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Organize your Financial Life

Organize your Financial Life
January 13
12:42 2016

“Organize finances” is a common New Year’s Resolution. This year, we encourage you to make a serious effort to cut back on the clutter and get your financial life in order. The following tips come from best-selling author Marie Kondo.

“All great messes begin as small patches of clutter,” says Marie. The Japanese author’s advice ranges from kitchen messes to closets, but can be applied to every aspect of our lives – even finances.
Kondo believes that when “our homes are free from clutter and we are surrounded by things which give us joy” every aspect of life will improve, including friendships and romantic relationships.

Take a look at the physical aspect of your finances – are you faced with bulging file folders and messes of documents? This tangle of papers may be daunting, but you’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel when you get it all organized.

So where do you start?

Kondo proposes throwing away everything. Of course there are some important documents you must keep, but “you should get yourself into a frame of mind where you expect to throw away all your papers,” she writes. This mindset will make the organizing process more effective.

The papers you do decide to keep should fall into one of these categories:

• Currently in use
• Needed for a limited amount of time
• Must be kept indefinitely

Kondo advises setting up a “pending” box or folder for items in the first category. To limit paper messes, open all mail immediately and throw away or recycle anything you don’t need. Documents that you want to keep (like tax records) can be digitized to eliminate mess.

“Pick a day and a time during that day when you will deal with the papers in your pending box – do it all at once,” Kondo writes. When you’re finished, you will have the confidence to “work on the stuff in your home which is more difficult than papers.”

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April Kuhlman

April Kuhlman

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