Clean out Your Financial Junk Drawer in 5 Easy Steps

By Wendy Brookhouse

May 20

Almost everyone has one…. 

You know, the place where you put all the financial envelopes and statements that you are going to deal with later… The investment statements you are afraid to open… The property tax assessment that has already been paid, and any other statement you might not quite know what to do with.

My junk drawer is actually a cupboard at the end of the island in my kitchen.  Yours could be a file drawer, the kitchen drawer, or somewhere in your home office.  Maybe you have a mail pile sitting in your front hall, growing larger over time.   These piles are things we have become used to seeing but ignoring, unless it is tax time or if you are looking for something specific.   Or if you are scrambling to get everything put away because company is coming!  Organizing all of these pieces are important but not urgent – or is it?  

Why is now the time to do this?  

The clutter and piling of these items can add to the stress you feel around your finances.  Especially if your financial junk drawer is where you stuff things because you are ignoring them, or you don’t want to know the true state of your finances because you are afraid.  You are not alone; more people are like this than you know.  

It is worth the effort because cleaning, organizing, and getting a clear picture of your money is the first step to a stress-reduced financial life.  

The first task to complete – set aside some time to organize your junk drawer. Pick a day and mark it in your calendar so you won’t forget.  And don’t worry, I have broken the process down into 5 easy steps so that the job isn’t too big, with guidelines for each.

Are you ready?  Then let’s kick this off!

Step One:   Gather.  Go get everything – from the file cabinet, the pile by the door, or the kitchen drawer.  Open all the envelopes and get ready to sort.  

Step Two:   Sort. Organize everything into 5 piles: Investments/Savings, Bills, Insurance, Important Documents, and Purge 

Step Three:  Review. Go through each pile one-by-one.   For details on how to review and analyze each pile, download our worksheet here.  https://blackstarwealth.com/clean-your-junk-drawer/

Step Four:  Compile. While you have everything out, take the opportunity to make a Master List of all your important documents, account numbers, key contacts, etc.  Make sure the people that matter (i.e. partners, executors, etc.) know where to locate this document.  Store it somewhere safe!

Step Five: Prepare: Once you’ve gone through all your piles and made your Master List, it is time to take action.  Book an appointment with your key advisors and review all the information and changes you want to make. 

See, that wasn’t hard.  You got this and now that you have an easy process, you can do it regularly to stay on top.   For more help, check out the quick video, one-page  worksheet and a master information workbook I put together for you.    https://blackstarwealth.com/clean-your-junk-drawer/

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