Every year I find myself doing the same mad rush come a week before the new year. And every year I find myself completing the project after the new year. At least a month or two. Because let's be honest, who starts a huge project of revamping during the holiday season..and actually completes it?
At the end of every year every farmer begins scrambling receipts together, looking at numbers, and crunching them together to see what they can come up with.
For the most part our guys do a pretty decent job of getting receipts to us...most of the time. I think my sister in laws and I have all dug through wallets come December, digging in the junk piles of bedrooms, and going through farm and personal vehicles to get the last of the receipts together. But, like I said, for the most part they are really great about getting receipts to us.
For those of you who don't know me personally, which is most of you...I am extremely anal about labeling, organizing, and having a system. Always. I am also notorious for deep cleaning my kitchen and then the next day starting a ridiculously huge organizing project...my hubby just loves it. And since I have these glorious long, long counter tops I can sometimes do three or four projects at once! It's heaven!
In the last few months I have spent lots of time in our personal office, aiming for perfection. At home I do a lot of my bookwork the same as the farm, monthly, after the bank statement arrives. My hubby and I have a pretty decent system down for what works in terms of paying in cash, credit, or check..which makes book work that much easier.
Our office is filled with lots of things- all of my teaching materials, our past and current personal records, copies of past farm records, office supplies, pictures, and lots and lots of binders. I love binders. We also have lots of piles. I wish I would have thought to take a picture of this before I tackled it, I really do.
We are both very involved in the Ag community..which at times means bringing home lots of materials. I finally think I have a system he can handle. I make a really big pile through the year and then come the end of December as he is watching TV I dump it in his lap and say- "Here you go". Probably not the best way of handling it...so I gave him a new system this year. His own little filing system in the closet, to do with as he wishes as long as I don't have to see it. Perfect.
The major thing I have been tackling the last few weeks is going through old farm records, that were long before me. It seems my husband isn't quite as organized as I am, to say the least. I love him, but I need him to love the label maker as much as me sometimes. I really just needed to figure out what everything was so I could put it in its proper place. He kept excellent records, but he also had shoved a bunch of other papers in the records- so needless to say it was a bit confusing for a first time farm wife!
As farmers go, he is like many and will not throw anything out. Which is great, I just need a system. Our first year being married I asked our tax accountant how long we should be keeping records in general. Her response "If you have the space, keep them all". Well, we have the space I would say, it is just a matter of organizing and finding what works best for both of us.
So finally, or at least for this year, I think I have found a way to keep us organized for now. One thing I have learned in the last 3 years is that it is okay to change things periodically if it isn't working for us. I am just hoping that as we begin year 4 or 5 of our marriage I finally have something down that works.