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Health & Wellness > Health & Wellness 4 > HW 38

Spring Time Cleaning Tips 

 

It’s spring at last! The birds are singing and the crocus and tulips are blooming!  Time to open all the windows and air out the winter dust! Fill your house with freshness!

Spring time is also time for spring cleaning!  Spring cleaning can be very cleansing, not only to your home, but to your soul!  When you are done… you can relax and enjoy this beautiful season. 

For Home, Health, Finances. Here are (7) tips to get you started! 

1.     Your house.  So not to overwhelm yourself, pick only one area (a closet or one room) to start in.  Allow yourself a max of 2 hours. Don’t distract from that one area. Set a staging area;  line up boxes or bags that are labeled “Keep”, “Toss”, “Donate”, “Sell”, “Family”.  If you haven’t touched it in more than a year – don’t keep it! Chances are, you will never use it! Stay true to your first choice of which box these items will go. Touch it once – do not go back! (see: http://www.tidytransition.com/ )

2.     Your health. Although the fall is usually open enrollment time, take the time to review your health benefits again to make sure they are being maximized to their full potential. Review your upcoming yearly doctor’s appointments to make sure they are scheduled – and prepare for those appointments by listing and organizing your medications, and questions you will have for your Doctors.

3.     Your estate plan.  Not just for the wealthy! Everyone needs the most basic estate plan.  Review your will, health-care proxy, advanced directives and powers-of-attorney! 

4.     Your budget.  There’s a good chance that your cash flow needs will vary during the summer months.  Not only does summer travel come into play, but you may also need additional funds for child care while the kids are away from school.  This review may also reveal opportunities to trim expenses and increase savings goals.

5.     Your credit standing.  Did you know that you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus?  Spring is a good time to request yours from Equifax (equifax.com), Experian (experian.com) and TransUnion (transunion.com).  You can also get copies at no cost from annualcreditreport.com.  By reviewing the reports carefully you can find anything from old accounts that should be closed to outright identity theft. 

6.     Your financial records.  Clean out your old statements, pay stubs, bills and other records that you no longer need.  Be sure to keep up to six years of records to support your tax deductions, since that’s how long the IRS has to audit you. Review with your financial advisor!

7.     Your protection needs.  While de-cluttering and filing paperwork, take time to review life, homeowner, auto and disability policies to make sure you are still satisfied with your level of coverage. If you’ve experienced any life changing events like divorce or the birth of a child, your needs have changed and it’s time for an insurance and beneficiary review.

Most importantly, don’t let your house, health or financial cleaning overwhelm you.  Tackle items one at a time. There are many organizations that offer professional organizing and estate down-sizing consultants and consult your financial adviser for help along the way.