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Thursday, January 12, 2017


The next step to managing your monkeys is to get your house, vehicles, and work space in order.  We suggest reading the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo to give you some ideas on how to get things tidy and keep them that way.

There are several reasons this step is tidying up.  As you tidy up, you will keep your eye out for financial forensic evidence.  That is, you will get yourself a box and place any receipts, statements, checks, etc., into the box.  You will use these items later.

As you clean, you will sort things into categories such as: keep, give away, sell, or trash.  You want to keep only the bare essentials.  There is no point in keeping things that you have not thought about in years unless there is a very specific sentimental value to the item.  Otherwise, it goes in one of the other categories.

Keep your eyes open for things that could be sold at a garage or yard sale or online with places like E-bay.  If there are things you find that have value but you do not think will sell at one of these venues, you may wish to donate the item.  Quite frankly, if you do not think it is valuable enough to sell it is probably not worth much to a charity either.

Charities that accept donations of items other than money have very high trash bills.  It seems that there are people who only donate items seeking a tax credit.  They think nothing of giving absolutely unusable items to charity for the tax credit. Some will even donate dirty clothes.

When we had children’s home, we had people who felt compelled to donate items such as food that had expired years ago, one shoe from a pair, etc.  Do not do this.  Only donate items that the charity can actually use or sell.  Make sure it is freshly laundered or dry-cleaned.

While cleaning up and cleaning out, assess all the “stuff” you have accumulated.  Did you ever use it?  Should you have bought it in the first place?  What prompted you to buy it?  You may find that many of your purchases could have been avoided by taking a little time to think about the proposed purchase before you completed the purchase.

Often, people will find clothes in their closet with the tags still attached.  Items they have never worn.  Perhaps they bought the clothing hoping they would someday be that size again.  Perhaps it looked good in the store, but there was never an occasion to wear it.  Regardless of why you have it, the bottom line is that it is just taking up space.  Sell it, give it, or throw it away.

You may also find money that you had misplaced.  Check through all the pockets of any clothing you are going to get rid of.  Look through all the drawers of any furniture you will be eliminating. 

Flip through books as you are going through things.  You may find coins, bills, and maybe
even an old check or two.  It is sometimes possible to get checks reissued if they have sat too long without being cashed.  The book Hard Core Poor - a book on extreme thriftreports an incident of this.

Speaking of going through books, there is a web site, and also a smart phone app, that allows users to search several online used booksellers to determine who is willing to pay the most for a used book.  As you clean, you may want to check this site to see if the books you have to give away will fetch anything in the market place.  The URL for that site is   https://bookscouter.com

Remember, you are not just getting organized; you are also looking for financial forensic evidence.  Do not throw away any statements or receipts until after you have gone through and assessed everything.

Now is a good time to start planning a filing systemfor all the documents you need to keep.  It might also be a good idea to purchase a scannerso that you can scan receipts into your computer.  Many receipts fade.  Why not create a filing system on your computer? Store scanned receipts and other documents you need to keep.

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Please be advised that all the information in this course is provided to educate, enlighten, and broaden your views in life.  The information provided is not a substitute for medical, legal, dietary, financial/accounting, or religious professionals.  Always consult a professional before you act on any of the information you find in this course.  

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  1. I love decluttering and organizing, I wish I could get my hubby on board too. That is a great book. I did not know about the bookscouter, thanks for the information.

    1. Thanks. As far as the book is concerned, I cannot picture myself thanking a shirt before I get rid of it. Other than that, it is a good book. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


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