Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Operation Declutter: Receipts, Junk Mail, Magazines, and Books (+ Fabric!)

So it's 2013. Whoops!  Looks like "Operation Declutter 2012" is now "Operation Declutter 2013." Creative new name, huh? It takes time to come up with these things!

Today's focus is once again on the paper clutter.
I tackled the receipt side of things yesterday.  After the holidays the number of receipts in my purse/wallet/basket in the entry way/etc seem to have taken over any spare space available.  Not to mention, I found even more receipts in my filing cabinet, in a spare storage box, in some old purses I was getting rid of... #Ihavereceiptproblem #morelikeashoppingproblem

My receipt situation was no where near this picture, but I wanted to get on top of it so it NEVER gets this bad! Some quick receipt management tips:
  • Buy a paper shredder. These usually go on sale during tax season!
  • Major purchases that may require the receipt for warranty should be kept (think appliances and electronics).
  • Receipts for tax purposes should have a set location to be filed right away. 
  • Compare receipts vs credit card bills.  If you are one of these people, pick a date every week/month to compare, then shred the receipt.  If you aren't one of these people ::me:: set a date to go through receipts (i.e. every Sunday, or every Sunday of the month depending your receipt volume).  
  • Setup consistent locations for receipts.  This was one of my problems leading to receipts in odd locations and impossible to find if I needed them. Now I have a basket on my console table for the sole purpose of holding coupons and receipts.
My system? Sort through receipts when I have time and categorize: to shred,  to return, and long-term storage.  Long-term get scanned for a digital copy, then usually filed away or shredded if not needed for warranty/taxes/etc. #haveImentionedIlovemyscanner?

I looked ALL over the house for any magazines - end tables, nightstands, coffee tables, desktops - and found all of these:

Dramatic much Reader's Digest? Wasn't exactly an impressive article, but not important.  #Notgoingthere #Noventingfromme

The pile of magazines looked like this from another angle:

 And in complete honesty, ranged in dates up to two years ago. #dogfoundoneofthemagazinesinthecar #Haven'tgottenflatabsorslimdownedfast

If the magazine was more than two years old, it went to my mom or sister so they could read it if they wanted and then recycle.  The magazines less than two years old made me feel a little like I was cheating on the "decluttering" standpoint since I downloaded the magazines I had yet to read to my IPad.  Most magazines offer a free electronic copy with a paid subscription.  This resulted in me having electronic access to my magazines while traveling recently, which as an added bonus resulted in a lighter carry-on bag!  The rest of the magazines went to my mom or sister again for their enjoyment!  I can still enjoy the magazines, my mom and sister can enjoy the magazines, and I don't have the paper clutter all over my house!  #winwinwin

When my mom and sister were here helping me clear my closet, they also helped me decide what to do with some of my old textbooks.  Since we refer to my Aunt Alisa as "Doc" she inherited all of my old textbooks in a little impromptu white elephant gift at Christmas!  We also brought fiction books for my family members to take and enjoy at their leisure.  

Sidenote: We gave my Aunt Amy a white elephant gift of all of our old fabric scraps that we had so she  could use them in her quilting business.  Another win-win situation where something we no longer needed could be put to good use!  And when I say she can utilize any size of fabric scraps, I'm not kidding!  Here's her set-up when she stayed at our place: 

And inside that box of treasures? THOUSANDS of fabric squares and rectangles perfectly measured and cut by hand!

So to say she appreciated the fabric scraps was an understatement I believe!  But I digress...

This is something I should have been doing all along: not setting the junk mail down inside the house.  We rarely use anything out of the coupon mailers we get, simply because they are coupons to places we never go!  Therefore, junk mail now goes STRAIGHT to the recycle bin or trash!  

After going through these categories, I can honestly say we have one filing cabinet and Luke's drawer left that I haven't touched, but otherwise, all of the paper products in our home have an assigned space!  It is so nice not moving piles of paper, or seeing mounds of receipts.  It's been quite the way to start the New Year!  

Next on the list?  Kitchen clutter!  I bought a new utensil caddy when I was at my sister's that I plan on putting to good use!  

What have you decluttered at your house?  Feel free to leave a comment - no really - you can leave a comment!  #notsurethecommentingfunctionisworking  #provemewrong!

Disclaimer: I am no financial expert nor do I claim to be one.  Shred important documents at your own risk!  It's pretty permanent!

1 comment:

  1. Haha this should help me! ;) We have been in our new house just under two months and our....lets say new junk drawer is overflowing with well paper and junk. Just reading your new post makes me think i should probablly go through it!
    Thanks for the tips!
    Kim Haut-