In writing her book Make Money, Not Excuses, Jean found that many people are too disorganized to even begin dealing with their money. Jean talks to organization expert Peter Walsh, star of TLC's Clean Sweep and author of the new book It's All Too Much: An Easy Guide for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff, who offers his tips on getting rid of all the extras so you can zero in on your finances:
Don't focus on the "stuff." See it as a symbol of what else is going on in your home, and start making changes elsewhere. Otherwise, you'll just end up debating back and forth without making any progress.
Ignore the bargains. Peter says the idea of getting a good deal causes people to fill their homes with things that actually cost them a lot, but essentially have no value.
Ask what you want from your space, as opposed to what you need for the space. Once you focus on your vision, you can acquire (or keep) things that fit.
Get your paper under control. Peter says to toss junk mail before you even get into your house; designate a specific place for other mail; and limit your magazine subscriptions to three.
Purchase a 12-month expanding file. Once you've paid your bills each month, file them away. Then in 12 months, throw away everything that isn't tax-related.
Printed from Oprah.com on Sunday, December 8, 2013