It’s the perfect time to tackle those “stacks of paper”! Personally, I’m decluttering my house right now and I’ve noticed the incredible amounts of paper clutter we’ve accumulated over the years. This would include college notebooks (I graduated with a master’s degree in 2004!), bank statements from 2002, and a plastic bag with artwork from my child’s daycare (she’s now in elementary school superior) …. And the list continues.
Maybe it’s the start of the New Year with resolutions, or you’re stuck indoors in cold weather, or trying to fill your time before gardening season. What’s on your list? Losing weight? Exercise more? Clean up the mess? To find a better financial form?
According to the website tripsavvy.com, four of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions involve something to do with health, clutter and financial health, said Cindy Clampet, associate family resource management specialist from Oklahoma. State University Cooperative Extension.
Clampet said one of the reasons so many health, financial and organizational resolutions fail is because people try to bite off more than they can chew.
“The trick to succeeding in these areas is to start slow and do a little bit each day. Whether you’re exercising or dieting to lose weight, save money or get out of debt, or organize and clear your clutter, no step is too small to start and it’s never too much. late,” she said.
To start, sort just one of your stacks of paper. Sit down with this stack and go through each room. You can place a small wastebasket nearby, so you can throw away any unwanted mail. Immediately classify anything that needs to be kept.
For a great resource to guide you on what and how long to keep documents, go to www.extension.okstate.edu/fact-sheets/ and search for fact sheet T-4150 Putting Your Records in order. Or stop by the extension office and pick one up.
Here is a short list to get you started:
Keep indefinitely – Birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, adoption documents, military discharge, citizenship and naturalization documents
Keep one year – Bank and/or credit union statements, Utility statements (useful for calculating average monthly utility costs if you decide to sell your home), Credit card statements (even if they are accessible online). line), other household records, owner or auto insurance policies until they expire and new policies come into effect