Every year I try to downsize and re-organize a bit so that we have less clutter to deal with. I have dreams of coming home to a perfectly calm, serene space where not only is everything neat and clean…but I actually remember where I put everything.
I’m still working on it.
The following is a list of a few things that have really helped make the task easier, that also happen to be earth-friendly and pretty cheap!
Wrangle Receipts and Business Cards – I have only one solution to this problem. Shoeboxed.com They send you a few large envelopes in the mail, you stuff the envelopes with all of your receipts and then drop them back in the mail (postage is free). They scan, organize and post the receipts online for you in a password protected account, then destroy/recycle the originals. I can easily see what receipts I can use for deductions as well as what we’re actually spending our money on. They also have a nifty and free iPhone app that lets you take pictures of business cards and automatically imports them into your address book! The service we use is $9.95 a month, and since we’re independent contractors is a tax write off. (Money well spent, trust me).
Kitchen Recycling – We made recycling simple in our house and now I keep two wastepaper baskets, one blue and one grey under my kitchen sink. I got them both from an office supply store for less than $10. Paper and plastic packaging goes in one, and bottles/aluminum goes in the other. Another cheap idea is to use reusable shopping bags or even plastic storage crates under your sink to collect items. IF you’re really handy you cna DIY your own bins like this guy did here
Less Junk Mail – The best way I’ve found to get our names off of those annoying junk mail lists is to do a few things.
- Credit Offers – Contact the major credit reporting agencies at 1-888-5 OPT OUT (or 1-888-567-8688) 24 hours a day. Give them your address, former address within two years, and social security number. One call does it all for agencies Equifax, Trans Union, Experian and Innovis. Online visit optoutprescreen.com.
- Catalogs – Call the company’s customer service # 1-800 number and have the address label handy from the front of the catalog. Give them the code on the label and tell them you no loner want their catalogs. Sign up at Catalaog Choice to get your name off of most catalog lists.
- Local business and Flyers – To get rid of those ValPak coupons click this link and fill out from to get off their list. You can also sign up with 41 Pounds to get your name off of any remaining lists you may have missed.
DIY Mail Holders – I grabbed two cardboard magazine holders from my office and I printed up pretty labels for them and placed them right by the backdoor (where the mail comes in). They’re big enough to hold magazines and oversized envelopes, and at the end of the week, I just pick the whole thing up and go through the bills and recycle the junk mail! Here’s a link to the monogram border I used.
Staging Area – This is so important I can’t even tell you. We have baskets where stuff gets tossed when we walk in, a place to hang the keys, hang bags, put chargers and of course shoes. (I’ll post how we did it for cheap in an upcoming post!) Folks, you need a staging area if you’re going to get in and out of your house everyday on-time, organized and without killing each other, or any small pets. Need some inspiration? Check out these neat entryway ideas.
- How do you keep the clutter down in your home?