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Start the New Year Without Clutter

December 26, 2013

The following checklist from last year has been updated.


Checklist of Things to Get Rid of

This is a suggested list of what to declutter yourself with in the coming new year.  Some things can be sold, given away to friends or relatives, donated to a charity or thrown in the trash (while being careful to shred papers with personal and confidential information.)

  • Playbills, Reader’s Digests, National Geographic’s, Harvard Business Reviews and similar magazines that you just can’t part with even though you haven’t opened them in years
  • Old magazines or newspapers of “historic” events
  • The magazine pile you haven’t been able to get to
  • Stamp, coin, baseball card or similar collection
  • Art
  • Books you haven’t looked at in years, school text books, and books you received as gifts that you never read
  • High School and College notebooks
  • Old diaries
  • Trophies from your childhood or your children’s childhood
  • Halloween costumes
  • Clothing, shoes and hats you haven’t worn in 42 years
  • All the great ties you bought, wore once or twice and are now completely out of style and even if they came back in style, you would be out of style
  • Boxes with stuff you haven’t looked at in 12 years
  • Family bikes that haven’t been used in 17 years
  • Nobody plays 33 rpm records anymore – maybe get rid of your seven boxes
  • Old tax records, receipts, cancelled checks and brokerage statements (see earlier blog on what records you should retain)
  • Old insurance policies
  • Plastic gifts baskets, ribbons and wrapping papers
  • Dolls and teddy bears that lost their sentimentality
  • Old pet carriers (you haven’t had a dog or cat for 9 years!)
  • Expired prescription and over the counter drugs and toiletries
  • Toothbrush collection from your infrequent dentist visits over the last 50 years
  • Partially filled liquor bottles you haven’t touched in years – or start “touching” them now…
  • Old cameras
  • VHS tapes you either purchased or recorded – you no longer have a VHS machine.  If they have emotional value, such as from a wedding, bar mitzvah or christening… transfer to a DVD
  • I know you will keep the 14 boxes of photos you have, your high school yearbook and similar other important things.  Try to consolidate or digitize them
  • Your army uniform and school jersey and jacket no longer fit you – throw them out.  Also, get rid of the cleats
  • The box of stuff from the closet and drawers you cleaned out nine years ago and are actually afraid to see what’s inside
  • The hundred and seven framed prints that haven’t been on a wall since you moved from your three houses ago
  • Things and stuff – you know what these are
  • Consolidate your brokerage and IRA accounts
  • Consolidate and reduce the number of mutual funds you have.  Ditto for savings and CD accounts
  • Sell or donate stocks where you own an insignificant number of shares to reduce your mail
  • If, per chance, you have stock certificates or DRIPs, send or transfer them to a brokerage account, or get rid of them by donating them to a charity
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If in doubt – Declutter!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 26, 2013 4:27 pm

    Ed –

    I still do have an VHS VCR and it is hooked up to the TV in the basement in front of my stationery bike. (and yes, I do use the bike so I am not getting rid of IT……) I watch the old VHS movies (and DVD’s) while exercising. I am probably the last person in the USA doing such a thing, but those movies come in handy!

    I think people have a real hard time parting with physical “stuff”. Have you ever noticed the proliferation of self storage facilities around the country? Probably find lots of old LP’s, framed artwork and other things on your list lurking around these places.

    Have a wonderful New Year.!

  2. Robert Nagler permalink
    December 26, 2013 6:51 pm


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