Nothing makes tax time simpler—or less expensive–than being able to quickly and easily check an organized collection of receipts to ensure you’re able to take every deduction you deserve. While deciding how to store receipts so that you can make sense of twelve months’ worth of tiny paper scraps might seem daunting, there are some simple and stylish ways to keep your receipts organized and accessible throughout the year. Here are three ideas to get you started.
1. Choose an Attractive Chest or Box—and Binder Clips
Instead of tossing receipts randomly into the little, less-than-glamorous cardboard shoebox that housed your latest pair of sneakers and hiding it in the closet, go on a hunt for a chest or wooden box that you’re proud to display. Having your container out in the open will make you more likely to stash away each day’s receipts, and binder clipping those slips together by month, provider, or other category will make retrieval a snap.
2. Consider a Portable, Expanding-Pocket Organizer
We’ve all seen shoppers using expanding organizers to keep coupons close at hand as they cruise the grocery store aisles. Because they’re so portable, those organizers are also an excellent tool for sorting receipts into categories that make sense for your life as you’re taking care of business around town—or sitting down with the family later that evening.
3. Use a Set of Fun File Folders and a Desktop File Crate
Filing receipts makes a lot of sense—but storing those records in plain manila folders in a filing cabinet makes for a system that’s hard to maintain. The folders tend get lost among all the other paperwork you need to keep, and it’s hard to make a trip to the cabinet to file receipts a daily habit. Instead, consider investing in a colorful, easily-recognized set of pre-printed monthly folders housed in a desktop crate for easy, anytime access.
Use any one of these methods to keep your receipts in order and accessible throughout the year, and make tax time a breeze.