shoulder bags, hobo, clutch, bucket, cross body or evening bags. Not matter what we have some.  Some of us have a bunch. You know who you are.

Even some men carry a man bag, murse or a messenger bag.

As today is National Handbag day. I think it is a good day to clean them out and get them organized.

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You know the drill. Empty your bag and determine what you really need in there. What you don’t need, do not put back. Organize your receipts; if you need them you need to put them in a folder or a safe place. Your purse if probably not the safest place to keep them.

Strive to keep the loose change, trash and other unnecessary items out of your purse. Clean it out frequently. Organize your makeup in to a small zippered makeup bag.

Use the pockets of your handbag to keep the items you use on a frequent basis. Have a designated spot you keep your phone, your keys and other items. Spare change can get quite weighty. No need to add weight.

Are you frequently digging for your keys?

I use a carabiner for my keys. I always know where they are and they can’t migrate to the bottom of the bag.

If you keep your glasses in a hard case, they will last longer and be less likely to be crushed, broken or scratched.

I don’t switch handbags very often. But if you do and you have LOTS of handbags, now is a good time to thin the herd. Let a few of those handbags go. Do you have a favorite black bag with a broken zipper or tattered and worn out handle? Have you resorted to duct tape? Let it go or take it to the shop and have it repaired. Some of the nicer handbag manufactures will refurbish your bag for a nominal fee.

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Photo from Flickr.com

My dear friend keeps an old handbag in her car that she has turned into a Ms. blessings bag. It has socks; Personal hygiene items (tampons, pant liners, pads, etc.) a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and shampoo (hotel size are perfect).

I love your comments.  Thanks

Pamela

 

#handbags, #murse #manbag #purse

 

 

Posted in clutter, Organizing

Where Did Summer Go?

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I don’t know about you but I am not sure where the time went. It seems as if only last week It was memorial day and the unofficial start of summer and now we just had Labor day.   What happened?

chloe-ridgway-170406Well, I guess this means per the calendar it is time to start thinking about fall.  What does fall mean to you?  It is boots and sweaters or possibly pumpkin spice everything?

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One Thing That is For Sure It’s A Good Time to look at your closet.

Out goes the shorts and flip flops and in comes the boots and jeans.

Do you have clothing that you did not wear this summer? Did your size change? What about your kids?

If your kids are like other kids they have probably grown and what fit this summer most likely will not fit next summer.

So what are you going to do?

Let’s take everything out of the closet and make some determinations.
Does it fit? Keep or donate?
Did you wear it? Keep, donate or sell?
Is it stained, or damaged beyond repair? Trash

Make room in your closet.
Make a plan for hangers; when you put your stuff back in your closet make sure you leave room for empty hangers. When you take someone off the hanger to wear, make sure you pull that hanger and place it in a spot so when you do laundry you can easily grab the hangers and take them to the laundry room. (laundry is easier if you hang it up as you take it out of the dryer)

mans shrits on hangers
Make a plan for worn but not dirty clothes. Sometimes you might wear something but it is not clean enough to hang up with your clean clothes or and you plan to wear it again. You need to dedicate an area in your closet for these. That way you will not be inclined to drape this over a chair in your bedroom or toss it on the floor.

If everything in your closet is something you will wear and is organized, you will find that getting dressed is less of a chore.  It might also save you some time.  I am sure you can figure out something to do with you extra time.  Right?

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#Organized, #Clutter, #closet, #clothes #familytime

Posted in clutter, Organizing

Dear College Freshmen –

I’ll be the first to admit college has changed a lot since my days.  So I went to a couple of experts.  The Wicked Hippie is now a Junior so one could say she has been there and done that.  Then The Mermaid in a Mudslide shares 5 Things to Remember.   As you go forward with this new exciting chapter in your life enjoy your freshman year and know you can do it.  Pamela

A new academic season is coming up and that means a lot of incoming college freshmen are probably scared, excited, confused, happy, and sad. I knew I was when I was a freshmen. I am now a junior at university and along the way, I have learned things that I wish someone would have told […]

via Dear College Freshmen — thewickedhippieblog

Five Things to remember…

..as you head off to college.  Five Things to Remember

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Don’t put that down!

Look around? Do you see coffee mugs on the table, your desk, or dishes on the counter? How about are you using your treadmill as an extra valet? Do you want an easy tip to cut that clutter out?

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Photo by Alejandra Parejo

You need to implement the one touch rule.

What is the one touch rule?

 

Easy. If you have something in your hand ~  take it where it belongs. Don’t put it down.

We recently talked about laundry. Fold it when you take it out of the dryer and put it away. How about when you and come home from work or school and you change clothes? Hang them up or put them in the laundry basket. Don’t throw them on the bed or your exercise equipment. Touch them one time. If you toss them on the bed you have to come back a second time and put them away.

Let’s talk about dishes. Don’t leave them sitting around. Don’t put them in the sink, immediately put them in the dishwasher.

Who is guilty of leaving an unfinished craft project on the table? How about ingredients all over the kitchen when cooking or baking?

When you use something ~ put it back. Touch it one time.

This applies to your entire family. Kids too.

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Photo by  Danielle MacInnes

The Parent Coach, Susan Stiffelman at the Huffington Post suggests the following:

  • “Establish that no new toys can be taken out until whatever has been played with has been put away. Kindly remind your daughter if she forgets. And by all means, do not clean up her messes. If you cave in and do the job for her, you will have taught her that if she whines or procrastinates long enough, she won’t have to take responsibility. Acknowledge that you understand that she’d rather not put away her paints, or that it looks like it will take forever. By letting her feel heard and understood, you’ll ensure that her upset will dissolve more quickly — and help her accept that she simply has to get the job done.”

  • Start by resetting the rules. Explain to your kids that you’ve made some new decisions about cleaning up, and you want to share them so that everyone knows what to expect. “When you’re finished playing with something, it’s important that you put it away completely before you move on to something else. If you forget, I’ll remind you once. If you still forget, that particular toy will go in a special box for a month.” Some parents tell their children that toys that are left out will be given away. Decide how harsh you want to be — but make sure that you follow through. If you deliver meaningless threats in the heat of the moment, your child won’t take you seriously.

  • Break a big job down into bite-sized steps. Help your children work in manageable increments if they have a lot to clean up. “Start by putting away anything with red on it … or anything made of plastic … or whatever is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.” This will help them learn that, little by little, they can get a big job done — whether it’s cleaning up a physical mess, working on a complex report or organizing a research project.”

For more of Susan’s tips click here

If only I could get the fur babies to put back their toys.IMG_0316_1024 2

You should have better luck with your kids.

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Photo by Aaron Burden

Only Touch an Item Once

I love your feedback.

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#beeorganized #overwhelmed #disorganized #family #realmom #motherhood # truelife #mom #kids #laundry #onetouch, #clutter #reallife

 

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