Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Blue skies

How do you keep your taxable receipts? Log them in each month? Each day? Throw them all in a big pile and wait for tax time? Do you have an App that organizes them for you?

by Dietrich

Organizing receipts as I get them and keeping them by the month is a lot easier than sorting a box filled with unrecognized and somewhat faded strips of paper, especially as the clock is ticking and tax time is rushing up like a freight. And I’ve learned it’s a good idea to note any particulars on the receipts which can save a lot of head scratching later on. And no, I don’t use an App, just good old rubber bands and paper clips.

Like a lot of things in life, I’ve learned by doing – or not doing. For example, I learned to keep well-ordered receipts after showing up at my accountant’s office that one time and shaking a jumble of papers from a big envelope and getting that look and the tsk tsk tsk that went with it.

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” A. A. Milne

You could say at times I’ve been unconstrained by practicalities. It’s funny, there’s always something that seems more pressing or interesting than sorting things. Long ago, I learned it’s best to not put things off, because there’s always something else coming on the heels of the last thing. So, I’ve managed to adapt a level of organization that keeps most things running more or less smoothly. And while I’m certainly not anal about keeping things in order, there’s got to be a balance between chaos and order, a level where I don’t have that feeling like I forgot something, or where I’m asking myself if I’m losing it, or calling out, “Honey, have you seen my …”

“True stability results when presumed order and presumed disorder are balanced. A truly stable system expects the unexpected, is prepared to be disrupted, waits to be transformed.” – Tom Robbins

When I’m writing I scribble a lot of notes. These scribbles are things I don’t want to forget, things to be added in later. And I prefer to keep them in a pile instead of a file – something that’s within easy reach right on my desk, at least while I’m working on the section relating to the pile. If the pile grows to a point of threatening to topple, I might create sub-piles, and if needed, I might move some of them to the floor. To avoid a total muddle, I toss out the scribbles once I’ve incorporated them. 

So, I’ve found a happy balance between Oscar and Felix. My receipts are updated and organized, and my files and work space appear at a mid-point between neat freak and looking like a cyclone swept through it.


Paul D. Marks said...

It's good that you've found that balance, Dietrich. We veer between being very organized and disorganized. But ultimately I guess we figure it out when we need to, though sometimes it takes a while to find a particular receipt or other paperwork...

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Thanks, Paul. I feel like that, somewhere between organized and disorganized most of the time.

Terry said...

Huff! I feel like I'm doing well to simply get all the receipts in one place.

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Me too. Just a big bundle of paper held together with paper clips and a big rubber band.