In celebration of National “Get Organized” Month (GO Month), Organizers Northwest invited fans, clients and followers to send us their home or office organizational questions and challenges. Due to the number of excellent thought-provoking questions sent in, we have decided to extend the blog series into February. Check out Professional Organizer Veronica Bishop’s helpful responses and tips. Happy Organizing!
Q: Our home has a receipt problem – they’re everywhere! My wife has a small business, so she needs to keep certain things for itemization. But I feel like the receipts are everywhere, and I have no idea how to keep them organized.
A: The first question to ask yourself is where you are in the home when you are emptying your pockets, bags and purses. If you are like most people, the first point of entry is near the front or back doors. Once you have identified the premier ‘landing spot’ for organizing those incoming business receipts, set up a container for those that need to be kept for itemization. Make sure that the container is easy to get to, without a lid or a flap. If necessary, add another container upstairs near your closet or laundry room – wherever pockets are being emptied. Be sure to have wastepaper baskets easily accessible as well, for all those receipts that don’t need to be kept.
For some, adding “gather receipts” to your ‘to-do’ list will help prompt you to collect receipts and keep them from taking over your home. Another alternative is to piggyback on an already existing habit – like brushing your teeth at night – to trigger the memory that you need to do something else. Use a sticky note near your toothbrush as a reminder. Keep this up until it becomes a habit.
Check with your tax advisor for retention guidelines on receipts kept for tax purposes.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to send in their organizing questions for this special Get Organized Month blog. We hope this series has helped you to get 2014 started off on the right foot.