Here we go friends, get ready to clear the clutter from your home!
Day 1: Bills and Paperwork
Paperwork can easily become the biggest source of clutter. We will be visiting paper clutter a couple times this month, because it is such a problem for most of us. It is important to make sure your home has a functional system for all bills and additional paperwork that come through your door. I know when I walk in the kitchen and see piles all over the counters, I am immediately tense and stressed out.
Enter: filing! I do not know why I haven’t thought of this until recently. It makes a world of difference. Scan and archive as much as you can and switch to online bill-paying to cut back on junk mail and paperwork. When mail arrives, open and sort it immediately, keeping a trash bin and shredder nearby so you can discard junk then and there. Use electronic subscriptions for magazines so you can read them from your tablet and cut back on even more paper.
- Sort and declutter. Gather the paperwork lying around the house in order to sort and declutter. Now, since we will be revisiting paperwork, I suggest starting today with the 1-2 rooms that will make the biggest difference. My room will be the kitchen, since that is where most of my papers are.
Sort into the following piles:
- Junk/remove from list
- Can be changed to online payment/statement now
- Can be resolved in one month
- Can be scanned and archived
- Can be filed
- Can be shredded
Scan the following:
- Paid invoices for one year
- Receipts for one year (only necessary ones)
- Medical receipts, claims and informational documents
- Car repair info and receipts
File the following:
- Taxes and correspondence with the IRS (save for seven years and then shred)
- Legal claims and documents
- Business licenses and legal documents, such as articles of incorporation
- Social Security statements/cards, birth certificates, titles and licenses (store in a secure location, in a safe or safety deposit box)
- Switch to online bill pay. Contact all of the companies that send you a monthly bill and find out if they offer online bill pay. Insurance companies, credit card companies, and utilities almost always offer e-statements. Contact yours and switch.
- Eliminate junk mail. Contact all junk mail senders and ask to be removed from their list. Discard junk mail immediately (before it ever hits your desk or any other surface in your home).
- Bank online.If you don’t have it already, set up online banking and request electronic statements.
- Shred and discard.Get rid of all items that are no longer relevant.
There! How does that feel?! I know this is a tough one, but that is why I wanted to get it out of the way! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #SimpleHomeChallenge and share your pictures!