Financial Spring Cleaning

Time to get rid of the clutter and possibly make -- or save -- money while doing so.

Ah, spring -- it's almost here. Time for the weather to get warmer, for flowers to bloom and for you to file your tax return. Then toss paper records you no longer need as part of your spring cleaning routine.

Don't know what you should keep or shred (then dump in the trash)? See Paper Records: What to Toss, What to Keep. So the paper won't pile up again during the year, consider creating a digital archive of tax documents.

While you're digging through old documents, pull out your insurance policies to see if you can lower your premiums by boosting your deductibles. For more information, see Slash Your Insurance Costs.

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By cleaning out the closets, attic or basement in your house, you might be able to improve your financial situation. Here's how to find out if any of your stuff is worth selling. Then watch our video for tips on turning clutter into cash. Or if you donate your items to a charitable organization, get a receipt then claim the donation on your 2010 tax return if you itemize.

Cameron Huddleston
Former Online Editor,

Award-winning journalist, speaker, family finance expert, and author of Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk.

Cameron Huddleston wrote the daily "Kip Tips" column for She joined Kiplinger in 2001 after graduating from American University with an MA in economic journalism.