Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Cleaning Sprints // Week Two

I’m looking forward to another productive week…kinda. There is one assignment on my list that I am not excited about. It’s not even a typical spring cleaning task. But it NEEDS to be done. It is so filthy I can’t stand it any longer – my car needs to be washed and vacuumed.

So let’s get on with it!

Week Two Assignments

Weeknight Spruce
Pick up clutter from floors, counters and tables.
It is hard to pick up when you don’t have a place to put the things. So think about why that item is there and why it is not where it should be. Does it even have a home? Is it too inconvenient to put it in its place? This is a good time to take mental notes about how to reorganize….or just go ahead and do it! Most of the time we have clutter because we were just too lazy to put in the right place to begin with. I’ll be taking mental notes on self-discipline. Haha!

Saturday Sweep
1) Clean off desk and sort files.
I hate paper. However, it is quite necessary to keep some of it around. Now that tax season is over, it is a good time to tackle those piles and files. Not sure what to keep and what to toss? Here is a handy list:

Keep for 1-3 Months
  • Utility bills
  • Sales receipts for minor purchases
  • ATM and bank deposit slips
Keep for 1 Year
  • Checkbook ledgers
  • Paycheck stubs
  • Monthly mortgage statements
  • Expired insurance records
Keep for 7 Years
  • Bank statements
  • W-2 and 1099 forms
  • Receipts for tax purposes
  • Cancelled checks
  • Disability records
  • Unemployment income stubs
  • Medical bills/claims
Keep Indefinitely
  • Annual tax returns
  • Deeds, mortgages and bills of sale
  • Year-end statements for investments
  • Legal documents (birth certificates, marriage license, divorce papers, passports)
  • Home improvement documentation and receipts
  • Receipts for major purchases—for warranty and insurance purposes
  • Wills & Living wills
  • Power of attorney designation
  • Medical and burial instructions
  • Beneficiary directions
  • Real estate certificates
  • Automobile titles
  • Current insurance policies
  • Medical records
  • Education records
  • Pension plan records
  • Retirement plan records
  • Paycheck stubs after reconciling with W-2 form
  • Expired warranties
  • Coupons after expiration date
(Resource: DaveRamsey.com)

I learned a clearly labeled file system is the only thing that makes paper manageable. We are less likely to forget about a document, or waste time looking for one, because we have already designated a spot for every type of paper that comes in the home. What I am not so good at is cleaning out the files…I like to shove them in the folder and forget it about it.

Remember to store sensitive information in a secure place. And when throwing out documents with personal information and account numbers, be sure to shred it. If you do not have a shredder, office supply stores offer the service for a fee.

2) Wash and vacuum car.
This would be a lot easier if we owned a hose and a driveway. But we have to take our cars someplace to be washed. I love the drive-through car washes - it is fun to watch the soap suds and scrubbers. But I hate going through it alone…haha weird, I know. Most of the time the drive-through washes don’t do that great of a job anyways. So I will take my car someplace with a washing station and vacuum. 

Tip: Before you start to vacuum pull out all the car mats, clean out under the seats, and unload the trunk. You'll be less likely to suck up something important if you are looking before shoving a vacuum hose in there....and you'll be able to clean more thoroughly. Don't forget to wipe down the dashboard. (I don't know about you, but mine is really dusty....)

Quickie Purge
Get rid of 5 things
Same as last week – anything to donate, sell, give away or trash. They have to be actual items, not pieces of paper that should be trashed anyways.

Peaceful Pause
30 minutes spent refreshing YOU
This can be a long walk, spa treatment, a hobby – anything that replenishes you! I am hoping to get out for some photography this week.