Getting Started on the New Year



Time to Organize

Monday, December 31, 2012

I love New Year’s Day! If I am not traveling somewhere it is my favorite time to organize for the upcoming year by closing out the past year and setting up for the new one. I like to be completely ready for the next year of living. The fact that most businesses are closed, the phones aren’t ringing to interrupt or impede work, and everyone is just doing their own thing is a huge bonus. Here are a few things I take care of on January 1.

1. I like to clear my home office of paperwork. Whether you have a business or it’s just your family paperwork, this works for both. I go through my paid bills and invoices and sort them into envelopes by category. I have about half a dozen large 10”x13” envelopes labeled with such category titles as:

  1. Utilities – holds all the bills I pay such as electric, gas, Internet…
  2. Medical – holds medical and dental bills plus insurance-claim forms sent 
  3. Retail – anything I bought in a store/online and need to keep the receipt for
  4. Vendors – people or companies I hired for various services
  5. Travel – expenses from any trips I took
  6. Credit Cards – all credit card bills
  7. Banking – statements and bank records I plan to keep

2. I put all tax-related donation receipts on a written list. Throughout the yearm I collect receipts and place them in a file called “Tax-related Current Year.” At the end of the year, like now, I list them all out for my upcoming tax returns. After I have made this list, I move them to the other file I have called “Tax-related Past Year” and now the ‘current year file’ is ready for the next year. (I keep the past-year items in the ‘past-year file’ until after my taxes are filed, and then put them in another envelope and file along with the other envelopes full of receipts in a banker box in the attic.

3. I update and print out my entire accounting record for the year. If you aren’t using some sort of bookkeeping program then this step will most likely need to be done by hand. That is time-consuming if you are not one to manage your accounts regularly. If you do this all online then you can accomplish the same by printing out a report, or perhaps you have an accountant or bookkeeper do this for you.

4. I sort through files that are finance-related, and sometimes others, and purge anything no longer needed.

5. I clean up my desk. There is nothing quite like starting with a clean slate, and a clean and cleared-off desk is just that.

6. I look over last year’s goals and intentions and see where I ended up, from where I started last year. I reassess what worked, what didn’t, and where I want to go from here. I compose an updated list of Intentions and Goals for the New Year.

7. Time allowing, I work in a project or craft and watch movies at the end of the day, and take it easy the rest of the night too.

Happy “Getting Started On The” New Year to You!