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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money

Tax Forms, W2s, Receipts--what do I do with all this stuff?

You probably have a stack somewhere--maybe a couple of them--where you're trying to get all the forms and documents you need to do your taxes. Isn't it fun?

Right now might be a good time to actually do something about your recordkeeping system. (A system. Right. What a thought.)

Start simple, with just a couple of files or containers: one for 2007 taxes, and one for 2008 taxes (Yep, 2008 already needs a file). You can use file folders, envelopes large enough to hold 8-1/2 by 11 papers, a 3-ring binder--whatever you have that is convenient for you.

Where will you keep these? Pick a convenient spot. Do you have a desk with a file drawer? How about a simple letter holder on your kitchen counter? Or a spot on the bookcase. Just remember where you decided to put them!

Collect all of your 2007 tax documents in the 2007 file or folder. And whenever you get a receipt or statement that you'll need for your 2008 taxes, stick it in that folder. Having a designated spot for these means no frantic searching at the last minute.

Round out your system with a few other files:

  • bills to pay
  • paid bills 2008
  • bank records: debit card receipts, statements, etc.

All five of those files will take up a small amount of space, but will save you lots of time and frustration.

Would you like to know what papers and records you can toss and get out of your house? Check our website, Dealing with Clutter. You'll find guidelines for how long to keep all sorts of financial documents and other records, as well as information about other kinds of clutter.

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