Paper

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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Reducing Your Pile Of Mail

Mail / Paper / Physical Clutter / 

I have previously written about how to greatly reduce your pile of snail mail by opening the envelopes, removing the fluff, and unfolding the important papers.  (See Honey, I Shrunk the Mail.) In that organizing tip, I coined the term “paper thickness”.  A single piece of paper is one paper thickness.  A piece of paper folded in thirds, such as when inserted into a business envelope, is three paper thicknesses – three times as thick as when it is unfolded.  An envelope is two…

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Why Have A File Cabinet?

I didn’t always own a file cabinet.  During my 25-year business career, I always had multiple file cabinets in my office, but I never even considered owning one at home.  I viewed file cabinets as clunky metal things that didn’t fit into any type of home décor. A few years before I left Corporate America , my supervisor worked with an efficiency expert who got all her papers in order.  She was so impressed that she authorized all of her direct…

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Use What You Have

Lots of times we hold on to something “just in case”.  We may not have a use for it now, but we can imagine it coming in handy at some point in the future.  While this is not a bad plan, it gets out of control when we use that excuse to hold on to too many things, or things that are big and take up a lot of space. I’ve started a new policy of using up my “just…

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