A Daily Dose of Tidy for the Medicine Cabinet

A Daily Dose of Tidy for the Medicine Cabinet

Do you keep supplements and/or meds in the pantry, or utility closet, or in a designated medicine cabinet in the kitchen or mudroom? Wherever they may be, chances are it is an area that becomes unruly quickly. Small bottles, awkward packaging, and measuring tools don’t rest well on shelves.

We have a few tricks for keeping the meds and supplements in good order. First we recommend separating children’s meds from adult’s, using the right containers for your shelving size, and generously applying labels. So if you have 30-minutes to  “conquer the cabinet” here is what we recommend.

We especially like these as a go-to container for the Rx cabinet (from the Container Store and Bed Bath & Beyond):

Pantry Storage

The shape, the handle and the clear plastic makes these easy to access, to view, and to label.

There are a lot of ways to categorize meds, but we find these labels apply to most:

  1. Pain Relief
  2. Allergy and Cold–don’t forget the thermometer! Also good to have measuring cups and spoons to dispense with.
  3. Digestive
  4. Supplements. If supplements are used heavily, you may want to separate by person or gender.
  5. Wound Care, such as bandages, peroxide, Neosporin, etc.
  6. Rx. We always separate the Rx bottles from the over-the counter. Depending on the situation we sometimes separate them by person. This helps you track refills and review dosage. It is good to keep a pill cutter and pill box here as well.
  7. Children’s in their own container.
  8. And don’t forget your pet meds too!

So set the thirty-minute timer, and give it a shot! Start with reviewing expiration dates and discarding any old medicines, and you will quickly be on your way to a tidy home-remedy area.

 

 

 

Paper Organization 101: Financial Files

Paper Organization 101: Financial Files

Whether you love record keeping or hate it, it is that time of year that we all have to do it; or at least, think about doing it. Pulling together tax documentation can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. There is a simple formula for keeping financial paperwork throughout the year. Here are some tips for Paper Organization 101.

Keep in mind, when we work with our clients, we customize a filing system according to the individual’s personal needs. But there are some basic guidelines we can apply to all.

In general, you can start with short-term and long-term files. Short-term means one fiscal year, and can be purged annually after taxes (with the exception of items that will help support tax filing). Here is an example of what you might find in your short-term financial files:

  • Bills to Pay
  • Paid Bills
  • Bank Statements
  • Credit Card Statements
  • Health Records
  • Health Care Accounts
  • Receipts (may be kept long-term)
  • Business Expenses if applicable
  • Income Tax Records/Deductions/Income
  • Employment Records and Resumes
  • Pet Records

For long-term files, you generally are keeping things with a life span, such as policies, home ownership documents, etc.

  • Insurance Policies
  • Investment Titles and Statements
  • Major Purchase Receipts
  • Home Improvement Documentation
  • Titles of Ownership, home, car, property ownership, etc
  • Vital Docs i.e., birth certificates, SS Cards, passports, immunization records
  • Education Records and transcripts
  • Legal records like wills, power of atty, trusts, inheritance
  • Legal docs like marriage or divorce records
  • Tax returns and supporting documents for 7 years

These basics will cover the majority of your paperwork. You will find other categories as you begin to work through your piles. We want to be sure to recommend that you scan any long-term files that you can to reduce your paper load, keep a safe copy of your important records, and shred any unwanted papers that include your identifying info.

Happy tax season!