This week included lots more decluttering, especially the paper clutter. As a lawyer, my tendency is to hoard paperwork–receipts, old contracts/agreements, etc. This has come in handy in the past with warranties and things like that; however, I’ve been realizing lately that there are only a handful of documents that one (arguably) needs physical copies of. Things like passport, driver’s license, Social Security card, birth certificate, marriage license and car title, insurance, and registration. Even then, it’s advisable to have digital copies of everything in case of fire, theft, or loss. I was in such a habit of filing everything in the filing cabinet and forgetting about it that it was a little overwhelming to deal with.
I had manuals for every thing I’ve ever bought that came with one–I still had lots of manuals for things I didn’t even own anymore! They all went in the garbage, since owner’s manuals rarely need to be referenced and are widely available online should the need arise. I shredded all the old documents (4 garbage bags worth!) Being backed up to the Google Drive, I do not have to worry about losing or damaging any of these important documents since I have digital copies. The next big project will be going through my husband’s drawer in the filing cabinet and possibly selling the entire filing cabinet.
I used a scanner app on my phone to scan all of the documents I had saved–receipts for valuable items like furniture, electronics, and jewelry; old receipts for car services (I can account for almost every service performed on my car since I purchased it in 2012!); receipts and health documents from doctors visits and health insurance documents; bank account information and statements. (Yes, I am signed up for paperless statements with all of my banks and credit cards, but my bank still sends me biannual paper statements of my retirement account.) While this arguably adds to my digital clutter, it is much easier to regularly got through and erase files of documents as I no longer need them than it would be to empty out and shred a pile of old documents.
In addition to scanning receipts for car maintenance, I made a spreadsheet listing all past car maintenance, which I will keep up with from now on. Keeping up with this system will be much easier than the huge initial effort it took this weekend to implement it. I’ve heard it helps resale value of a car if the owner can show the car has been well-maintained.
I had previously looked into the warranty on my Victorinox duffel bag, and didn’t think I could do anything about it, since I didn’t have the original receipt. Well, lucky enough, I found the original receipt and the tags I kept that state the exact terms of the warranty. It seems that I may be able to get a replacement or, at the very least, very discounted repairs from the company.
I’m becoming very aware of the amount of time decluttering is taking from my other pursuits at the moment. This is the 2nd weekend I have spent a majority of decluttering, organizing or minimizing in some way. The big project (which was my husband’s idea, lest we forget) is nearly done now. I was able to finish my whole paper decluttering in a few days. I am getting to a place where I am fairly happy with the level of decluttering that’s already happened. It’s not perfect, but nobody’s house is. I think sacrificing a few weekends for the amazing improvements we’ve seen in our living area is worth it. I need to be wary of letting this become more of a burden than a benefit.
Another huge improvement we made this weekend involved emptying a cabinet to fit some things that did not have a home. One thing my husband and I have quite a lot of is glassware. While previous donations to the thrift store included lots of glassware, we still had a lot more. Even after minimizing, our drinkware still took up an entire kitchen cabinet, plus a separate standing cabinet. I gathered our entire collection of glassware onto the kitchen table and organized a few favorites in the kitchen cabinet. I asked my husband what he really really wanted to keep. I convinced him to get rid of an old set of plain glasses I had in college. It was a set of 18 really plain, boring glasses. (I don’t know what I was thinking, purchasing a set of 18 glasses to take to college…Other than I worked at a discount store at the time and they were really inexpensive, plus I had an employee discount). We reduced the excess from the freestanding cabinet, which we can use to store things that were absentmindedly strewn across the top of those cabinets. Everything looks much better and cleaner. I wish I would have taken “before” pictures. We donated 4 bags of clothing and other miscellaneous items, plus 2 boxes of glassware.
WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DID I SPEND MONEY ON THIS WEEK?
I went and got a massage with the discount code and the gift card this weekend. In fact, I signed up for a membership, in which members pay a membership fee of $50 per month, which entitles them to 1 massage or facial per month, plus additional services at a lower, membership rate. I will probably keep the membership for the next few months.
We did not completely finish the major minimalism project we started last week. Since we were working so hard putting everything all the way back together after our project last week, we ordered Chinese so we could keep working with minimal interruption. That provided dinner on both Saturday and Sunday night.
WHAT ELSE WOULD I HAVE BOUGHT?
This week was a little hectic, so I didn’t really do much shopping–internet or IRL. Maybe I’m getting better at resisting the barrage of advertisements we all have to deal with in our modern lives.
Total amount I saved that I would have spent this week: $0
Running Total: $1240