Junky office helpers and tax receipts

Rustic baskets on a vintage ironing board light / FunkyJunkInteriors.net

I crack me up. I told myself “I was taking Sunday off’. It ended up being one of my BIGGEST cleaning days.

Christmas needed to still come down! And enough was enough.

So tonight, I shall be rewarded with enjoying Downton Abbey in the cleanest living room in the land. More on that soon.

In the midst of all this purging goin’ on, I’ve also been diving into another massive DIY of sorts.

And that’s getting my receipts ready for tax time.

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Even a week ago I was wondering how on earth I’d find my tax receipts. This office was JAMMED with junk when I did my paint studio purge! 

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But… I did find it. And finally got to work.

That little round table is my HERO. It was propped there one year to help out with tax time, but I fell in love with it so much, it never left. It really helps keep the paperwork off the computer keyboard.

Mickey mouse mug in tiger print / While doing year end taxes. FunkyJunkInteriors.net
This is my least favourite job in the whole wide world. But it is what it is. I just pour a good hot coffee, saturate myself into the zone, and punch through it.

Cute mickey cup, huh? It’s from our recent trip to Disneyland.

Crate file folder holder / While doing year end taxes. FunkyJunkInteriors.net
This little crate happened to be the perfect size for active file folders. Now I want to play more…

AFTER taxes. Yes… I can do this…

My system is pretty simple. It’s up to me to round up the receipts with like minded statements, enter my sales on the computer (I use Account Edge for Mac), then call in a bookkeeper to enter the rest.

I then have the finalization done by a year end accountant.

In Canada, our taxes are due by the end of April. And I’m usually scrambling late into the April evenings. This year I have a head start… I’m already up to December! 🙂

But first things first! This is how I get ready…

Labelling file folders for year end taxes /  FunkyJunkInteriors.net

The pickiest and most vital thing is matching up receipts to bank statements. Monthly file folders help… but it would help even more if I dumped my purse at the end of each month! Working on it…

Sorting receipts with sticky notes for year end taxes /  FunkyJunkInteriors.net
Sticky notes help me sort things with the right statement. Now if they’d just print dates bigger, everything would be just fine.

Funny… never use to bother me. 🙂

Mac monitor on a pallet wood farmhouse styled desk /  FunkyJunkInteriors.net
When my sign biz was active, it had its own computer downstairs with the vinyl cutter. I deemed this one the work one. I rarely if ever went online on it, unless I need to email something biz related. 

I rather liked it this way. It kept me on task. Work first, then go upstairs and facebook / blog play. 

Rolling file cart with drawers /  FunkyJunkInteriors.net

If you can ever find these fabulous rolling files, get them! I landed them at Costco a few years back. What you see here is an entire year’s worth of receipts. Here’s one on Amazon that is very similar.

I REALLY like this double filed cart for upstairs maybe…

Especially handy when you create pallet wood desks with no storage. 🙂

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This time of year, the floor fills with scrunched up paper. This reminds me to burn them. I find it easier to start the fireplace with these vs. shredding small amounts of paper.

I just don’t like my shredder. It’s small and slow. I’d get a bigger shredder like this, if I got another.

The mini garbage can was found at Ikea awhile back.

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I really like my little downstairs office! When tax time is over, I’ll continue working on it to make it amazing. I’d like to extend the wall painting like the paint studio, and have designs on getting rid of the carpet with some kind of rustic, affordable flooring.

I’m thinking crate like… maybe plywood… ohhh yeah….

AFTER taxes!

Common sense does kick in every now and then… 🙂

How are you managing with your filing? Are you well into it too?

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Categories: Blogging Tips, Business, Furniture, Junk Drawer, Organizing, Reclaimed wood projects
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  1. Ugh! Tax time. I’ve got a permanent gray cloud over my head until I get ours finished at the first of each year. Great post. Organizing those receipts definitely helps when it’s time to hit the ground with them.

  2. Taxes! I guess Canada is similar to the U.S. by having to do taxes at the beginning of the year. My world just expanded! Best wishes on getting organized. It’s funny that you showed this extra table space today. Just today, I move a small collapsible TV tray next to my creative space so I didn’t have to keep putting the paper cutter away to work on something else. I was making cards and have somewhat interrupted my Heap of Change Challenge organizing, but all is well…I decided to go counterclockwise in organizing my studio instead, so I can be creative for a bit longer.

      • No, we are all waiting for our w-2 forms from our employers and other paperwork which must be to us by the end of January. Of course, banks and other institutions can take longer because they are somehow special! Anyway, our due date is April 15 for filing. Are your taxes done in such a way that you might get a refund? If so, do you usually get one? Ours will be different this year, because we got married in October! People have told us that we will be paying more in taxes, so our refund (fingers crossed that we get one) will be smaller. Also, because my wife didn’t buy the insurance coverage which we must have, we will be paying a penalty on that. If we purchased the insurance, we would have been paying more than the penalty, so we opted for the penalty. Also, the lowest coverage has a $6,000 deductible. She is healthy, so there are few check-ups. I am trying to figure out our options for 2015. The required insurance is a great idea, except for people like her. She is an adjunct professor at a community college. Because of the new requirements of the insurance program, it was decided by the college that she had to work fewer hours, because if she didn’t, they would have to pay her insurance. So, they took the cheap way out. Then, she took on another class at another local community college to keep us living at the level to which we had become accustomed. What she and I really want is for her to become full-time, which isn’t happening any time soon, as far as we can tell. So, we do what makes sense for us.

  3. procrastinating!! perfect blog post…how about a challenge to get it done…yikes!! I’ve tried quick books..too confusing for my brain…spreadsheets..as of this year I’m carrying pen/paper to auctions…little archaic.

    ours business tax is due by march 15…I have a little time

    suggestions would be appreciated! thanks for the motivation

  4. You had to say that dirty word…taxes! I have three large shoe boxes full of little bitty receipts to go through for my husband’s return. It will take me days to do it and I am dreading it!

  5. Being former IRS employees (husband 30 yrs., me 10 yrs.), we saw tax info. in shoe boxes to gunny sacks! Having 2 sideline businesses – rental & ranch property income – I’ve tried various methods starting with gathering mail, receipts, etc. from the dash of my husband’s pickup to emptying my purse once a wk. My motto…handle twice, file once, a 3 step process. (1)HANDLE-Open mail, throw envelope, (& inside envelope if you pay bills online), highlight due date & if receipt write in lg. print date/amt. on top of receipt, put in “IN” box or basket. Once a wk.(2)SORT-IN box, pay bills, match up credit card receipts, etc. & move to OUT box. (3)FILE-where YOU will find it. Favorite-3 ring binders, labeled on the outside, with plastic sleeves inside. Next favorite-folders with pockets or lg. manilla envelopes. Least favorite-file folders where everything falls out. I have an antique school desk with a lg. file drawer but also use an old dresser with small drawers for my IN & OUT. Love your rolling file, Donna, which could be made by attaching wheels to an old crate/box, which you’ve also done. My daughter during her college yrs. with many moves used sturdy plastic crates for her files. What you save paying a bookkeeper/accountant to sort/file for you, you can use to purchase organization items. After my tax return is filed, a copy & all receipts go into a labeled 3-ring binder in a fire proof file cabinet. Voila…done!

  6. So good to know that I am not the only one working on this sort of thing along with the clean-up and organizing challenges. Thanks for sharing the details of What you do along with the How and Why you do it.
    By the way, you might check out a really great shredder from HSN (the Home Shopping Network) that cuts things so fine it is confetti AND it is much less costly than the one listed on Amazon.
    Happy filing!

  7. Doing our taxes now, as well. I have used a few time savers that have helped tremendously. We have several bank accounts, business, etc. I have a large envelope marked ‘TAXES’. Through out the year, anything I will need for taxes is put into that TAX envelope once it has been taken care of.
    The second thing I do is color code with highlighters in my checkbooks. Everything highlighted in yellow is for income tax purposes (e.g.. property taxes, donations, income received, etc.), orange is for medical, pink for utilities, and so on. Then when I go back through my check book register for the year, it is easy to spot or zero in just what is needed for tax time and pass over the items like my speciality coffee purchases or groceries, etc. What use to take me weeks to get papers organized for taxes, now takes me less than an hour.
    I have also made up a simple form similar to the sequence of items listed on the tax form. Listing income, taxes withheld, interest paid (mortgages,etc), donations, and so forth. Now when I go to the tax accountant, taxes are done within 15 minutes instead of the hour or two initially. I only wish I could get the rest of my life as organized. Sigh.

  8. Ugh. I h-a-t-e tax time! But I’ve learned a long time ago that if I take the extra minute and put the tax receipts in the tax folder throughout the year it really helps when its time to get the papers together. We have an accountant that does ours, but we have to provide the receipts and papers to him in an orderly fashion. I’m with you – I’d rather be playing! I’m curious as to what your ideas are for a plywood floor????

  9. I can’t even wrap my head around it. We moved and I am sure that something we need will not be accessible. Ugh! I do really like that rolling file! My first visit here. 🙂

  10. Purging….get rid of…..trying, only it all seems to overwhelm me and I end up leaving the house! LOL. I did start on the pantry and I plan on working on through the house. Wishing you luck on yours and tax time.

  11. Great start on tax time! I have the same rolling file from Costco and I love it as well. I am just starting to blog and very interested in how you approach tax time from that perspective. There is quite a bit online about US taxes but very little about Canada and BC in particular. BTW, I’m in Cloverdale!

  12. Dreading getting my tax info together, but your post has inpired me to think, maybe I could make a day of it and have fun, with a pot of coffee, of course! Think I might set up a better system for 2016, too.