Organizing 101 - Purging Paper And Chaos
Feed the shredder now.
The day has finally come.
Clutter cleaning done!.
Start anywhere? Or have a plan?
Can there be method to the madness?
If you didn't know it already, then learn this now: Identity thieves want your trash.
What to know about what to throw and what to stow?
It is safer to shred everything than to throw it all out!
Somewhere along the line of benign government (if there has ever been such a thing) voters' representatives passed a law that you have to keep some of your scraps of paper....lots of them!
The Law Says
Those "scraps of paper" are the receipts that validate your income tax returns for the past seven years, or maybe it's only five or six, but check the current Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules by calling 1-800-IRS-RULES to be sure what the most current law says.
If you haven't misbehaved on those prior years of tax returns, and here let your conscience be your guide, you can immediately shred (not throw out!) those tax notes from years prior to those you are required to retain.
Mark the required years returns you are required to retain and put them in some accessible dark recess and out of the way for future shredding when the law allows.
Old newspapers, old magazines, old advertisements, old every thing that doesn't have your Social Security number or date of birth on it goes in the recycle trash (if your town has such a green thing) or the regular trash (if it doesn't.)
Give yourself a Gold Star
Now, except for exercising due caution to prevent identity theft, that was easy wan't it! Give yourself a gold star and move on. You are gaining momentum, and already there is a clearing in the middle or around the edges of the chaos.
Ask yourself this question: "If my dwelling place were to catch fire, what would I want to save?"
Find those "emergency moment items" and bundle them where you can find them quickly in just such an emergency (probably near your "1 Week Supply" of essentials that will help you survive such a catastrophe) and you will be ready to survive the unexpected.
By the way, include a current utility bill with your name and address on it. That is your ticket to get back into your neighborhood in the event of a real disaster when looters, identity thieves, and other undesirables are hopefully being denied entry.
The path to the Finish Line
Most folks who lose everything in just such a disaster are quick to say that they have lost all their "priceless photos" and after that comment may add a short list of other memorabilia that they know they will miss.
Ask yourself what precious heirlooms of that "sort" may be missing among your clutter, and watch for them as you finish clearing the clutter and approach the Finish Line.
Unused for a year or more?
Donating and Gifting
It has been said that "One man's junk is another man's treasure."
Keep that saying in mind, but remember that not every one of your horded "treasures" is anyhing more than junk that is cluttering up your life.
Simple is just that: simple.
You don't need to dust what is simply fast becoming an antique, or doesn't function as it once did.
If it's a real antique, consider selling it or gifting it to a dear friend or relative.
The idea here is simple too: if you were dead and gone tomorrow, what would someone else have to deal with because you didn't?
You will get more enjoyment out of the proceeds, or the appreciation, from simplifying now, than knowing that without a conscious choice on your part now, some unrecognized "treasure" may just get the heave ho when you are not around to advise otherwise.
For some added thoughts along those lines, here is an article on the subject:
Nature abhors a vacuum
While you are at it, here are some more "momentum moments":
> If you would like some new, more functional clothes, clean out your clothes closets., and donate to a place where people who have lost everything, or really have the next thing to nothing, can be clothed....even adorned....by what you no longer wear.
> If you would be content with getting a library card in order to read any book you would like to read, clean out all those books you have read, or will never have time to read, and donate or gift them.
> If you have "stuff" that has been unused for over a year, donate it or clean it up and gift it.
> If you "just don't know" when you will ever wear, listen to,or use something again, donate or gift, or junk i,t and make room for something you will wear, listen to, and use.
Nature abhors a vacuum. When you clean out the clothes closet, almost magically new clothes will appear. The same will be true of the empty bookshelf, the Mother Hubbard's cupboards, the finally cleaned garage, basement, and game room (if you have such areas.)
All that space you have cleared, all those once cluttered surfaces, can all fill to overflowing again, if you don't periodically go through this same process.
You were what created the clutter and the chaos. You are still around.
It can happen again, but it doesn't have to.
© 2015 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.