Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Another man's trash is...

One of the online groups I belong to has been talking about Freecycle. Well, the curious cat that I am, I had to check it out. WOW! It's a site where "another man's trash is another man's treasure" and the treasures are free!!!

What a great concept! You sign up as a free member and then join a group in your area. You can list things you want or things you want to get rid of. Then someone who is interested contacts you and you just give it to OR you get what you want...FREE! This is a great way to recycle and re-use those items you no longer want, need or are just tired of and someone else gets the joy of having it.

I love the concept but just a little word on your privacy and security. It would probably be wise not to give out your address or personal information and meet some place away from your home. Most people I believe are honest but it's always wise to be on the safe side.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Clutter and Taxes

I'm making good progress purging the clutter in my home. The bad part is that it has put my art on hold. I'm still brainstorming designs and writing them I don't forget because I will if I don't document...but cleaning is "work". No wonder so many people find jobs. I could never make it as a cleaning lady especially since I have a tendency toward compulsive disorders. If I clean, I really clean. So I'm trying new approaches in order to take breaks. I also discovered that if I can't decide to throw or keep anything I take a break. If I don't I start making a "maybe" pile and I'm determined that's what caused some of this mess. LOL

Also after a little research I've discovered I really don't need "every" receipt on my personal expenditures unless I'm claiming them on my taxes, so my shredder is getting a work out. After all a lot of companies give you the option of paperless billing, hence, no paper. That'll clear a lot of space. I've been keeping every receipt for at least 7 years and it's no longer necessary. For some reason when I did bookkeeping for businesses, it was important to keep every receipt and it spilled over into my personal life. Took me long enough to realize it's not necessary to keep a receipt for a candy bar, etc unless you want to make reports how you spend your money. I'm rather frugal so what's the use.

I also discovered that if you just have a hobby it could be deductible on your taxes. There's a 2% of gross income rule and considerations you need to watch. For example, if you are conducting as a business do not try to deduct this as hobby expenses. You could make a real mess and who wants to be subject to an audit. Check out Publication 529 and 535 to see if it sounds right for you. Remember you can't be making a profit.

One other major advantage of clearing clutter is giving away to charity things you no longer use or need. All that information is in Publication 526 and if it's over $500 you may need to fill out a form. I use Turbo Tax and it has a calculator where you input the item and it tells you how much you can deduct. It's really handy.

Well, this clearing out clutter is proving to be more of a benefit than I thought but I sure do miss my art, so I'll just need to think positive. The more I clear out means the more supplies for my art I can buy....LOL

Happy creating!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

HELP ME! I'm a pack rat.

Just a quick note about the last post. I know it's boring going to a blog that doesn't change up topics frequently but I thought that was a very important one for all artists.

Nuff said. Are you a pack rat? I sure am and it gets really bad sometimes.

I recycle but before I do I look at the item and try to decide to keep or recycle. The problem is everything I see can be re-used or re-created in some way. Then I put it on my kitchen table or in a sorted box. It sits there, taking up space, gathering dust waiting for inspiration. Well, I get the inspiration and then I get distracted so the piles begin to grow and grow and grow. I don't want to throw them out because I keep thinking I'm going to do something with it and once in a while I actually do. I still save more than I use and it's in multiples of the same thing.

The past few weeks I got an urge and started making some decisions about tossing or keeping. I found out that my kitchen table is more than just a holding pattern for my "stuff"...LOL There's this flat surface people eat on. A really unique idea...tee hee!

So I'm on a mission to either make something or let go and recycle.