Make Paper Less Work…
Tax time often sheds light on our organization skills – or lack thereof. If you’re struggling to collect and collate multiple documents for your 2017 taxes or just wishing you had a better system, you’re not alone. The good news is, by clearing clutter and streamlining your systems, you can not only relieve your current headaches, but set the stage for a much less taxing time next year.
Here are a few ways to manage and store your tax, financial and other important paperwork:
Create a “transition place” to keep envelopes and other papers from accruing into unsightly piles around your home or getting lost.
- Bills to be paid or filed
- Recent receipts for taxes or other purposes
Once you’ve completed necessary actions, these items are ready for a permanent home.
Statements and paid bills should be out of the way – but easily accessible when you need them. You may choose to organize by month or category. Organizing by month is fast, but the only thing the documentation in each section has in common is timing. Organizing by category will allow you to group materials into headers that are easy to recognize and search.
Your current year system will allow you to find statements and other documentation quickly for tax or other purposes.
Too often, things we put away for “safe-keeping” become difficult or impossible to find. Gather all of your most important documentation in one place so you always know where to look for it.
- Birth, death, marriage certificates
- Military, citizenship or adoption papers
- Titles to autos, RVs or property
- Social Security cards
- Contracts, leases and other legal documents
Consider metal or other fire-resistant options to store items you will need for various purposes over the long-term.
Scanning and saving documents is smart, as long as you have proper security in place. Verify legitimacy of apps, store thumb drives in a safe place and make sure any sensitive information is adequately pass-coded.