It is hard to believe that an entire year has passed and it will soon be “out with the old and in with the new”. Getting your paperwork organised before December 31st arrives can help you to ring in the New Year on a happier note and will make the first few months of the coming year a bit less stressful.
Organising your files now before the year is over, particularly papers that you will need when filing your taxes, is nothing but smart! The tips that follow can help you get it all “together” before the first choruses of Auld Lang Syne are sung!
Paper Organisation 101
Although many people have made the move to paperless paperwork, you may still accumulate paper during the course of the year that is needed for tax purposes. Purchasing several file folders is a good idea for those paper items. Hanging file folders are an even better idea if you have a drawer in your desk that you can dedicate to files. Each type of document should have its own folder. For example, receipts for business expenses should be kept in one file folder.
Receipts for medical expenses should be kept in another. Further, with medical expenses, keeping a separate file for each person in the home is a great idea that will save a lot of sorting down the road, just when you have the least time for it! You might choose to have folders for credit card receipts, property tax receipts and expenses, and so on. After you have separated all of your paperwork into folders, you’ll begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Another good option is to use a binder filing system to organise your documents. You can use page dividers to separate each distinct type of document from others, and a three-hole punch to simplify the binding process. This can be a space-saving option for those folks who don’t want to dedicate an entire office desk drawer or cabinet drawer to paperwork.
Resolve to Do Better
In the coming year, you should make it a point to stay on top of paperwork clutter. If you take just a few minutes each week to dedicate to organization of paper, then you won’t have a mess waiting you this time next year.
One good way to keep documents, receipts, and paperwork organized is to create an inbox or basket on your desk for such paper, and use the same basket for incoming mail. When you sort your mail and deal with it, make it a habit of dealing with the paper clutter in the basket as well.
File it, bind it, do whatever you plan to do with it to keep it organised, but don’t allow it to build up. No one wants to spend a weekend of their life dealing with an entire year’s worth of paperwork.
Letting paperwork pile up is foolhardy because it can take a lot of time to sort through but can also be detrimental in another way. You might end up losing a valuable receipt that could have saved you big time on your tax bill.