2018 Cleaning and Organizing Challenge Week 8 ~ Papers

Monday, February 26, 2018

This is just the worst. I really, really, really despise paper clutter. Even after opting for paperless billing and e-statements, I still have piles and piles of papers. I can't be the only one that has stacks of coupons, 90% of which are usually expired because I always forget that I have them or I forget to bring them with me, right??? And the receipts, ughhhh those things drive me crazy, but if I don't keep them I ALWAYS end up needing it and wishing I hadn't thrown it away!
This week we are tackling the paper clutter! Clean out all those nooks and crannies, drawers, jockey boxes, mail organizers, wallets, filing cabinets, paper sorters, wherever those papers accumulate and get shoved away. Mail, coupons, bank statements, receipts, pay stubs, utility bills, magazines, notebooks, old calendars, etc. ALL. THE. PAPER. ALL. THE. JUNK.
Ooh boy, this is embarrassing.
This is everything paper related that I own.
It fills up my entire dining room table.

Week 8 Challenge: Papers
It seems like papers and trash accumulate in piles as big as mountains overnight. Where does it all come from? And where do all these junk mailers find my address? Seriously if you know, tell me! Even after moving into a new house it didn't take hardly anytime and my mailbox started filling up with junk. I could easily say that 75% of what comes into my mailbox goes directly into my recycling bin.
Here is how I help keep paper clutter to a minimum. I found this link through consumer reports a few years ago and it really helped me see what papers I really need to keep and which ones I can toss. And I realize that everyones needs are different and some people, especially those who own their own business, actually do need to keep a lot more, especially for tax purposes. You just do what you need to do and what works best for your family.

*Here's a chart from the link above.


DocumentsWhen to toss them
Bank deposit slipsAfter you reconcile your statements
Banking statementsAfter a calendar year; store with tax returns if they will be used to prove deductions
Brokerage, 401(k), IRA, Keogh, and other investment statementsShred monthly and quarterly statements as new ones arrive; hold on to annual statements until you sell the investments
Credit-card billsAfter you check and pay them, unless you need them to support tax filings
Employer defined-benefit plan communicationsNever
Household warranties and receiptsAfter you no longer own the household items
Insurance policiesAfter you renew them
Investment purchase confirmations and 1099sHold until you sell the securities, then keep with your tax records for an additional seven years
Pay stubsAfter you reconcile them with your W-2
ReceiptsAfter you reconcile them with your credit-card or bank statement unless needed for a warranty
Safe-deposit box inventoryNever, but review and update annually
Savings bondsCash them in when they mature
Social Security statementsWhen you get a new statement, then shred the old one
Tax returns and supporting documentsAfter seven years



DocumentsWhen to toss them
Birth and death certificatesNever
Estate-planning documentsNever
Life-insurance policiesNever, or when a term policy has ended
Loan documentsAfter you sell your home, automobile, boat, or whatever the loan was for
Marriage licenses and divorce decreesNever
Military discharge papersNever
Social Security cardsNever
Vehicle titlesAfter you sell the car, boat, motorcycle, or other vehicle
Here is a link to my paper organization from a couple years ago.

This is how everything is organized now. I just have seven cheap file folders for for each year of taxes I have to keep. I found that this is the easiest way to keep things together and find what I'm looking for.
These are full of closing documents for our houses. Things we have to keep. Even though I would really love to throw them away because they are so big and take up so much room!
 Fun stuff, finally. These are my journals, and planners.
This little guy has been with me for many years. It where I keep everything that needs attention now, receipts, statements, and payment stubs I need to keep for the year. Shot term storage. I think I found it online for $5. There's a pocket for each month so when I need to look back through the year to find something, its easy for me to find.
This accordion file still holds our personal information, warranties, and insurance papers. Long term storage. Most of this stuff all fits into a basket that goes into our safe.
Okay onto the good stuff. It's your turn! Pull out all of your papers. Shred what needs shredded, anything with personal information on it, account numbers and such. Sort and file away everything that needs to be kept, and recycle everything else.

There are so many files and ways to organize paperwork. Find what works for you and just keep on top of it. I know I should do that monthly, but life happens, and by the time I get around to it, it NEEDS done. Hopefully now things will be easier again. It's sure feels good to have everything sorted and cleaned up!
Piles of things that need shredded and recycled. Hasta la Vista Baby!

Thank you so much for following along, I hope you have a sweet and productive day!

Photography Sneak Peek ~ Colter 2 & Ava 4 months

Today I have an adorable sneak peek of two more cuties! Colter and Ava!

I absolutely love the outfits that Amanda brought for her kids. Ava even wore one of Amanda's baby dresses in a few of the pictures. And Colter's suspenders...enough said. They are both just too cute.

Four months ago I took their pictures, you can see those here, Ava was just 11 days old, a tiny tiny newborn, it seriously seems like yesterday, where does the time go???

We had fun and I had a smile one my face the entire time. Kids are so much fun. I just love their personalities.

Here are a few of my favorites...
 Thank you so much for stopping by! Have a sweet and beautiful day <3

Photography Sneak Peek ~ Korver 2.5 Years & Lavone 1 Year

Thursday, February 22, 2018

These sweet little kids are just too cute! Brother & sister shoots are always so much fun!

Korver is 2.5 years old, adorable, and full of energy! If I could just have a fraction of it I would be in great shape! He practiced his acrobatics and kept his mama on her toes. He's no different than any other 2 year old, they all have one thing in common, they'd rather do anything than hold still. I still managed to snapped a few of him before he found his way to the toy room.

Lavone is 1 year old, beautiful, sweet, and just a little doll <3 She isn't quite walking yet so she was a little easier to get pictures of :) She has such pretty eyes and the cutest little baby chub. She's a little sweetheart.

Here's a few of my favorites...
Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you have a sweet and happy day :)

Photography Sneak Peek ~ Newborn Bradley Holland

Monday, February 19, 2018

Ohh the joy of a brand new baby <3

This beautiful little angel made her appearance a couple weeks ago and I am so very happy that her mom and dad choose me to capture these sweet moments for them <3 I seriously love what I get to do <3

Bradley was just 4 days old when I took these and she was absolutely perfect for her session. She was wide awake and so alert, she would even give me a smile when I was holding and talking to her.  Then she was fast asleep, she especially loved laying in the little basket. The life of a newborn must be great.

Congratulations to Jedd and Angela and their adorable little bundle of joy! They have waited a long time to get to hold a baby in their arms, 12 years to be exact, and I'm pretty sure that's just where she'll stay for the first couple years of her life, at least.

Their entire family is rejoicing in the arrival of sweet baby Bradley and she is loved beyond measure.<3 We are so thankful for your miracle <3

Here's a few of my favorites...
Thank you so much for stopping by, have a sweet and beautiful day :)

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