Tax document storage Now that tax season is over, it’s a good time to get your historical tax returns organized and shred what you no longer keep. Unless you have an ongoing issue with the IRS, the general rule is that you only need to keep support documents for the last 3 years. See this IRS link for exceptions: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/how-long-should-i-keep-records
Clutter buster tools for tiny living
Last month, the New York Times had
an article on various space-saving cleaning tools. I was particularly attracted to two: the Dyson stick vacuum and the Reliable Dash portable garment steamer.
I own a Dyson stick vacuum and LUV it. It’s cordless. It’s lightweight. It can be hung on a wall or easily stored in a closet. The handle can be removed and used as a dust buster. It’s good with animal hair. It doesn’t use bags. It takes up no space!!!! Why would anyone own one of those big hulky upright or canister vacs when this slim vac is all you need for a small apartment. Just do it!
I do not own a garment steamer but I do sometimes see the very large professional space hog steamers in clients’ apartments. I know they do a great job but they take up a huge amount of floor space.
This small Reliable Dash portable garment steamer gets 4.5 stars from Amazon customers. The bonus is that it also has an ironing sole plate that can be used for pressing when steaming isn’t enough.
Use an ironing blanket to press on if you don’t want to get out the ironing board. And the steamer is less than 2.5 lbs. so you can easily travel with it.
Protect your basement storage Earlier this year, a client had not one, but TWO, serious fires in her building and in the same apartment line she lived in. Fortunately, both fires were contained and no one was hurt. However, there was lots of smoke and water damage to apartments up and down the line. The first fire was on a lower floor. Water seeped into the basement where her storage unit was. Her belongings were mostly in cardboard boxes. A lot of it had to be thrown out. Lesson learned: Store your belongings in well-sealed heavy-duty plastic containers that keep out air and moisture. And bugs.
Cable/cord management I recently worked with a new client who is a radiologist working in his home office. He had 10 huge monitors, 3 computers, 3 keyboards, 3 phones, a printer, a router, a scanner and 2 desk lamps. He was replacing his desks so thought it a good time to untangle and sort through years’ worth of cable accumulation. We crawled around the floor for a couple of hours. Mission accomplished!
If you have a cable/cord problem, don’t be intimidated. I am sure it will be much more manageable than the one above. Here are 8 easy steps to resolving it.
1) Clear your calendar and set aside 1-2 distraction-free hours to work on this.
2) Buy or get out your label maker, or make your own labels.
3) Look for and remove any cables/cords that you no longer use; for instance, extra extension cords.
4) Untangle the remaining cords.
5) Label each end of each cord in large font so you can read it.
6) Look for any cables/cords that are too long and replace with shorter ones.
7) Collect and tie cables together where desirable. Use zip ties, binder clips or spiral cord wrap.
8) If the cables/cords are an eyesore, hide them in a cable box like this one: https://www.bluelounge.com/products/cablebox
Total investment: 1-2 hours. And you’re on your way to more peace and tranquility. Or hire The Clutter Whisperer of New York City! :-)
Upcoming free shred events in New York City
Wednesday, April 25 – Glory of God Christian Center, Brooklyn https://local.aarp.org/new-york-ny/aarp-events/
Saturday, April 28 – Esplanade Gardens, Harlem https://local.aarp.org/new-york-ny/aarp-events/
Annual NYC Shred Fest in May – See Shred Fest - NYC.gov for date and locations as May gets closer.