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

 

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

 

Posted in Organizing, Uncategorized

Whack A Mole

Does this sound familiar to you?

You walk past your crammed closet and think “I’ll clean it eventually.” Your overflowing drawers will not close and you think, “Oh what’s the big deal. I haven’t cleaned it because I am busy.”

You can’t find your keys in the pile on your table and say, “So what? Doesn’t everyone have a clutter problem?”

You work really hard to pound down your piles of paper, yet they continue to pop up like Whack-A-Mole. whack-mole

You buy containers and baskets and chalkboard labels to hold your stuff, yet it continues to multiply like bunnies.

But after each attempt to change your ways, the stuff in piles remains. After each failed attempt, the disorganization goes downhill. So why can’t you get control?

As frustrating as it is, you learned something necessary: you can’t just wave a magic wand, buy a bin, or trash a tower of paper and call it organized.

Why does this happen?

It’s a lifestyle. And like any other lifestyle you have to learn and practice. And get better at it every day.

Check back with me often and I will continue to share tips with you. If you think you need my help I am here.

Thanks

Pamela

bee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

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?

Alejandra Parejo- Cup photo-1448632055520-5180f82474e2
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.

Danielle MacInnes photo-1455815152231-be9c88eb7468
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.

Aaron Burden photo- crayon 1453749024858-4bca89bd9edc
Photo by Aaron Burden

Only Touch an Item Once

I love your feedback.

Pam's Bee.jpg

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

 

Partners

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

Is you brain all right…

Is your brain right… or left or both?

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I am more of a right-brain person  ~ Surprise!

Did you know October is National Right Brain Month?  By the way A right brainer is not necessarily left handed.

I will admit that to left-brain person a right brainer can be a challenge and vice a versa.

Left-brainer are a bit logical and rational and we right brainers are all creative and intuitive.

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I mean we don’t read directions we wing it. But the left brainer they want to make sure all the parts are there, read all the directions and put everything all together in order. Although, I do love the Ikea instructions they are written for right brain people. We are visual. I also find that if we have the opportunity to observe a task we are able to replicate it easier.

If you are taking a test, right brainers do better with open-ended questions, they share their feelings.  Left brainers excel with multiple choice questions and would rather not discuss their feelings.

Right brainers prefer the search for elusive and uncertain information. See there is a reason why I love to do research. We are visual. And we can see the solution.  Our preferred problem solving method is by hunches we also look for patterns and similar configurations.  We are great at going with the flow and we are spontaneous.

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Left brainers are more comfortable with schedules, deadline and regulations.  Left brainers are more mathematically inclined. That explains a lot. Math is so not my forte! However I have learned to work within the challenges of my right braininess.  I actually embrace my right brain and you should embrace  your brain.

Use your brain’s natural tendency to help you get organized.

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So if you are finding that you are struggling with getting or staying organized it could have to do with if you are a right brainer or a left brainer.

You can do it. You will just need to find a method that works for you and your brain.

Card File drawers 5-29

Don’t work against your natural instinct. If you are visual, use labels to help you get or stay organized. You may find that you want all your clutter out of sight.

If you feel better organizing with compartments, use boxes, bins, binders and albums. You may find you are naturally compelled to organize photos in date order or you like identical storage options such as using all the same boxes in your closet or all your photos in matching photo albums.

You may find that you need a tray by your bed to control your clutter such as your glasses, remote control or books. Do you find that you tend to take off your jewelry in the bathroom? If so place hooks on the inside of your medicine cabinet or add some hooks nearby to hang your bracelets and necklace rather than trying to retrain yourself to put your jewelry in the jewelry box.

The point is you know what works for you and that is how you have organized your clutter. Work with your natural inclination not against.  Make it easy for you.  It doesn’t matter how you set it up is alright as long is it works for you.  Once you have a place for everything it will be easy to put everything in it’s place.

Right brainers have more difficulty staying organized, but it can be done. I am here to help you make keeping clutter contained a no brainer.

So are you a right brainer or a left brainer?

Thanks

Pamela

bee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

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

Posted in clutter, Organizing

National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day

Does your computer’s desktop look like this?

cluttered-computer-desktop-8703259974_86aeea1972_b

Yes,  No, Maybe a little….

You know that is not the best way to store your files right?

Did you know you have less security when you store your files on the desktop?

How about they may not get backed up? Many programs are designed to ignore the desktop. OUCH!! Also, in the event of a crash a restore program may not include those files on the desktop. Double Ouch!!

Oh by the way did you know that storing files on your desktop could actually slow down your computer?

Last but not least it is clutter. If you have a cluttered virtual desktop you may find it is not so easy to find what you need. Because there is too much stuff like Zip file, photos and other downloads.  Just like a cluttered physical desktop.  The more stuff you have to look at, browse, open or just move the longer it takes to find what you need.  It’s easy to find that adorable kitten video  or resume if that is the only thing on your desk.  But if it is on the bottom of all that other stuff………Clutter, disorganization and feeling overwhelmed! How embarrassing would it be to confuse the kitten video for the resume if you expect to be considered for the job.

messy-desk-clean-me

No fear.

National Clean your virtual desktop day is upon us.

Perfect time to get organized!

Move those files. Create folders and then sub folders within your folders.

Example of possible folders and sub folders

  • Bee Organized with Pamela
    •  Schedule (excel spread sheet
    •  Photos
    • Articles
      • 2016 – published
    • Work in progress
      •  October
      •  November
      •  December
      •   2017
    •  Possible ideas for future article
    • back up
    •  Expenses

What ever you need to easily find your files, music, photo or the such is what you set up. I know it is so easy to save to the desktop but once you get the folders and you are organized it is super easy to save it there. Bonus you don’t have to search for your photo’s because they are all in your photo folder.

Create shortcuts if you need to on your desktop or create a virtual cheat sheet.

organized-computer-desktop-c1c4b1aa
Photo from unsplash.com

You can do it. Think of all the time you will save.

I love your comments and share with friends. They will thank you!

Pamela

bee_organizedwithpamela-jpg

 

 

 

 

#virtual #desktop #clutter #organized #computer

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

National Train Your Brain Day

Since tomorrow is National Train Your Brain Day how about we work on training your brain to stay organized?

Lets create some new habits.

Make being organized a habit

Habit is defined as:  a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

For some of you it is hard to stay organized. It might be remembering to put your keys in the same place every time, to return the toaster to its assigned cupboard or to fold the laundry as you take it out of the dryer.unsplash stacked rocks photo-1451340124423-6311db67a5d9

But you can train your brain to do just those things.

Researchers believe it takes an average of 66 days to create a habit.

Some will tell you that it only takes 21 days and then you are disappointed or frustrated that you have not formed a new habit in 22 days. Don’t be.Alarm clock

It takes longer but if you keep working at the new trait or way of doing things you will succeed in making this a new habit.

The brain is an amazing thing. It can learn at any stage in life. Actually, we utilize a small portion of our brainpower for day-to-day mental ability.

Ready to train your brain?  Outstanding!

Pick a problem.

Maybe for you it is that is you frequently lose your keys.

Devise a solution.

Determine a place for your keys to go and always put them there. Not any other place. Hang a hook by the door or put a bowl on the entry table. You find a spot that works for you. But you must be diligent and consistent. Train your brain that is where the keys go.

feeling overwhelmed today 6187904322_22fe521616_z

Don’t get overwhelmed.  Remember habit take on average 66 days to become a habit. You may not be average. So if it takes longer, no worries. Think about how long you have struggling with being disorganized. I say it’s like losing weight. It wasn’t all gained in 30 days so it’s not going to all lost in 30 days. But if I stay with it I will succeed.

You can do it. I am here to help.

Let me know how you are doing.  I enjoy your comments and look forward to your feedback.  Thanks

Pamela

#chaos #organized #overwhelmed #habit #trainyourbrain #nationaltrainyourbrainday

 

Posted in Organizing

867-5309 Jenny. But Jenny changed her number..

I have been on a bit of a digital kick lately. Today I want to talk to you about your address and contact lists

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Now back in the day I had a Rolodex. It was a very important to me and to my job. I was quite proud of my Rolodex. It had phone numbers of everyone I had ever needed to contact. Such as the number for specific courts, judges, court clerks, attorneys, clients. Each time I changed jobs I took my Rolodex with me. Over the time it grew and grew.

Today I think many of you do the same thing digitally.   However today you can find phone number very easy on the Internet. My Rolodex was my Internet since it was pre-internet days.rolodex-rollkartei_hg

I remember when someone changed numbers or change staff I had to re do my rolodex card or use whiteout to change the number. Oh what a pain.

I also remember back when we first got cell phone when you got a new phone you had to re-enter the numbers. Now that was a real pain. Yes I know I am dating myself.

address_book_1

Now in my phone I have my address book. But you see I don’t need to have old property management company for a property we no longer own or the lady who lived close to the property that by since 1. We were not friends and 2. She died. Now that I live in another state I have no need for the roofer or the plumber much less the landscaper. I also don ‘t need the address or home phone number of acquaintances  who have moved and changed their number. The divorced friends now x-spouse that I did not like anyway I have no need to keep their number.

My point is that you probably have clutter in your contact or address list as well. You might find that you have names, numbers and addresses in your digital address book that are no longer relevant or necessary. If you don’t need them delete them.   Clean out the clutter and organize you digital address book or contact list.

Clutter can be found in many places. Some clutter is easy to control.

So do you have clutter in your address book?

Thanks Pamela

Pam's Bee.jpg

Photo credit Unsplash

#clutter #organize #overwhelmed #momlife #parenting #contacts #phone

Posted in clutter, family, Organizing

A mother’s view on Organizing Life.

This past week-end (at my insistence) my daughter and I organized her closet and drawers. Every square inch was stuffed with wrinkled clothing..much of it too old, too big, too small or just plain way too ugly to ever wear. I was surprised how much she fussed about keeping some of the stuff. I mean […]

via Organizing Life. — MERMAID IN A MUDSLIDE

 

Enjoy and I will see you tomorrow!

Thanks

Pamela