The New Year is always a great time to take stock of things and look ahead. If you have a home-based business, that can also mean looking around you. Often, home offices get disorganized and cluttered over time and the best solution for this is to use your shredder and/or recycling bin judiciously. Here are a few tips for clearing out that old paperwork from your home office.
Know what to Keep – The IRS, along with perhaps your state authorities, requires record retention on certain things. A lot of what it requires is in your QuickBooks file (or accounting records), but make sure you understand what you can safely get rid of. If in doubt, consult your accounting professional.
Shred the Evidence – Well not really, but any paper record eligible for tossing that appears to be sensitive should be shredded. These would include things that show account numbers or other private information. A general rule is: if you’re in doubt about whether it’s sensitive or not, shred it! Everything else can go off to the recycle bin.
Box up the Old – For the things that must be retained, do you have to retain them in your home office? Most of the things you are required to keep can be boxed up and put away. You can use those cardboard file boxes available from office supply stores to organize those. Find a home somewhere and get them out of your working space.
A clear, clutter free home office is a great way to start off the year and get your home based business moving toward what lies ahead.