Tag Archive for: paper organizing

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Value space over stuff

Our stuff has a value, but so does the space it occupies. Which is more important, space or stuff? I know it will  depend on the item, but as a general rule, I’d recommend placing a higher value on our spaces rather than on our stuff.

  • Let’s value clear kitchen counters that allow us the space to cook with and for our families, verses counters piled up with appliances, gadgets, mail, and groceries?
  • Let’s value a walk in closet that we can actually walk into and maintain with ease, verses a trendy new outfit every week.
  • Let’s value an uncluttered desk that fosters productivity, verses one piled high with papers, mail, office supplies and tech items.

Trash don’t stash

Have you heard this phrase before, “Trash it don’t stash it!”? It’s great organizing advice that can be applied to both paper and stuff. However, please recycle instead of trash.

Here are three blogs that will help you do just that.

  1. Paper, what to keep and for how long
  2. 10 Things you can automatically get rid of
  3. 10 Not scary things to toss

 

File cabinet space savers

Organizing tipHere are three easy ways to clear up space in your file cabinet.

  1. Recycle or shred paid utility bills. Get rid of all paid gas, electric, public work, telephone, cable, trash, and water bills that are older than 2 months.
  2. Go paperless with all bank, credit card, and financial statements. You’ll be saving trees.
  3. Don’t keep medical or dental explanation of benefits beyond 6 months.

 

Don’t keep utility bills

How are you enjoying your spring? Do you have spring cleaning and organizing projects lined up? At my house we’re getting central air conditioning installed. I’m very excited that we won’t have to deal with the window AC units anymore.

Portable safe

What papers need to be kept?

Going paperless sounds like a great idea, but unfortunately, there will always be some papers we need to keep. These papers are often referred to as vital documents. I recommend keeping only one of them, the most recent copy and keeping it in a safe spot. I use a portable fireproof lock box for my important documents.

  • birth certificate
  • marriage license
  • social security card
  • military discharge recordspassport
  • driver’s license copy
  • car registration
  • car ownership documents
  • medical insurance identification card and policy
  • homeowners insurance policy
  • auto insurance policy
  • life insurance policy
  • bank checking account number & routing number
  • bank saving account numbers
  • investment records
  • deeds, titles and licenses
  • family historical information
  • critical addresses and mailing lists
  • tax returns
  • business records required to survive or rebuild
  • will and estate planning documents
  • passport

If you have questions about papers that are not listed above please refer to my blog article titled Paper: what to keep and for how long. If you’d like more guidance, below are some questions you can ask to help you determine what’s worth holding on to.

What is the specific need and use of this paper?
Is this current and up-to-date information?
Did I request this information?
Will this paper help me complete a project I’m working on now?
Are there tax, legal, or insurance reasons to keep this paper?
Is this information important and referred to often?
When have I needed to reference this type of information? How often?
How easily can this information be obtained elsewhere or again if needed?
Will this information be outdated by the time I need it?
What is the worst that will happen if I throw this paper away?
Is doubt and indecision the only reason for keeping this paper?

Paper management can be challenging, but the more often you make decisions the better off  you’ll be.

©May 2021  Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®   All rights reserved