There is no better time than this week to set up your paper systems for 2014. Here is what I do:
- I start with an empty Bankers Box
- I pull out all my household financials (bills paid, bank statements, etc.) for 2013 and put them on one side of the box
- I pull all my (personal) receipts from 2013 and put them in a gallon zip lock bag marking it with Personal Receipts 2013 with a black sharpie and toss those in the box
- I take out my 2013 business records and put them on the other side of the box.
- I take all the papers out of my 2013 taxes bin and put them in a 10 x 13 envelope, marking it “For 2013 tax prep” – I lay this envelope on top of the other stuff in the box
- I put the lid on the box marking it “2013 Financial Records – shred in 2020” (7 years plus one for good measure)
- The box then goes under my desk until my 2013 taxes are filed.
- After my taxes are filed, the box goes to the basement for storage, pulling the “Shred in 2014” box.
This simple perpetual process keeps everything in order with minimal effort. If I drop the ball and don’t pull 2013 out now then I end up mixing 2013 with 2014 and I’ve just made myself a lot more work. If I take the time to do this now, my systems are in place and I’ve set myself up for a smooth 2014.