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Out with the old, in with the new

Created date

December 21st, 2009

A new year means a fresh start, and it s the perfect time to let go of what no longer serves us. Seize the opportunity to organize, declutter, and free yourself from things that are taking up unnecessary space in your house and your life. Here s a tip to get started:

Identify and shred unnecessary documents

Most people keep documents they no longer need. The first of the year is a logical time to go through files.
  • Tax returns are the biggest culprit. People used to be encouraged to keep up to seven years worth of tax returns, but the Internal Revenue Service has since lowered its recommendation to three.
  • For insurance policies, it s only necessary to keep the current one.
  • For medical reports and receipts, unless there s an ongoing condition, just keep the previous year s records.
  • For bank statements, there s no reason to keep more than three years worth.
  • For receipts from paid bills and credit cards, it s only necessary to keep the most recent year.
Anything you discard that contains your name, Social Security number, or an open account number should be shredded.

Storage solutions

Keep your filing cabinet fresh put in the new year (2010), take out the old (2009), and transfer the old to a storage container. Keep sentimental documents like cards, kids artwork, etc., in a pretty box, and put business paperwork into a different box.

Time management

If you re organizing, set a time and stick with it. Make sure you only organize for a maximum of two hours a day. That way, you won t become fed up and get rid of something important out of frustration or exhaustion. Know that you can always come back to the job and finish it later.

Need help?

Erickson Realty & Moving Servicesis a program available to anyone moving to a community by Erickson. It includes access to personal moving consultants who provide trusted realty and moving resources, plus advice and assistance with every aspect of people s moves. To learn more about this complimentary service and how to get reimbursed for up to $5,000 in approved moving costs,call 1-800-917-8643.