My wife is a big devotee of the Home and Garden Channel that, among other things, airs programs on how to sell your house at a top price, the ins and outs of designing and refurbishing, how to make your outside more attractive, and how to clean up an unorganized, cluttered house. It even shows how certain companies can come in and put your closets back in order with what are called California Closets--a combination of bins, shelves, and rods that help keep everything in its place.

Well, the idea can also catch fire with your own financial life. Ask many financial people about what you can do to simplify and clean up the clutter in your own checkbook and at your own desk at home, and you will probably see three specific areas highlighted:

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