Tips & Tricks March 2014

Quote of the Month
“Easy does it wins the race.”

Shred or no Shred

I see a lot of paper in my line of work.

Many, many people have an innate fear of getting rid of the ‘wrong’ paper.

As we enter Spring, I thought it might be a good time to review the “shoulds and should nots” of shredding. (NOTE TO ALL – This is my opinion, based on research and experience, but when in doubt, ask your tax preparer, accountant and/or attorney for the final word.).  

For a comprehensive list of what to keep, click here. When you get to the site, click the “Financial Clutter” tab.

What can you shred now?
1. Credit card applications
2. Anything that has information on it that you wouldn’t want a stranger to see (your social security number, your bank account numbers, passport information).
3. Expired identification cards, credit cards, employee badges.

NOTE TO SAVERS OF ALL PAPER PRODUCTS – rather than let the credit card applications and other sensitive ‘junk’ mail accumulate all over your counter tops, shred them as they come in OR at least have a box marked “SHRED” so that they are safely tucked in a container rather than risk mixing it with more important items. Sort the junk daily so it doesn’t accumulate on your counters.

What old stuff can you get rid of?
1. All old monthly statements – just save the year end statement.
2. All old paystubs – your W2 is good enough, as long as there are no outstanding issues to be resolved.
3. Bank statements that are 7 years or older
4. Old titles and deeds of property that you haven’t owned in 7 or more years
5. Expired leases or rental contracts

What should you NEVER shred?
1. Marriage licenses
2. Divorce papers
3. Birth or death certificates
4. Military records
5. Current wills, power of attorney, health directives
6. Certifications, degrees, diplomas

What if I have too much to shred at home?
1. Tis the season of non-profit shred events! Many churches and synagogues and communities hold Shred-a-thons in the coming weeks and months. Feel free to email me if you’d like more information on this.
2. Office Depot offers shredding for about $1 a pound – while you wait/watch.
3. There are shredding companies who offer walk in services… if you have trouble finding them in your local area, contact me.
4. Other methods, as told to me by clients, include: mixing papers with icky things like cat liter and animal by-products, using a giant bucket of bleach and water and dying the ink out of the paperwork, planting the paper in your garden, under the mulch.

If you or someone you know struggles with organizing their paper work, think about setting up a session with me. I LOVE creating systems for people to maintain on their own for years to come!

Invite Cindy to Speak to Your Group Members

Cindy delivers a light hearted approach to potentially stressful topics. Together, we’ll laugh at the lengths and excuses we use in order to avoid getting organized. And while the fun is happening each member will be inspired to get busy as soon as they return home.

Here is a sampling of the topics that you can choose from:

Let My Clutter Go!
– learn how to muster the courage to get rid of the stuff you don’t need.
Paper Panic Prevention
– eliminate paper piles and learn paper management tips & tricks.
From Castle to Condo
– downsize your possessions painlessly.

For availability and booking information, click here.

“Helping Baby Boomers and their Parents Lighten their Loads.”

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in your home, contact me. Together, we can transform your home into a happy, tidy place where you can feel at peace. We can also get you ready for your next move more enjoyably, faster and easier!

Cindy Bernstein, Owner and Professional Organizer

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