Mishele Vieira, Los Angeles based Certified Professional Organizer® helps business owners and individuals who are overscheduled, overwhelmed and under-organized. She founded Away With Chaos in 2002 where she provides hands on custom solutions that help people to get organized, through setting up systems, optimizing space and work flows, and letting go of things to make room for what matters most in their home, work and life. We asked her to think about tax season and the particular demands of this time. Mishele offers three key tips that should help all of us keep track of that never ending pile of papers.
1. Create a System to keep track of all the paper. As an independent contractor or small business owner, your taxes are probably a more complex than in days gone by as an employee working at a company. Rather than the “shoebox” approach, create a filing system that is unique to your specific working/tax situation. Use hanging folders to easily drop in the documents that you will accumulate for the year such as receipts, credit card and bank statements, deposit slips, 1099 and/or W-2 forms and all of the items you will use to complete your taxes. Use one folder for each category and label it clearly to avoid misfiling. Statistics show that the easier something is, the more likely it is to get done – locate the system in a file drawer in your desk, or a file box conveniently located in your home office. It will be helpful to have everything together and in one place.