A lesson in organization {mail}

Let me be frank here, I’m the world’s least organized person so it seems a little silly for me to be writing this.  But tips and tricks are the key to the game, so I thought I’d throw one out for the good of the order.

Challenge: Counter-full-of-stuff and the dreaded tax preperations.
It never fails… mail, paperwork, random stuff ends up on our counter heaping full every night.  Do to the unfortunate layout of our back door leading directly into the kitchen there is no good place to put STUFF.  Hence the husband and I developed a (semi) nightly procedure to follow. And it goes something like this….

1.  Whoever gets the mail, sort the mail immediately. Personal cards and Bills are opened, envelopes and return envelopes discarded (since we do online bill pay). All bills that need to be paid go into the “inbox” on the office table.

2.  Any credit card offer or other junk mail is immediately sorted and discarded

3.  Special mailings, letters or flyers get put into our mail slot for 24 hours.  If they are still there when the next days mail arrives, they are also discarded.

4.  The inbox (theoretically) is addressed once a week.  Once bills are paid we have a 1 year bin to help track receipts and expense for tax purposes.

Being the chief preparer for all things taxes in this house, I am already finding there is at least a go to spot for receipts or bills in question.  Once the previous year’s taxes are filed, then all supporting paperwork goes into a specific tax file and retained for the recommended amount of time.

Does anyone else have a tip or system to help maintain a clear counter OR with keeping tax paperwork organized throughout the year?

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