Five Simple Ways to Get Organized and Stay Organized

You already know that Shoeboxed helps you keep your online receipts organized and your e-mail inbox free from the annoying clutter of spam and advertisements. But as I have learned over the years, there is actually more to life than just the Internet. For this reason, I made a list of a few easy habits that can help you stay organized in all aspects of life.

  1. Reduce before you organize. One of the main reasons that people get unorganized is that they just have too much stuff. Since it is much easier to organize 10 things than 100, it’s a good idea to toss out all the items that you don’t need before you start actually organizing. Recycle papers when you can’t remember what they refer to, give old clothes to charity when they don’t fit any longer, and then start organizing that desk or closet.
  2. Everything in its right place. Assign specific places for everything, and then make sure to always return items to those places. It’ll be a lot easier to find your sunglasses if you always put them in their “home” rather than just tossing them onto the table somewhere.
  3. Take care of things now. Small messes are easier to manage than large ones, so get rid of the “I’ll do it later” mentality and start putting things away right when you’re done with them. That way they won’t build up and leave you with an unmanageable mess on your hands.
  4. Write it down. I have personally perfected the talent of forgetting very important pieces of information until just after they are useful, at which point they miraculously come back. To keep this from happening to you, I recommend keeping a calendar or notepad with you and writing down important events as they arise. It is also not a bad idea to periodically go through your notebook and prioritize the things you have written down so you do not get bogged down by unnecessary tasks.
  5. Make a system. It is not enough to just clean everything up once—clutter always has a way of coming back. Make a system to stay ahead of the mess. Have a cleaning schedule where you do a little bit every day, have a set method for approaching your paperwork, and put your kids to work. Okay, that last one may not be serious, but it doesn’t hurt to have kids learn the basics of staying organized at a young age.

Organize Receipts for your Future

Most people remember their transition into adulthood. One day your parents sat you down and told you that they believed you were ready for financial independence. (Parents use many variations of the phrase “You’re ready for financial independence,” but they all have the same underlying meaning: “We’re tired of supporting you. Now you can start supporting us.”) Regardless of how it was conveyed, this conversation officially made you a grownup. No more sitting at the kids table. Kids dream about adulthood for years: the freedom, the opportunities, not having a bedtime. The most exciting part of adulthood for me, though, was always the thought of doing taxes. Okay, that may or may not be a lie. Not too many little kids dream about doing taxes when they’re older, but we all have to do them anyway. Luckily, there is a ton of material offering advice on how to do them, and how to do them right.

One of the most prolific tax tips is that you should stay on top of receipt organization. When it comes time to deal with everyone’s favorite Revenue Service, it pays to have spent some time getting your receipts organized and categorized. The advent of online receipts has made matters a bit more complicated, though. Many of those tax tipsters say that you should go through your e-mail inbox and individually print out the receipts for everything you’ve bought online, and then file those receipts with the rest of your paper receipts. This process sounds like something less than fun, though, and it also takes a lot of time. Fortunately, Shoeboxed is here to ease your pain during tax season, automatically keeping all of your online receipts organized in one place, marked by date, with separate categories that you have created. It’s the same idea as putting all your physical receipts into files (or shoeboxes, perhaps?), but most of the filing has been done for you. Organizing online receipts has never been simpler. Now, we just have to figure out a way to get rid of those pesky paper receipts, and then doing taxes might actually be something to look forward to.

Shoeboxed Featured in Zitty Magazine

Shoeboxed Featured in Zitty

Wednesday was an exciting day for us, as Zitty Magazine, a publication focusing on the city of Berlin, featured the Shoeboxed team in its latest edition.

Once we confirmed that we had made it in to this edition, Taylor and I went down the street to a place that sells magazines and bought all the Zittys. I made Taylor translate it right there in front of the store as passersby gave us some weird looks. Giddy Americans frantically translating a magazine that shouldn’t be that exciting.

Anyway, we are really happy with the story that Christoph Koch wrote about us. He was very interested in the fact that American students chose to come to Berlin instead of taking consulting internships in the States, which pay a lot more than they do in Germany.

He also focused a lot on describing the apartment where we live, and how we have so many people here. And even though our apartment can get messy sometimes, Christoph said that we are probably the most productive apartment in the city.  I wouldn’t argue with that.

I’ll keep you updated on our press coverage, so you can see how journalists are reacting to our idea and team.