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It's a party!

At least, it looks like a party. Confetti everywhere... that's what shredding projects look like. When my grandson was three, he found my box of shredded paper. He had a ball throwing handfuls over himself exclaiming, "Happy Birfday!" again and again.

Yes, January is also a good time to go through paperwork and shred what I don't need. It's not exciting but it makes life easier down the road when I want to pull documents for my financial advisor, (who thinks I'm very organized) or a loan officer, or to apply for financial assistance. Purging unnecessary paperwork from files makes for a case of "less is more" because it makes current documents easier to find.

I've been motivated by my experience of hunting through paperwork after my ex-husband died. I sorted through tons of documents for my adult children, putting aside the papers that needed further action or investigation. My son was the executor and he could check on the beneficiary aspects once he had an accurate list of accounts.

I also discovered the social security paperwork that didn't benefit my children, but helped support me during the start-up years of my private counseling practice. I wasn't expecting any money, so it was a nice surprise. I knew Tom wouldn't have approved of his social security earnings being kept by the government and I was able to be generous to my children in his honor.

I even found the receipt for grandma's ashes that were still waiting at the mortuary. so her grandchildren were able to respectfully spread my ex-mother-in-laws remains.

Another January task is to update the amounts on my list of what I own and what I owe... assets and debts... It's a simple list that is kept with my will and I include the beneficiary information as well.

None of this takes very long and keeps my file folders from overflowing with a bunch of old stuff that isn't helpful. And it is another way I start my new year off fresh and prepared for the next chapter.

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