Because I’m cleaning.
Oh, not earlier this week, or last week either. I hardly came out of my office while I worked on my edits. But once I got them off my desk, I had to wade into the no-mans land of paperwork in order to dig up the receipts the accountant needed to file our taxes (up here in Canada, they’re due April 30th, so we have a couple weeks yet.)
Frankly, I thought I’d done that back in March when I gathered all the paperwork I thought he needed (receipts for promotions, the bills for my website and its updates, memberships etc.) I’d made a lovely folder and organized them all, even printed off a nifty reports listing and totaling all the categories. Then I got a call right before I left for that week away.
“You’re a small business now, you can write off a portion of your house/mortgage interest payment/property taxes, heat, hydro, etc. etc.,” he said.
Oh, all right, I’d heard from others that ‘could’ write them off when I was gathering my receipts but when Gizmo Guy worked from home in the early years of this decade, the accountant told us we couldn’t write those things off. Apparently my situation is different and yes, he needed all the receipts for 2009.
Gizmo Guy deals with budgets worth millions and keeps his work desk clean and orderly. (Honest, I’ve seen his desk.) And when I was working in an office, I was very organized too. So why is it our personal bills/statements tend to accumulate in a large pile on the dining room table, our two desks, and assorted coffee tables? And from there, when they threaten to fall on the floor (or when company is coming) I shove them in grocery bags, shove them in a corner of the office, and promise to deal with them “soon.” (Most of our bills come out of the bank automatically–it’s not that they’re not getting paid by being shoved away. These are the statements.)
It didn’t turn out to be as bad as I thought it would be. (Except for minor panic when I couldn’t find the gas and hydro bills and realized I get them online, so it was merely a matter of printing out what I needed.) I’ve finally managed to clear out one of the desk drawers GG had filled with paperwork from 2002-2005 which freed up a lot of space for me. I’ve divided this year’s receipts from the previous years and have set up a nice little filing system so I should be able to keep track of the future years’ taxes. I also have a trash bag filled with shredded papers and another large box of papers waiting to be shredded. Not to mention all the paper that can go out for recycling. Best of all? I can see the top of my desks again (yes, that’s right I have two desks–one for writing, one for the business side of things.)
It felt pretty darned good to get rid of all that paper. In fact it inspired me so much I’ve given Guitar Hero and Curly an assignment — to clean out all the junk in the garage/crawl space/basement and hold a garage sale in a couple weeks. They get to keep the proceeds — I’m hoping that inspires them to work harder to find things. Then again it could backfire and they’ll sell stuff I want to keep.
So tell me, do you spring clean? Or do you keep your house uber-clean all year around? (something I just can’t imagine) Do you haunt yard-sales? Find any good stuff at one?