- Days left
As much as I love and adore the Christmas season, with every sparkly light and gaily-wrapped gift the time I think of as organizing season comes ever closer. With the end of the year comes W2s, filing, a mess of receipts and never-opened bank statements. How will it all get organized in time?

This year, though, we're starting early. It's not because I got hit by a virtuous bug; no, it's because my five-year-old son has been struggling with behavioral issues in school and his developmental pediatrician has prescribed order. Not only will we have to simplify the playroom, but also my prodigious piles of paper and digital media.

We need help. As luck would have it, this week a friend-of-a-friend decided that it was her destiny to start an organization business. She's a whiz at it, and met with me for an hour yesterday. I thought her philosophy was brilliant, and I'll share it with you.

Laura said that, in order to truly organize your life (and make it stick) you need three things:
  1. A major upheaval. For most people, it's a move, a serious life change (starting a family, sending a child to college, a divorce), or a calamity. For us, it was a crisis of the psychological kind. But silver linings abound, right?
  2. A commitment to the process of change. If you can't bear to get rid of that t-shirt from the 1996 Olympics that you've never worn, not once, it's not going to work.
  3. A good marketing plan. You've got to convince all your stakeholders (a.k.a. your family) why their life is going to be vastly better!
It may take a crisis to get me to put all the toys in bins and open my bank statements when I get the mail each day, but by golly, it will change my life, and it will give my son the tools he needs to survive elementary school. And that's something.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

How Financial Planners go Grocery Shopping

Learn to shop smart and save.

View Course »

Advice for Recent College Grads

Prepare yourself for the "real world".

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Top 5 Reasons to Adjust Your W-4 Withholding

Common lifestyle changes, like getting a job or getting married, can change your tax liability. To avoid being caught off guard by an unexpected tax bill or huge tax refund, you'll need to adjust your withholdings on your paycheck.

Does Everyone Need to File an Income Tax Return?

Not everyone is required to file an income tax return each year. Generally, if your total income for the year doesn't exceed the standard deduction plus one exemption and you aren't a dependent to another taxpayer, then you don't need to file a federal tax return. The amount of income that you can earn before you are required to file a tax return also depends on the type of income, your age and your filing status.

How to Write Off Sales Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) permits you to write off either your state and local income tax or sales taxes when itemizing your deductions. People who live in a state that does not impose income taxes often benefit most from this deduction. However, you might also be better off deducting sales taxes instead of income taxes if you make large purchases during the year and your total sales tax payments exceed those for state income tax. You can use either the actual sales taxes you paid or the IRS optional sales tax tables.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum