By Dawn Link, CPO®
We all have some form of a command center or central hub in our homes. It could be the desk area in your kitchen, or a corner in your dining room, or on your desk in the home office. Regardless of where it is located I am sure there are items that you can edit out of that space, especially in terms of paper clutter. Here are few categories to get you started.
1. Paper and Electronic Bills – How long do you need to keep your paid bills? Well, it depends. If any of your paid bills are used as a tax deduction, it needs to be kept for as long as your accountant tells you to keep your taxes. Some people like to keep bills for a calendar year and then when January rolls around, they will purge their files and start new. Some don’t keep any at all. Some scan their bills and store them electronically, again keeping them based on their accountant’s advice. It really comes down to the space you have allotted to store your important papers. The ah-ha moment here to take away is that when you clear old papers from your files, you make space for present day bills. Don’t go buy another file cabinet just so you don’t have to edit your papers!
2. Old invitations & calendars – It is now almost the end of 2017. Look around and get rid of any old calendars and invitations where the time and date has passed.
3. Expired coupons – Do you save store or restaurant coupons? When was the last time you took a look at the expiration dates? After you get rid of all the expired coupons, separate them by store vs. restaurant. Then group each category by month so it is easy to get rid of the expired coupons, or group like with like in terms of restaurants vs. grocery shopping.
4. Out-of-date school calendars – Do your children participate in sports? It’s the beginning of a new school year so make sure you have the most recent schedule of their games and activities. Better yet, enter the dates in a family calendar and eliminate the need to keep the paper schedule. These papers seem to multiply overnight. Edit away!
5. Instruction & User Manuals – Admit it, you know you have a drawer or a binder that contains all the instruction and user manuals from products you have acquired over the years. I bet you don’t have a bunch of those items anymore. This is a quick task to tackle by tossing all the ones for items you no longer own. Better yet, did you know you could find just about any manual you want online? Check out manuals online.
What other papers did you find that don’t belong in your command center and can be thrown out or recycled?
In 1997 Dawn Link founded Resolutions to help organize the homes, offices, and lives of her busy clients. Her work ranges from helping overwhelmed and stressed out clients downsize and move, to working with ADHD creative clients to navigating paper and financial management, as well as virtual organizing services.
With an accounting, business management, and printing technology degree, and after working in the printing industry managing trade shows in her former corporate life, Dawn’s natural ability to organize rose to the top. She loves working with clients side by side (in person or virtually) and seeing the stress and weight of disorganization float away as they create customized systems for their unique organizing needs. Their vision or goal is her priority and together they tackle each project in a supportive, non-judgmental environment.
Resolutions is the Link to Your Organized Future.
Dawn is a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO) and active member of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO), NAPO-New England, and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD).