How Do I Get Rid of: Books

December 11, 2014 22:29 by elizabeth

Books, books and more books! Clients ask me all the time how to get rid of books, so for my last installment of this blog series, I’m sharing my favorite resources.

BookstackDonate:

  • More Than Words – Donate and help at risk youth
  • Boomerangs – Supports AIDS Action programs
  • Salvation Army
  • Goodwill – A client told me that if you bring books to a Goodwill store they will pay you a $1/book
  • Check with your local library as many hold books sales as fundraisers

Sell:

  • Bookscouter – Website to sell your books, including textbooks
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Organize Your Safe Deposit Box

May 2, 2014 14:06 by elizabeth

Safe deposit box: do you have one? If you do, do you know what’s in it?

MP900422392When I had to get a copy of my daughter’s birth certificate recently, I found that I didn’t know what important documents we had at home, and what we kept in the safe deposit box.

This is one of those less-fun organizing projects (even for me), but one that is critical for every family.

  • First, make sure you have one place at home for the important documents you may need quick access to, such as passports, birth certificates, and your original wills. Gather these documents and get them in one place that you will remember. One client calls this folder her “proof of identity” folder; it’s a name she can remember and she knows exactly what’s in there.
  • Next, take an inventory of your safe deposit box. (If you don’t have one, get one at your bank!) Yes, this means making the time to get to the bank and get to your box. While reviewing the contents you can write down notes on paper or your smartphone, take a picture of what’s inside, or even type up a list. I made notes on paper and then typed up a document at home.
  • Let others in your family know about your safe deposit box inventory and have it filed in a place they can find it.
  • What should you store in your safe deposit box? Things that are valuable and you need to hold on to, but that you don’t need immediate access to. Here’s a good summary of what to keep in there, and what not to keep.

Now you can relax and you’ll be ready when you need to find your vital documents.

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How Do I Get Rid of: Shredding

March 19, 2014 21:25 by elizabeth

This month I’ve been helping many clients get their financial files set up for the year, and get organized for tax time. Part of the process is getting rid of important or sensitive documents that you no longer need. The best way to do this is to shred the papers.

It seems easy to get rid of shredding, but so many times I see piles of papers left “to be shredded” on top of shredders. As it turns out, the shredders often don’t work, and the papers pile up.Staples Space-Saver 10-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder

Got shredding? Here are some ways to get rid of it:

1. Get a new shredder that works. To keep up with once-in-a-while shredding needs, basic shredders work fine. This model is available in several fun colors and fits right on a small shelf with easy access.

2. If you have boxes and boxes of old documents to shred, outsource the shredding.

  • A great local resource is Doc Shredding Corp. They will come to pick up your boxes of shredding, and also destroy computer hard drives.
  • Check to see if your town offers any shredding days. My town holds a spring and fall Community Recycle Day and always offers free shredding services.
  • Bring your boxes of shredding to Office Depot or Staples for in-store shredding.

Don’t let piles of shredding build up in your home or office. Get a new shredder and get rid of the paper, or have someone else do the shredding for you.

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Fun File Box

February 5, 2014 11:21 by elizabeth

BestFileBoxTake a look at this fun and useful box from The Container Store: it has the year printed on the outside so no labeling required.

It's the perfect banker's box for storing your annual financial paperwork. 2013 and 2014 boxes available now.

File away!

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De-Clutter and Gift Idea: Kids Artwork

December 17, 2013 15:14 by elizabeth

Looking for a last minute gift idea that also helps you de-clutter? Grab the latest pile of artwork from your kids and turn it into gifts! 

Here are a few ideas:ArtPlacemat

  • Turn art into placemats: print color copies and have them laminated at an office supply store. I got this idea from a place setting doodle my daughter colored in (and labeled all the foods on the plate). I made a placemat for us and one for each of the grandparents’ houses too.
  • Create personalized wrapping paper through Zazzle; you upload photos but could also do this with photos of your kids’ creations. (Wish I had found out about this earlier!)
  • Turn the creations into a photobook on Shutterfly or another similar service
  • Have your child select a few pieces and toss them into an envelope. Add a bow and you’ve got a gift every grandparent would love.
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