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Every year we make resolutions to make more time for family, business, and ourselves. Each year we promise we will get more organized in the new year. This is why January is National Get Organized Month.
Happily, I am ahead of the game. For the first time, I took all Christmas decorations down within days of Christmas. Yesterday, I created my 2017 file folders. That never takes too long, but in the past I have always procrastinated until well after first of the year.
It is amazing how much better I feel; prepared for a successful 2017! It really is true, getting rid of excess makes room for future. Not just in physical space, but in your mind as well. The tree is down, and makes my home seem bigger. Files for 2016 are boxed and ready for storage and new files ready for action.
Next week is busy with clients, but I am ready for busy year and look forward to more time for myself. If you are ready for a change in 2017, don’t wait. Start meeting your goals today.
Clutter is everyone’s enemy. Just as potholes slow traffic and damage our cars, clutter is the hole that keeps projects from on time completion and damage our productivity. Clutter comes in many forms, but in the office paper is the biggest culprit. It can be defined as excess, but my colleague Barbara Hemphill best describes clutter as “postponed decisions”.
Well it’s February 2009 which means it is time archive. There are many documents probably no longer used at our desks. Spend a few minutes to go through the files and removed the old files. If the information must be kept and can not be recycled or shreded, add them to archive files. Take advantage of National Archive Your Files Month by reclaiming your workspace for the work that is to come this year.
It’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 forcredit 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.