Saturday, January 12, 2008
'Wading Through Grass to Get to the Picnic'
That's what my daughter, Sarah told me this morning, although she was using it in an entirely different context, but she told me it referred to our current insane process - we're removing every single thing out of our 15x20 storage room and 12x15 quilting studio, in an effort to create order.

The cinderblock walls have to be scrubbed down and painted anyway, really they do. Then the floor would look so much better if it were painted all one color. DH told me the room has to be pretty much empty for him to build the 8 x 15 wall he's installing, so we may as well do it right. Today we take everything out of the room, except for the built-in pantry and Christmas stuff that has been put away, and he hauls home some 2 x 4's to start the building process.

My part - to begin to go through, one sheet of paper at a time, one box of toys at a time, one photo at a time, deciding what to keep, give away, shred, or put away properly. I may foam at the mouth a bit during the whole thing, but likely there will be plenty of laughs, a few tears and shouts of Eureka! as I discover something I thought was long lost. I'm really, really hoping to come across a letter or two from my brother who died a few years back. I know the three kids will enjoy the box we send to each one, with their old papers, love notes, etc. and we'll be happy to pay the postage to send them on their way.

My other daughter, Leslie, returned a book to me yesterday that I'd forgotten I'd lent her. It's Real Simple Solutions (Tricks, Wisdom & Easy Ideas to Simplify Every Day), a great book to have on hand. Page 80, dealing with the home office, has a list that is perfect for us right now, and I thought might be helpful to some of you out there also. I've gotten a number of emails on the side telling me you've caught this crazy fever too, and are going through boxes, piles, etc. So here's the list:

What Papers to Keep - And For How Long

Keep for one month:
credit card receipts
receipts for minor purchases
Withdrawal and deposit slips; toss after you've checked them against your monthly bank statement

Keep for one year:
Paycheck stubs (I have 27 years' worth)
Monthly bank, credit card, brokerage, mutual-fund & retirement account statements

Keep for six years:
W-2s, 1099s and the other guts of your tax returns
Year end credit-card, brokerage and mutual-fund statements

Keep indefinitely:
Tax returns (that's only the return itself, not the backup)
Receipts for major purchases
Real-estate and residence records
Birth and death certificates
Marriage licenses

Keep in a safe-deposit box or home safe:
Insurance policies
Wills & trusts
Deed(s) to your home(s)
I'd add here titles to cars, boats, campers, possibly passports too, and your social security card (some people don't know to never, ever carry it on you.)

So we're 'wading through the grass' that hasn't been mowed in a heck of a long time, but man is it going to be a P.I.C.N.I.C. when we're finished. Red-gingham tablecloth, some fried chicken and potato salad, slices of watermelon, even ladybugs and ants will be welcome, we'll be so happy to be done! xoxo


  posted at 12:15 PM

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    Girl Raised in the South

    I have a deep, abiding love for full octane coffee, sewing, knitting, quilting, reading, cooking, gardening, God and my family - not in that order.

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