what to keep – what to throw away

I always want to throw anything away that I can (get away with). And with tax season here – and thankfully almost gone – it’s the time of year that Tyler and I do some spring cleaning to all of our papers and files.

Before you panic, I know that it’s actually important to keep certain papers. Here’s a helpful article that I hope helps you too know what to keep (and how long to keep it).

Believe me, I have a countdown – counting the days until I can throw it away!

PS I think this article either came from Real Simple or Martha Stewart Living… I do want to give credit to whom credit is due, but I just cannot remember… (I bet I threw away the rest of the information;)

Step #2: Hang onto what you must.
You will, however, need to hold onto those final credit-card statements, along with your W-2s and 1099s, for at least three years and, preferably, for seven. The Internal Revenue Service has up to three years from the date you file your tax return to examine it for errors and as long as six years to conduct an audit if there’s reason to suspect you underreported your gross income by 25 percent or more. (There is no statute of limitations for anyone who has deliberately committed fraud.) Indeed, you’ll need to keep any paperwork that supports your return until that audit window closes.

Among the additional documents you should retain: canceled checks and receipts for all deductible business expenses (such as those for entertainment, home-office equipment, and professional dues), retirement-account contributions, charitable donations, child-care bills, out-of-pocket medical expenses, alimony, and mortgage-interest and property-tax payments.

Unless you’ve knowingly submitted a false return, you can toss these supporting documents after three to seven years, depending on how straightforward your tax situation is.

But don’t throw out the actual tax returns or the year-end summaries of your investment accounts, even after the chances of an audit have all but vanished. These documents don’t take up much space and can come in very handy for future financial planning.

For insurance purposes, you’ll also want to keep receipts for major purchases and receipts that show how much you’ve paid for home improvements indefinitely, both to satisfy potential buyers and to reduce possible capital-gains taxes when you sell your home. True, these records are not as important as they once were because of recent changes in the law that exempt from taxation the first $500,000 in profits from the sale of a home ($250,000 for singles), but they may still come in handy. It is crucially important to keep the confirmation slips that show beneficiary designations and the purchase price of stocks, mutual funds, and any other investments you hold; hang onto these records indefinitely because some day, says Slott, “you or your heirs will have to know exactly how much you paid to determine the profit on your investment for tax purposes.”

October is for Organization – Update!

I know you were wondering about how I would get anything done on that list. I was almost certain none of it would get done. I am not usually this pessimistic, but sometimes I just get so overwhelmed.
Maybe October really is for overwhelmed.
However, thanks to my precious husband – I cannot get hardly anything done (well) without him – we have accomplished some of my list.

Ok – here’s the list from the beginning of October.

1. Clean out the downstairs closet.

2. Figure out where to put the downstairs closet’s possessions. It cannot go back into the closet.

3. Paint the walls. I’m not sure if I personally will paint the walls…

4. Hang picture frames.

5. Iron the drapes. I will personally do  this, please be proud.

6. Hang the rods – slide on the drapes.

7. Search on craigslist for two dining chairs. Hopefully purchase chairs for an amazingly inexpensive price and not even have to paint the chairs.

8. Paint the dining table and four chairs.

9. Create a very efficient office space for Tyler and me.

10. Help the person who will live in the downstairs bedroom move in.

Here’s what actually happened…

1. I rearranged the same stuff in the downstairs closet and probably added some more stuff from other rooms.

2. Well it didn’t go back – it’s just still in there.

3. We have to wait on a rug to paint. We had to wait on the fair to wait on the rug – because we want to buy a rug for a GREAT GREAT price at the fairgrounds and the NC State fair was going on – so NOVEMBER 14TH is a very big day – when Tyler and I will travel to the fair grounds’s flea market to look for a rug – and PRAY we find the perfect 8×10 rug!

4. Since the walls are not painted, the pictures are not hung.

5. The DRAPES ARE IRONED! YAY!!!!!!!!

6. AND HUNG – Seriously, I think this is the first thing from this list that has gotten done! But don’t stop reading, Tyler and I did accomplish a few more ‘to-dos’.

7. Instead of two dining chairs, the Lord gave us a BIGGER table with MORE chairs – I am so excited! We now have six chairs and a solid wood table that extends to 102″ – so big! I cannot wait to sit all of my family and friends around this table.

8. So the table and chairs are not yet painted – because we are waiting for the rug. Everything hangs on the rug.

9. For the efficient space, we have purchased a desk for $70.00 off of raleigh.craigslist.org and set the desk in its place. But that’s about as far as we have gotten.

10. The person is not moving in – but, we did have someone come to visit us the last weekend of October, so for her visit, we purchased a twin trundle bed – on a deal! bedding – on gooood sale!, and a big white bathroom rug – on sale, of course!

So now, Tyler and I still have lots to do, and the hilarious thing is, we have some wonderful company coming at the beginning of December – and for them, here’s the hilarious part, I would love to finish the October To Do List as well as the items scheduled for November – maybe November is for “you are crazy!”

 

October is for Organization

october 09 calendar

October’s Organization To Do List =

1. Clean out the downstairs closet.

2. Figure out where to put the downstairs closet’s possessions. It cannot go back into the closet.

3. Paint the walls. I’m not sure if I personally will paint the walls…

4. Hang picture frames.

5. Iron the drapes. I will personally do  this, please be proud.

6. Hang the rods – slide on the drapes.

7. Search on craigslist for two dining chairs. Hopefully purchase chairs for an amazingly inexpensive price and not even have to paint the chairs.

8. Paint the dining table and four chairs.

9. Create a very efficient office space for Tyler and me.

10. Help the person who will live in the downstairs bedroom move in.

There may not be much time for reading (or blogging) with this long list of to dos. And looking over the list, I am slightly overwhelmed (another O word for October). I will let you know how it goes, maybe with pictures.

{calendar credit: http://www.papercandyinvites.com/ and http://nancyrayblog.com}