Having a system to keep all your receipts organized is essential for saving you time when its time to file. It is important to create a system that suits your style and space available. Some people prefer binders over files, for example, and that may be an option for you. Here are 4 tax organization tools that you could add to your tax prep and make your tax filing go smoother.
1. Mile IQ - Tracking your miles by hand is time-consuming and hard to remember when you start your drive. What I love most about Mile IQ is that it automatically starts tracking your drive when your car is in motion. You get an alert reminding you to classify your drive and you can write notes about that drive (even who you had that lunch meeting with). You get a report monthly and its very simple to generate a report for taxes. There is a free trial version and if you are ready to upgrade, here's a link for a discount. click here
2. Small File accordion - $6.99 - Keep this small accordion file in your purse for your store receipts. Prevents receipts from swimming around in your purse or getting lost and can double as a coupon holder. Helps when you need to do store returns as well.
3. Large accordion to keep all your expenses together for each year - $9.99 - Keep all tax deductible business expenses, medical receipts, and supporting documents in a large expandable accordion by category- It makes the end of the year totaling easier. Your accountant will thank you as well when you hand him everything in one accordion file, rather than a box of receipts to make sense of. Keep your tax return along with all the supporting documents in this accordion once your taxes have been filed.
4. Sorting System- $10.26 each - Paper is constantly flowing through our home. Setting up a labeled 3 station sorting systems helps keep your piles to a minimum, and a process for the paper that needs to leave your home.
This system consists of (1)Trash can (1) recycle can and (1) shredder. Sort your paper directly as it comes into your home. The more orderly your desk is the easier it will be to put your taxes in order.
Have you ever felt like you keep spinning your wheels and can’t catch up?
Like the more you try to grab traction, you just can’t?
Or have there been times in your life where you have felt heavy and unclear about your direction?
We all have!
I can remember a few times in my life where these feelings have been the strongest.
Every single time the thing that has helped me get back on track has been to de-clutter and simplify my life.
To “subtract” from my space, my life, and schedule what doesn’t make sense in it.
Alejandra Costello, Organizing guru says: “It’s like trying to build a puzzle that requires only 250 pieces but you have 500 pieces in your hands.”
The problem is we have too many pieces and some of them are the wrong ones.
No matter how you turn the pieces, they just don’t belong.
Letting go is necessary and the first step to getting organized.
You can’t organize clutter! In the end, it's still clutter.
It’s like trying to hold on to anger or resentment.
It does us no good…in fact, it is toxic.
Decluttering is important because when the clutter is removed it allows us to see, touch, and feel the beauty of life in its simplest form.
You experience more freedom, joy, and peace when you let go.
It all starts with one simple decision.
One item at a time! It’s the small successful decisions that help you build confidence to keep going.
Do you need help getting started? What are some of your roadblocks to decluttering?
This gift comes with no strings attached!
One of the things I've witnessed while helping people de-clutter is the guilt attached to letting go of a gift they don't like because a family member gifted it to them.
Do you relate? Do you ever feel obligated to keep an item even though you don't use it or love it?
Then, It ends up collecting dust in a corner or hides in a closet?
It is amazing to me how many emotions are attached to stuff! Learning to let-go is something we all need to work on, but it gets easier the more you practice it.
Sometimes we need to learn to look past the actual physical item, and think about how it relates to your life and what your goals are. If you don't use it-can you pass it on to someone else that will?
When I work with my clients I like to go through the items that don't hold so much emotional attachment for them, first. It's easier to dig deep once you remove clutter from fogging your thoughts.
I saw this post online and thought about all the gift-giving we do with the intention to make someone smile. Especially during the Christmas Season, we spend so much time putting thought into someones gift because we want to let them know how special they are in our lives.
The post read:
This certainly adds a bonus gift of freedom and relief to whomever receives the thoughtful gift, don't ya think?
I hope this encourages you and helps you to find relief in remembering that whomever gifted you an item, it was meant to bring you LOTS of joy! But, If it doesn't I'm sure they would give you their blessing, to pass it on when you are ready.
Wishing you all the love this Christmas Season!
We lead busy lives and things are not put back into their "homes" as often as we hope they do.
So here's a trick I use that helps me tidy up quickly and set things back to zero.
By using this trick I am able to manage my home like a "boss" and feel in control?
I find that this strategy works for me because everything has a "home". However, this is also a helpful strategy to discover what items are lingering in hallways because they don't have a "home".
All you need is a laundry basket and your cell phones timer.
Rather than picking up one item at a time and taking it to it's "home" in the opposite corner of the house, or worse up the stairs and down again.
Start in one room at a time and set your timer for 5-10 minutes and begin to tidy up.
Anything that does not belong in that room (small or big) put it in your laundry basket.
As you move to another room, set it for another 5-10 minutes.
Once you've corralled the items return them to their designated "homes" in one quick trip or while you are working in that room. Just be sure that you empty the basket completely at the end.
You will see how quickly you are able to put everything back in its "home". Freeing up your time to get back to what matters most!
Timers are used to help get you started.
I find that my clients have a hard time getting started and if they can push through for a specific amount of time, it helps them to realize that it is not as bad as they thought.
Music is also a helpful tool to get you started and keep you motivated.
Will you give it a try? Do you have a strategy for cleaning up daily messes that you'd like to share?
The four walls of your home are filled with daily activity and love, you are a passionate individual with goals trying to balance your career and a family.
Your house may not look like a page from Better Home & Gardens magazine, but it should be a place you look forward to come home to.
Having less stuff means less time cleaning and more time doing the stuff you love.
Here are 5 tips to help you clear the clutter and creating a happier home.
(1) Just Start!: The hardest thing when it comes to clutter is not knowing where to start.
Begin in one room, if you are doing this alone, start in a room that does not cause you so much anxiety.
This will help you build confidence and momentum.
Set your timer for 10 minutes to help you focus and push through. Grab two different color bags (Black for "donate" and white for "trash"), and begin filling the bags with items you know do not belong in your home.
At the end of the timer, reset it for another 10 minutes, if you'd like.
You'll be surprised what you can accomplish in focused increments.
(2) Section it off: Work on one section at a time, working around the room touching each item and asking yourself questions such as:
-Do I still love this?
-Will this item help me in the current season I am in?
-Do I need this?
-Is this broken? Do I have the energy and true intention to fix it?
If the answer is NO, bless someone by donating it to a charity of your choice.
(3) A home for everything: To avoid losing items and stop buying duplicates create proper homes for your items.
Sort like with like and designate where those items should live when not in use.
Once you have created homes for things it is easier to take those items back to their home at the end of the day.
(4) Create an exit strategy: Just as items come into your home, there must be a system and a plan to get the items out, so that these items don't hang out in your hallways, cause you anxiety or take up precious space in your rooms.
Designate separate boxes for items such as e-waste, HHW, donation items, and items to sell.
Be sure do designate where these boxes should "live" as well, and how often they will be emptied and acted upon.
(5) Get help: There is nothing more powerful than having an extra set of hands, a sounding board, and someone to encourage you through it.
Swap days with a friend and help each other out or hire a professional organizer to get you back on track.
Do you need help de-cluttering, schedule a FREE consultation with Elva to get the hands on support you need.
Did these tips resonate with you? What activity would you like to do with your loved ones that clutter keeps you from doing?