It’s tax prep time which, for a lot of people, means digging through stacks of unorganized papers stuffed into different drawers throughout the house. If this is you – try to turn this dreadful chore into a productive organization project. Believe it or not, it won’t take you that much extra time, and it will make your life a LOT easier.
And it’s not that complicated. Here’s an easy 4-step process to organize your papers:
- Gather all of your papers together into one big pile. Seriously. Grab an empty bankers box, a reusable shopping bag, even a laundry basket, whatever you have, and go around the house collecting all of your piles.
- Sort your papers into four simple categories:
- Throw away
- Keep for files
- Take immediate action (put all of your tax-related documents in this pile!)
- After your throw away and shred all of the papers you no longer need, deal with your Action items. Go ahead and separate out your tax-related documents.
- Figure out the right kind of system for keeping your long-term documents. Whether this is a paper accordian file, manilla file folders in a filing cabinet, folders in a drawer, etc. – Make sure you clearly label each of your categorical files (i.e. credit card statements, health records, utilities, receipts, charitable contributions, etc.)