Every year at tax time you promise to be better organized. We’re here to help you make that resolution a reality. Getting ready for the tax deadline (April 18 this year) isn’t about rounding up receipts and files. It’s about embracing a different way to approach the piles of paperwork we all have. Creating a well-organized home office is the first step in eliminating the clutter from our lives.
Think about how your office or work space is laid out. Do you have enough room to work on your desk? Can you easily find documents and files? Decluttering your office is the best way to get organized. Purge your papers by dividing them into three categories:
Shred, File or Review
- Items to Shred – Junk mail or papers containing personal info.
- Items to File – Papers to keep for taxes or that relate to your house or car.
- Items to Review – Papers that need a response like bills to be paid.
Establish Work Zones
Once you get your papers under control, think about how you use your office. Often the layout can promote clutter build-up as soon as it is cleared. Establish work zones – desk, files, supplies, and electronics. Give items a specific place where they are kept.
Improve Your Work Flow with DIY Projects
Being the handy DIYer that you are, here are a few ideas that might improve your work flow and free up space:
- Clear your desk – Keep only what you use regularly on it.
- Box it up – Storage boxes and stackable trays keep supplies and files out of sight until needed.
- Build shelves – Organize materials up and away from desk with containers that are clearly labeled.
- Think peg board – Mount it on the wall to hold pockets and containers for supplies and papers.
- Invest in a label maker – Keep files and bins clearly marked for easy retrieval.
- Use a fold down desk – If your office is in an open area, a fold down desk will allow you to shut it away from sight.
- Closet it away – Convert a small closet into a supply/ storage area. Hide printers and other electronics in there.
- Build a mail center – Stop clutter as soon as it arrives. Hang files as you enter the room to sort mail into. Place a trash can, shredder, and recycle bin close by. Go through each hanging file weekly.
- Paint – Brightly colored walls energize an office and help stimulate your creative juices. Coordinate your filing cabinets with a new fun color.
Go Green with Electronic Bill Pay and Storage
Think about revising your filing system. By going green and keeping copies of your bills and important papers electronically, you eliminate the hassle of filing papers. You will still need to back up your computer files monthly, to a separate hard drive for security or possibly to a cloud storage.
Designate a Tax Area in Your Office
Get in the habit of putting all tax papers in an ongoing file bin as they come in. You will only have to sort through them when you are ready to begin tax preparation. Designate an area in your office for tax file storage, either in its own filing drawer or a hanging file box.
No Stress Tax Time
Say goodbye to those endless searches for lost tax forms! A fully functioning office saves you time and money. Reorganizing your home office will keep you prepared for tax time and make April another glorious spring month on the calendar.
From drills and circular saws to nail guns and belt sanders, our expert staff is always on hand to help you find the right equipment to reorganize and redesign your home office. Want to build some unique shelves for your office? Here is a project from our blog, How to Make a DIY Wood Palette Shelf in 5 Easy Steps,that you may want to try. As always, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.