Organize Your Home Office for the New Year

bala-filesIt’s a new year and time for a fresh start.  Before the 2009 clutter begins piling up get your expense files set up.  This is the perfect time to start an organized system for your paper so filing taxes at the end of the year will be easy.

For the typical home, keep categories broad and only keep the receipts for items to be deducted.  “Credit Cards 09”, “Medical 09”, “Mortgage/Rent 09” , and “Utilities 09” are possibly needed files.  Use MS Word to create labels for files and save the document.  Then next year all that is necessary is reprinting and changing the year.  Also create files for bank reconciliations.

Remove all of the 2008 expenses from your desk, prepare your taxes, then move records to your archive storage.  This may be your basement, garage, or back of closet.  Check with your tax preparer to see how long you need to keep your tax records.  Typically, seven years is all that is required by the IRS.  Now your “prime real estate” is available and clutter free.

Instead of the overstuffed shoe box, use small-13 compartment-check wallets for keeping your receipts forpetty-cashcredit cards or petty cash.  These come with labels for alphabetical or monthly divisions.  Again only keep the receipts that you will deduct from your taxes.

Get out NOW to The Container Store or your favorite office supply store and you will be ready for filing your 2009 taxes this time next year.

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