The Four Ds
#1: Dump
Here are the steps you need to take. I call them the Four Ds. And remember, this is merely a big closet you're cleaning. It just happens to be a closet full of paper.

If you clean a closet as I do, the first thing you do after you buy hangers is pull everything off the racks and toss it onto your bed or the floor. Do the same with your bills and paperwork. If it's all sitting in a pile on your kitchen table, then move it to an area that can be messy for a little while. This can take anywhere from several hours to several days, depending on how much stuff you have to plow through and how much time you have to devote to the process. One thing is certain: You don't want to have to move your workstation halfway through.

Next, go through the other repositories for your bills and paperwork and add those to the pile. Your briefcases, tote bags, desktop, pocketbooks—every one of them should be given the once-over.

Next: #1 Distribute
Reprinted from Make Money, Not Excuses by Jean Chatzky with permission from Crown Business, a division of Random House, Inc. Copyright © 2006 by Jean Chatzky.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.


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