Home-based Moving/Relocation series (Pt.5): To Shred or not to Shred…THAT is the question! (Paper Clutter)

To finally cap off this series of tips on moving/relocation, I’ve decided to touch on a common problem we all have… paper clutter.  I know what you’re saying… “Yeah, I know I need to do something about all of this paper but how do I know if I get rid of it that one day I may need it for something… how do I know what I’m supposed to get rid of?”  Well let’s put an end to that right nowSmile.  Here’s a list of the most common things that not only you should part from (worry-free) but they should be shredded in order to prevent clutter and incidences of identity theft – a major issue that we face today when it comes to our private information.

Papers to Shred

  • Any documents containing you, your family, or business information such as social security numbers, names, birth dates, etc.
  • Pins/password information
  • Purchase receipts/invoices, especially those with credit/banking information on them (unless required for tax purposes then consult your accountant/attorney first)
  • Credit cards or bank cards that are expired or no longer in use (yes, even if the account is closed, shred it!)
  • Credit/bank account statements or any financial records no longer needed (such as loan/credit applications)
  • Tax documents that are seven years or older (consult your accountant/attorney… you may be able to dispose of them a little sooner.)
  • Old business documents no longer needed
  • Old customer/client forms that are no longer needed (you want to go the extra mile to protect them as well)
  • ATM receipts no longer needed (unless required for tax purposes then consult your accountant/attorney first)
  • Checks that are voided or no longer in use (again, even if the account is closed, shred it!)
  • Personal/business bills that are already paid or no longer needed (including medical bills)
  • Insurance documents no longer needed
  • Personal/business legal documentation no longer needed
  • Expired identification (such as an old state i.d., driver’s license, employee i.d., passport, etc.)

Once you’ve freed yourself of these things then you’ll find that there’s a lot less to fuss over on a daily basis.  Then take a little time out of your schedule to swap out any new documents like bills or business-related forms that come in so that you don’t have to be overwhelmed with a pile or more all over again.  Keep those desk trays as light as possible.  Once you see a pile begin to form, that is your cue to jump in and determine if you need to keep those papers and if you do put them where they belong.  Those trays are TEMPORARY storage, guys.

Well I hope this series was helpful to you all.  Remember, feel free to comment below and share these tips so that we can empower other entrepreneurs to get organized and stay organized.

– Sy

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Home-based Business Moving/Relocation series (Pt.2): Declutter while you move… how?

TheElephantInMyRoom.net  TheElephantInMyRoom.net

In the previous post I shared how important it is to consider the size of your new space in order to determine if it will fit your specific storage needs.  When I was searching for my new home, I knew that we needed to consider not only the items that were in my apartment but also the items that were in my storage unit.  And coming from an apartment, if I was going to pay for more room, I at least wanted to get something that was going to accommodate everything I had without the added expense of off-site storage.  I posted a pic of what my storage unit looked like prior to me decluttering it about two years ago.

TheElephantInMyRoom.net

We had a 5×5-inch unit that housed a combination of seasonal items, personal items, business supplies, and memorabilia.  Yeah… a lot for such a small space.  But by cutting some time out of my schedule on an early, Saturday morning, I was able to purge many of the items that I acquired over the years.  Now when I say “purge”, I mean I removed the items that I no longer needed or loved in different ways… not necessarily trashing things.  Some items I donated, sold, gave to friends, or recycled.  My new home came with an attached garage and now everything we needed to store in the house fit perfectly.

TheElephantInMyRoom.net

Preeetty goodSmile.  The garage is a work in progress but it’s blessing my family right now… and our pockets.

All of this leads to my next moving tip… decluttering.  This is the perfect opportunity to declutter your home as well as your home-based business spaces.  Save yourself another headache of transitioning to a new place with a ton of items, much of which you probably forgot you had and don’t need.  Some of those things you may find useful in your new place because you may not have had a chance or the space to use them.  But be sure you actually need those particular items.  My philosophy is if you have to make it work in your space then you don’t need it.  You have to have a genuine need for them.  Apply this to your business items as well.  You have enough to deal with as far as household items, let alone your business items.

Check and recheck your business inventory.  Be mindful of expiration dates and low supply.  Discard damaged or unsellable items.  Wait to restock or reorder after you get settled in.  This will make your transition much easier – less to transport equals less stress.  As far as the inventory you currently have in your stock, pack and label the moving boxes according to how you typically store them so that it will be as simple as just taking them out of the box.  Pay special care to any temperature-sensitive items.  If you have to change the current system of organization that you have to accommodate your new space then refer back to the photos you took of the new space and create a plan.  (You can refer back to my post on creating a plan to get organized – – Smile.)

When it comes to your office supply, you can actually have too much.  For example, if your desk caddy is overloaded with pens, pencils, and paper clips then, yeah, it’s probably time to let a few go.

Create defined areas in your current space such as a “Keep” area, a “Donations” area, a “Trash” area, and a “Storage” area (for those who find that you may still need additional storage for things like business inventory or you are moving into a smaller space).  You can then label the boxes or items within the “Keep” area based on the specific places you want them to be in your new home.  For example, you may have toiletries and bath towels in the “Keep” area, so box and label them as Bathroom or Linen Closet.  Box and label like items together… in other words, pack your items according to where you actually store or use them.  Remember, you want to keep it as simple as taking them out of the box.

Well, since we’re talking a lot about boxes, I thought it would be a great opportunity to dig into some tips on those.

Are those cardboard boxes really as good for moving as we have made them to be?… Hmmmm.  More on that on the next post…

– Sy

Home-based Business Moving/Relocation series (Pt.1): Size really DOES matter.

When you’re preparing to move/relocate as a home-based business owner/entrepreneur, you want to have two objectives in mind… a very simple transition and to not end up in your new place even more overwhelmed then before the move.  Uh, huh… I can see your face now… “Right. Is that even possible?”  Of course it is.  With some strategic planning prior to your move and pacing yourself up to the actual moving day, all the hard work won’t seem as hard as it would typically be.  So what’s the first step to getting it done?  First things first, does size really matter?

… And before you visit that dirty thought, save it for a moment because we’re talking about your space right now.  I’m sure you’ll get plenty dirty later in the process but as for the size of your new space, it really does matter.  You have to determine if everything you have will indeed fit into it.  So, if you’ve acquired a flood of items over the years, or even over a shorter period of time, you would definitely benefit from the next post on decluttering as you prepare for your move.  Now, back to the matter of size… be sure to tour your new digs to determine how much storage is there and what types of storage you may need to add in order to accommodate all the items you have.  Now you may have to get a little creative in some areas of your new place but that is absolutely fine.  It’s like that sometimes; so if making a shopping trip to pick up a little-something, or taking away a small closet, or installing a few more shelves for added convenience will fulfill your storage needs, then make it happen!  I wish every place we planned to live in came perfectly equipped for us but the reality is, they don’t.

Be sure to measure the space, especially awkward areas.  It will save you the headache of finding out the hard way that, “I really didn’t have room for that desk that I really liked after all.”  Yeah, not so cool.

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Another suggestion is to take photos of the spaces inside your new home.  Trust me, it will make the process of planning how and where you would want to set everything up much easier than doing it as you unpack the boxes.

Finally, be considerate of others that will be sharing the space with you.  Be sure that everyone is on the same page.  Otherwise, you may have to compromise a little for the sake of preserving the peace in your home and/or your business.

I scored big with these tips leading up to my move and a blessing it was to plan ahead.

Now… are you finding that you have a lot more stuff than you’d like to deal with moving forward?.. then keep reading to see how one word can fix that problem.  It’s SUCH a great word that it baffles me that it’s not even listed as a word in the dictionary (go figure).  Next post, we “declutter” while we pack…

– Sy

Finally!.. We’re settled in!

Yeees!  So I am finally settled in to my new home… well, for the most part.  For the past, nearly two weeks, I’ve been transitioning from my old apartment to my new house and though I can’t say it was a piece-of-cake all of the time, I can say that everything worked out great.  All of my things have a new home and I actually managed to gain a separate space to construct my d.i.y projects.  With all that said, over the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing tips on how you can transition to a new space as smooth as possible, especially if you work from home.  Not only was I moving myself over the past few weeks but I was also doing the same for a client; so this is going to be very helpful. I’m pretty hyped about it!  The tips will cover a range of things, from organizing your cords for easy recovery to executing a long-overdue decluttering process while you pack.  The key is strategic planning and pacing yourself prior to your actual moving day.  The moving process does not have to be overwhelming at all.  So if you are the type of person who tends to wait until the last minute to try and get things done, these tips are bound to change your perspective.

So gather your packing supplies, black magic markers, family or a few friends, and get ready to get moving.  This should be painless…

     

– Sy