Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.

You can read the start of my journey here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm dancing on the inside.

Yesterday wasn't as productive as I'd have liked. One of the girls was sick and home from school, and the other was up all night long with back pain. She has problems with her back from time to time after having had spinal surgery to fix her back several years ago. This seemed more than the typical discomfort though, and I was up with her much of the night. The Icy Hot patch I put on her back at one point seemed to really help, though, and she finally found sleep. We kept them home from school today, because neither got enough sleep last night. Plus, we didn't know, if we'd have to take our youngest to the doctor for her back today. Thankfully, she seems better.

Today, I'm feeling quite accomplished. I've sorted through several things. Mostly paperwork, but I have tons of paperwork through which to sort, and it's a start, so I'll take it! Any dent I make at this point is better than no dent at all!

I called Goodwill today and asked, if they accepted prescription glasses. I knew I'd never seen any on the shelves, but I also didn't want them trashed. Sure enough, they accept them and better yet, they don't throw them away. Once they accumulate enough of them, someone from the Lions comes down and picks them all up to distribute. Good! It saves me having to track down anyone from the Lions and the glasses will get to someone who can use them!

I got even better news when I called the company in charge of our health savings account. A health savings account is a benefit offered by some employers. The employee contributes pretax dollars to a fund to pay for medical expenses throughout the year. It saves the employee quite a bit of money by not having to pay taxes on it, and it's nice to be able to pay for medical expenses that come up throughout the year.

When we opened the health savings account several years ago, we were told that we needed to save every receipt, so we could prove the charges, if we were ever audited. Knowing that this is paid with pretax dollars and knowing that you must save your tax returns for years in case the IRS decides to audit you, we assumed it was the same with the health savings account. So I made a call to find out how many years we needed to save the receipts.

The gal I spoke with had no idea, and I'm sure that a bit of what I was trying to say was lost in translation, because English was not her native language, but she was very sweet. Still, I asked to speak with a supervisor, because I wanted clarification. When I told him that I have a pile of receipts/faxes/confirmations/etc. from 2007 for purchases on the HSA, he was a bit taken aback! He said, 'Why do you have receipts from 2007 when it is 2010??" I explained that I'd been saving them in case of an audit, and I didn't know how long to save them. I told him that I knew that with the IRS you must save all your paperwork for several years in case of an audit, so I assumed it was that way with the receipts.

He assured me that it is NOT the case, so I can get rid of 3 years of receipts/faxes/confirmations/etc!! I'm SO excited!! He said we only have to hang onto each receipt for a matter of a few weeks or so. So I'm going to get one of those expandable files with the different months marked in them for the receipts. At the end of the 2nd month following the month in which the receipt is dated, I'll purge that month. So I'll purge January's receipts at the end of March. It should be long enough for us to keep them 'just in case', and it will take up MUCH less room than saving them for an entire year (or three!!).

So tonight, I'm dancing on the inside! My life just got a little simpler!


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    I read through all of your posts and I think you are a very brave and determined woman.
    I wish you the best in your "journey".

    I'll be back! (she said with her best Arnold voice)


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