I always cringe when a TV show or a movie has a plot twist where one of the characters is wandering alone somewhere, just a few feet away from help, but she never realizes it and ends up having some sort of a bad thing happen to her.

I feel the same frustration when I hear people say things like “But I can’t get organized!” Yes, you can get organized, help is just around the corner! And if you are the DIY type, there is still help available, like these 5 Secrets to Organization:  

It is extremely important to set up a filing system and stick with it. Whatever it is you gain from inaction is not worth the anxiety and frustration you are certain to experience down the road. The system does not have to be a certain way – If you prefer to throw all of your receipts into an accordion file instead of neatly placing them in a file folder, that is fine. The important point is that you are able to find the records you need.

1 – Sweep your desk, your office, or your kitchen counter on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be every day, but it does have to be consistent. An unexpected bonus to having a clean work space is increased concentration!

2 – Open your mail daily. Touch it once, act on it, and get it out of your sight. Forever.

3 – I recommend getting a sturdy, cross cut shredder for you to hover over while sorting the mail, so that it is actually physically easier to dispose of the junk.

4 – Adopt the 90-10 rule. As you are sorting, throw away 90% and only keep 10%. If you are unsure of whether or not to keep something, ask yourself:

     – Do I need it?
     – Is it important, as a memory?
     – What are the reasons I’m keeping it?
     – Does the next generation really care?
    – Will they have the same sentiment attached to it?

 5 – Check your credit report once a year. We are entitled to one free credit report  from each credit reporting agency, every year. If there are mistakes, it is best to take  care of them sooner rather than later.

As they say, “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” I don’t know who “they” are, but they’ve got a point. Staying on top of your filing is the only way to avoid miserable nights during tax season. The good news is your file system can be tailored to your personality, and keeping up with it can be effortless.

Judith Heft & Associates has recently added a new team member who specializes in home office organizing. If you’ve tried everything but just can’t figure out what that file system should look like for you, contact us to talk about it!

Judith Heft, Principal, Judith Heft & Associates is a personal financial concierge with offices in Greenwich and Stamford. She can be contacted via email or by phone 203-978-1858