“Office clutter is almost always a paper problem.” Peter Walsh
Data is one of three criteria a Professional Organizer can assist clients. Data is anything in regards to paper and photographs. Today let’s talk about paper, more specifically financial and sensitive documents. I almost can hear your heavy sigh, but it’s time to dig in, and dig out!
According to the Small Business Association, 80% of the papers we hold onto we never refer to again. Think about that! So many clients I encounter have too much paper coming into the home and too little going out. My goal, to give you motivation for the following:
- Reduce the amount of paper coming into your home
- Develop a plan to eliminate unnecessary paper existing in your home
- Place a freeze on your credit reports
#1 Reduce the amount of paper coming into your home
Why are you receiving paper copies of your monthly invoices? Many say, because they need to review their monthly statements. However, the majority of folks let months and months of the various monthly statements pile up before, if ever, looking at these statements.
Recommendation #1: Eliminate the paper – Set up auto-pay and paperless
Within your two-subject notebook, make a list of all invoices you receive in your home, with all parties needing to be involved, decide what you will move to paperless and/or auto-pay. Take care of one company each day until complete.
In the majority of homes, you do not need to have monthly statements arrive. You can set up an online account to view your statements. Most companies will send you the invoice, via e-mail, to review prior to the invoice date. It is not uncommon that many folks will miss monthly payments because they forget to pay the bill, not because they don’t have the money. Let’s eliminate costs associated with late fees. If you do not want to auto pay a specific bill, set-up reminders within your online calendar to pay the bill 10 days or 5 days prior.
#2 Develop a plan to eliminate paper existing in your home –
Many individuals do not properly file or dispose of their sensitive documents. If ever your home was broken into, you have made it very easy for someone to steal your identity. Many individuals will “rip” sensitive documentation and throw sensitive material in the trash. Many times, the documentation is easy to put back together and obtain the needed information.
Recommendation #2: Shred your sensitive documentation no longer needed
Within the Anchorage area I recommend Shred Alaska. So many households have personal shredders. However, the pile, “to be shredded” in most cases, is as tall as the personal shredder. This is not helping you. Depending on your need, Shred Alaska can come to you, or in most cases you can take your sensitive documents directly to Shred Alaska. Many of my clients use Shred Alaska.
#3 Place a freeze on your credit
A credit freeze restricts access to your credit report, substantially decreasing the ability for someone to take a new line of credit in your name. Freezing your credit does not hurt your existing lines of credit nor does it hurt your credit score. You will need to call, or go online to the three major credit companies and place a credit freeze with each company. Each company does have a one-time fee to freeze your credit report. There is also a fee to unfreeze the report if needed; however, there is not a fee to re-freeze your credit report. If you take out lines of a credit on a regular basis, this recommendation is not for you.
The Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) each credit company provides you must be kept in a safe place you will remember. Losing the PIN will create unnecessary heartache and frustration. If you lose your passwords and/or PINS, getting into your account requires a lot of paperwork and time.
Be careful! All three companies offer credit theft programs that are expensive and have annual fees. Make sure you are selecting credit freeze and not a plan. For more information, please refer to the Federal Trade Commission for additional credit freeze information.
Recommendation #3: Go to the following links to establish your credit freeze for each company:
You CAN do this! Unclutter Me is here to assist you. Allow me to work along with you to reduce the clutter that affects us mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Refresh. Renew. Live Simply.
“Out of clutter, find simplicity.” Albert Einstein