Common Clutter Culprits- How to Bust Through Clutter

Paper

1. You may already be in the habit of filing important papers. Protect your manicure by weeding out your filing system at least once a year, purging papers you no longer need to keep. Ask your accountant exactly how long you need to keep documents. A general rule of thumb is:

Tax related papers= 7 years

Credit card statements = 3 years

Investment records = 6 years after sale of investment

Utility Bills (non tax-deductible) = 1 year

Receipts = for big purchases, keep as long as you have the item. Otherwise, purge unless you plan on returning the item.

Rules may vary according to different tax professionals. Ask your accountant.

Space

Every house has storage space that goes unused. Find that space and put it to work!

2. Think vertical. Use valuable wall space. Extend cabinets all the way to the ceiling. Install shelving. Not all shelving has to be wire. Mount two beautiful sconces with a piece of marble or wood on top. Hang shoe pocket bags on the backs of doors to collect small items.

3. Clear off your kitchen counters. Everyone has large appliances that go unused. If you don't use the wafflemaker, juicer, rolling pins, kitchen-aid, toaster, crockpot regularly, sell it, donate it, or dump it. This applies to all flat surfaces (i.e., desks, tables).

Time

4. Avoid last minute scrambles by creating essential checklists. List trip essentials, babysitter instructions, gym bag or diaper bag supplies, and what to take back and forth between houses for joint-custody situations. Save the lists on your computer and keep several copies.

5. Remember future events with 1-31 and monthly dividers. Put the birthday cards you need to send, RSVPs, directions, and furniture delivery schedules in the corresponding months.

Rebekah Slatkin is a professional organizer dedicated to getting people organized through hands-on decluttering sessions, teleconferencing, coaching, and her website http://www.best-organizing-products-supers tore.com Visit http://www.best-organizing-products-supers tore.com to subscribe to Organewz, her ezine dedicated to organized living and get organizing tips and downloads- free.

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