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Director's Message

Clutter March 2005

Clutter

Are you drowning in paper? Not sure where it all comes from or what to do with it all? How long should you keep "important" papers? It seems like the mailbox brings in more paper every year, and the newspapers have more inserts, and everything comes with attached documents. Wasn't the computer age supposed to reduce the amount of paper in our lives and save trees?

 

The accumulation of paperwork can be overwhelming. It makes the prospect of downsizing your home daunting. It can also be dangerous, when the piles of paper accumulate near the radiators or stove, or when an emergency arises and you can't find documents you need.

 

The first suggestion on coping with paperwork is to try to adopt the "two touch" rule: when the mail comes in, immediately sort it into the trash, the pieces to look over more carefully, and the really important papers. Trash goes immediately into recycling. Don't look at it again. The next time you have some time between activities, pick up the middle pile, browse and resort into trash or important. The important things need to be dealt with as soon as possible; pay the bills, file the documents, etc.

 

The second suggestion is to have a good filing system. Use labeled colored file folders to visually sort bills, medical records, warranties, and so on. Keep emergency information in a file that is so obvious that any family member can locate it. Clean out the files regularly.

 

The third suggestion is to come hear the Brown Bag presentation by Linda Richter of Paperwork Solutions on "The State of Your Affairs" on March 18 at noon. Linda helps people who need individual coaching or assistance with sorting the clutter in their lives.

 

You might also find helpful the following guide on how long to keep things from "How to Cut Clutter" from Good Housekeeping, February 1996.

 

Accident reports: 7 years

 

Bank Statements: 3 years

 

Cancelled Checks: 3 years

 

Car records: until car is sold or lease expires

 

Credit Card Receipts: Until verified on statement

 

Insurance Policies: For the life of the policy

 

Legal Documents: Forever in fireproof box

 

Medical bills: 3-4 years

 

Mortgages, deeds, leases: 6 years beyond life of agreement

 

Patents, trademarks registrations, copyrights: forever

 

Pay stubs: Until reconciled with W-2

 

Property Records: Until property is sold or 6 years if tax related

  

Retirement & Pension records: Forever

 

Sales Receipts: Life of warranty, store return, or 6 years if tax related

 

Stock and Bond records: 6 years beyond sale date

 

Tax returns and related items: 6 years

 

Utility bills: 6 years if tax related, 1 year otherwise

 

Warranties and Instructions: as long as you own the product

 

Other bills: Until payment verified or 6 years if tax related.

 

 

 

Susan W. Hoskins LCSW

Previous Messages

GrandPals Celebrate 20 Years!

Multi-generational Households

No One Ages Well Alone

Help at Home

Gratitude

November 2016 Family Caregiving

October 2016 Annual Report

September 2016 Corporate Healthcare

Strategic Planning

Is Your Home Age- Friendly?

May 2016 Director's Message Part 2 - We Need Your Help

May 2016 - Part 1 - Going Solo

April 2016 - Volunteering

March 2016 - Partners In Caring

February 2016 - PSRC's Strategic Plan

January 2016 - Hope

December 2015 - Gratitude

November 2015 - Helicopter Children

October 2015 - Is Princeton An Age Friendly Community?

September 2015 - Annual Report

July & August 2015 - Family and Community

June 2015 - A Gift that Keeps Giving

May 2015 60 Is the New 60

April 2015 - Spring

March 2015 - Being Mortal

February 2015 - Mentoring

January 2015 - Winter Blues

December 2014 - Leaving A Legacy

October 2014 An Age Friendly Future

September 2014 Annual Report

July - August 2014

June 2014 - Romance After 50

May 2014 - Your Virtual Estate

April 2014 - Memory and Forgetting

March 2014 - Aging in Community

Observational Stay

February 2014 - Family Caregiving

January 2014 - Attitudes about Aging

December 2013 - Giving

November 2013 - Healthcare Marketplace

October 2013 - Annual Report 2013

September 2013 - Total Brain Health® Fair

July - August 2013 My cat, My Father and Me

June 2013 - Age Friendly Communities

May 2013 - Navigating a Changing HealthCare Landscape

April 2013 - Becoming Visible

March 2013 - Navigating Life’s Transitions

February 2013 - Partners in Caring Princeton

January 2013 - Men as Caregivers

December 2012 - The Safety Net

November 2012 - Going Solo

October 2012 - Documenting Your History

September 2012 - A Journey of Transformation

July - August 2012 - Gratitude & Moving

June 2012 - Diversity

May 2012- Aging in America

APRIL 2012 - TEN YEARS

March 2012 - Patient-centered Care

February 2012 - Can you Spare an Hour?

January 2012 - Challenges & Opportunities

December - Are you Prepared for Emergencies?

November - We need YOU!

October - Chocolate for Memory

September- Looking Back and Looking Forward

July - August 2011; Ageism

June 2011 - Accessibility

May 2011 - Paper retention

Knit Wits, April 2011

Lessons and Legacies, March 2011

Independent Living February 2011

Home Safety January 2011

Witness to my Life December 2010

Elections, benefits and open enrollment November 2010

Retire in 3D!

Strategic Planning September 2010

Am I Old? July 2010

Memory Clutter June 2010

Aging In America May 2010

Volunteering April 2010

Spirituality March 2010

Estate Planning February 2010

Encore Careers January 2010

Hiring Home Care December 2009

Annual Giving by Sharon Naeole November 2009

Flu Pandemic 2009 October 2009

Healthy Memory, Healthy Mind September 2009

A Personal Perspective on Caregiving July/August 2009

TRANSPORTATION May 2009

Wei Ji: Crisis, Danger and Opportunity April 2009

Write your own obituary March 2009

Hobbies February 2009

Hope and Vision in Challenging Times
January 2009

Medicare Changes 2008: Take A Look! December 2008

Scams, Frauds and Rip-offs November 2008

Engaged Retirement: Beyond Financial Planning October 2008

September 2008 Caregiver Dilemmas

Finding Rhythm and Purpose July/August 2008

Spring Cleaning II June 2008

V + OA = ER (Volunteering + Older Americans=Engaged Retirement)May 2008

Spring Cleaning April 2008

Have You Had the Talk Yet? March 2008

Get Moving with FitRhythms™! February 2008

My Condolences January 2008

Advocacy December 2007

What Are Social Services? November 2007

Sensitive Topics October 2007

Plan for the Future September 2007

The Up-side of Aging Summer 2007

Volunteering June 2007

Strategic Plan May 2007

National Conference on Aging: Let's ReThink Aging April 2007

Brain Health March 2007

Resiliency February 2007

Transportation January 2007

Season of Giving December 2006

Medicare Part D November 2006

April Hill McElroy October 2006

Civic Engagement September 2006

Change June 2006

White House Conference on Aging May 2006

Hearing Loss April 2006

GrandPals March 2006

Lets Talk February 2006

Eldertopia January 2006

Hoarding December 2005

Annual Report: November 2005

Are You Prepared? October 2005

Planning Ahead October 2005

Watch Your Language September 2005

Medicare Part D Summer 2005

Sue Tillett June 2005

The End of the Journey May 2005

Clutter March 2005

New Dietary Guidelines February 2005

Transitions January 2005

Funding December 2004

Caregiving November 2004

Civic Engagement with GrandPals October 2004

A New Look September 2004

Safe Driving Summer 2004

Food Safety June 2004

Communication June 2004

The Challenge of Giving Care May 2004

Seniors On The Move April 2004

Depression March 2004

McGreevey February 2004

Medications January 2004

Random Acts of Kindness December 2003

Civic Engagement November 2003

Reverse Mortgages Oct 2003

Emergency Preparedness, Jan 2003


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