In this exercise, a file box with a carry-handle becomes your closet. If you don't have one, you can pick one up at any office supply store and many drugstores. If you'd prefer not to spend the money, that's okay. You can use a filing cabinet or a drawer that can accept hanging folders. My preference is for the box, though, because it's portable. If you want to pay bills on your wireless laptop while sitting outside on your back porch, you can tote the box with you. If you need to visit your accountant, you can take it along so that you'll be able to answer any of his or her questions. Once you have the box, here's what you need to do.
Get the Right Stuff
When you clean your closet, you need to have the right hangers for pants, sweaters, suits, and so forth. When you organize your finances, you need office supplies.
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- Hanging folders (Note: If you are married, get hanging folders in three different colors so that you can see quickly what's yours, what's mine, and what's ours.)
- Sharpie markers (if you have neat handwriting) or a label maker (if you don't)
- Manila folders
- Stamps and envelopes (so you're not always wasting time scrounging for postal supplies)
- Post-it notes
- Letter opener (to avoid paper cuts)
- Pens and pencils