My Organizing Blog

In Praise of Automatic Bill Pay

Have you ever felt stressed because you knew you had bills due but weren’t sure where the bills were or if you had missed the deadline?  Have you ever been charged a late fee?  Have you ever spent hours on the phone trying to straighten out a bill payment that was never received? If these sound like common occurrences in your life, I have three words for you: automatic bill pay.

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Ditching Some Tax Paperwork

Let’s assume that you dutifully filed your 2013 taxes in recent months.  You’ve got to hold on to your supporting paperwork for three years, since that is how long the federal government has if they decide to audit you.   (If that number surprises you, see my earlier post entitled “How Long Should I Keep My Personal Tax Records?”)  Most states — including my state, New York — also only have three years to audit you.   (You can check your state here.)…

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Reducing the Pain of Tax Time

Now that April 15 is safely behind us, it’s time to start thinking about how to make tax time easier next year.  I know you’d rather not think about taxes again for another 10 months, but taking a few small steps throughout the year will alleviate much of the pain. The key to simplifying tax time is to keep track of your tax-related income and expenses throughout the year.  Throwing everything into a shoe box and then trying to make…

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All That Glitters

As I have written before, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure (see my earlier post of that name).  But what happens when you inherit another man’s treasure?   If something was important to someone you loved, does it become important to you? When my mother passed away two years ago, she left behind her beloved silver-plated flatware.  Like many women of her generation, my mother believed in pulling out her fine china, tablecloths, and silver-plated flatware whenever we had company.  After everyone went home, my…

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Outliving Your Office Supplies

I got a real kick out of a recent article in the New York Times called “Let Me Count The Days“.  In this amusing piece, author James Collins takes a look at his box of 5,000 staples and realizes he will never use them all up.   His mortality is made real to him when he is forced to acknowledge that his office supplies will outlive him. A few years ago, I wrote about my mother purchasing a value-pack of Q-Tips simply…

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