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Start the New Year Without Clutter

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This is a suggested list of how to declutter 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). If you are in doubt about something having a value, check it out on eBay.

  • Playbills, Reader’s Digests, National Geographic, 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 collections that you no longer care about. Give to someone, sell them or donate to a charity. If you still actively collect, make arrangements for its disposal after your death
  • Framed art and pictures
  • Books you haven’t looked at in years, school textbooks, and books you received as gifts that you never read
  • High School and College notebooks
  • Old appointment books
  • Trophies from your childhood or your parent’s or children’s childhoods
  • 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 wearing them
  • Boxes with stuff you haven’t looked at in 12 years
  • Family bikes, tennis or lacrosse rackets and baseball gloves that haven’t been used in 17 years
  • Old musical records that you don’t want to play even if you still had a Victrola. Maybe try to sell them
  • Old tax records, receipts, canceled checks and brokerage statements (go to my previous blog for a list of what records you should retain)
  • Plastic and straw gift baskets, ribbons and wrapping papers
  • Dolls and teddy bears that lost their sentimentality (and whose names you do not remember either)
  • Old pet carriers (you haven’t had a dog or cat for 9 years!)
  • Expired prescription and over the counter drugs and toiletries (dispose of properly)
  • 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 or to Cloud storage
  • I know you will keep the 14 boxes of photos you have, your high school yearbooks and similar other important things. Try to consolidate or digitize them
  • Your army uniform and school jerseys 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 and also ease your tax preparation with fewer 1099s
  • If, perchance, 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!

If you have any tax, business or financial issues you want to discuss please do not hesitate to contact me at emendlowitz@withum.com.

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