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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Got Keys?

November 1, 2013 17:14 by elizabeth

house-keys-lgAlways loosing your keys?  I often work with clients to set up a landing pad – a place where they ALWAYS put their keys, phone, and other important items.

But keys can get misplaced. If losing your keys drives you crazy, here are some creative ways to remember your keys:

Or get rid of the house keys all together: One of my clients installed a keypad number lock on all her doors, instead of a traditional key lock, because she always was losing her keys!  The other members of her family had the same issue and they happily agreed to get a keypad lock. I think this is a clever solution to an annoying problem.

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Favorite Container #8: Desktop File

August 19, 2013 07:03 by elizabeth

This month, August, I’m back to thinking about papers as the start of school approaches. I’ve been filling out school-related forms, signing my daughter up for after-school activities, and receiving lots of information from her new teams and groups.

photo (20)My all-time favorite container for organizing papers and projects is a desktop file box. Here are the details:

  1. What:  A box that is designed to hold hanging folders and files, and can sit on your desk or kitchen counter.
  2. When to use it: Use this kind of box for your key files – files that you need to see all the time, and for current projects. My desktop file box always has these folders in it:
  3. Camp Ideas (for my daughter)
  4. Activities (for my daughter – things she may want to try)
  5. To Buy
  6. Family Meeting (any papers that my husband and I need to discuss)
  7. Current Projects – Home (colors for a bedroom, estimates from the painter) Current Projects – Work
  8. How to use it: Create hanging file folders for the key papers you tend to hold on to – not for every one, but what are the general categories of papers that end up on your counter or desk? Once you have the categories set, you can use individual manila file folders to separate papers inside the hanging folder if needed. Note: The categories may change over time as you see what kinds of papers you have, so don’t be afraid to change the folders.  No system is perfect at the beginning – you need to live with it and use it for a while to see what works.
  9. Why to use it: A desktop file box helps move your papers from piles to vertical files, making them much easier to see! When you can see your papers, you can actually take them out and use them…and have a place to put them away.
  10. Where to purchase: Basic desktop file boxes can be found at Staples and Office Max. Look on Amazon.com and The Container Store for file boxes in fun designs and natural materials.

See how a client set up her own Desktop File box in this blog post. For an idea on how to organize your financial papers, check out this recent Favorite Container post.

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