Clear Clutter, Save Money

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Staying organized goes hand-in-hand with reduced levels of stress and higher productivity, and the best part is, it can save you money. Going through that stack of papers on the hallway table or on the corner of your kitchen island will yield a cleaner house, and maybe even a little cash. Finding unused gift cards and checks that have yet to be cashed is even better than searching the couch cushions for loose change. Organization may save you money in the long run as well:

Tax Time: Save money in tax preparation by having all important documents filed and in order. Keep W2's, receipts, invoices, donation documentation, and other meaningful paperwork in a filing system so when tax season comes around, you'll be ready and will save time and money in preparing to file.

Doubling Up: When you're unorganized, things fall through the cracks, like remembering you already bought batteries last month. Digging to the bottom of your junk drawer can be like a trip to the store in itself. Organization in places like drawers, cupboards, the closet, and under the bed can save you from buying things twice.

Emergencies: Be prepared for any situation by keeping insurance documents in a secure, easy to locate place. Take inventory of your possessions in case of a robbery, flood or severe weather damage, or a fire. Knowing what you have will save time and stress if you ever have to make insurance claims.

Time to Sell: Clearing clutter is the number one tip for selling a home faster. According to a New York Times article, clutter reduces the sale of a home 5-15 percent. Declutter to show off the spaces in your home and keep buyers from getting distracted.

Avoid Fees: Keep monthly bills organized to stay on top of paying them. By doing this, you'll avoid having to pay late fees and save more money in the long run.

Gather all your piles, empty all your junk drawers, clear out under the bed, and start organizing. Group like items together, then sort paperwork and important documents into file folders labeled with the contents and the date. Filing items and they arrive in the mail or payments are made will help you to stay on top of your organizational system so you avoid being buried in paperwork in the future.

Source: Korinne Jubena Belock Photo: Carl Dwyer

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