Friday, February 12, 2010

Get Crafty: Organizing, Part II

Well... progress is going as well as could be hoped given the circumstances. We had an unexpected young overnight guest, a flu bug in the house and a consequently cancelled day of Grandma babysitting (bless that woman!). So I'm not as far along with the tidying up as I'd like to be, though I really can't complain. My work area is very accessible now, if unfinished, and I'm mentally ready to be done cleaning up so I can use all the great things I've uncovered while organizing! Sort of a self-imposed craft version of "water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink."

Just to make myself feel good later when I look back to read this, here's what I've done in the past 5 days (aside from caring for the sick and other necessary but not-so-relevant tasks):

Sweaters sorted into 8 bins by color
Other fabrics sorted into 8 bins by type
Thread organized within reach at sewing area
Notions organized into magnetic desktop storage
Ribbon organized and made accessible
Shipping supplies consolidated
Packaging materials consolidated
Shipping station set up
Usable but unnecessary items set aside for donation
Unusable items recycled or thrown away
Michigan 2009 Sales Tax Return completed
MS Access database updated with all PayPal 2009 information
MS Excel Schedule C worksheet set up for 2009 tax return

And here's what I still want to do by the end of the weekend:

Sort vintage buttons (this is a biggie!)
Organize vintage trims (also a big task)
Make all the bins of supplies fit somewhere!
2009 Federal and State Tax Return and Schedule C

Today has been mainly spent dealing with tax-related issues... well, that and cleaning vomit off a couch. I've very heartened at how "easy" it has been so far. Last year, only my first year filing a Schedule C but my umpteenth year filing my own taxes, I made a Schedule C worksheet in Microsoft Excel that helps organize and calculate all the numbers that I need to know to actually fill out the form. It worked great, so this year I just made a copy of last year's worksheet, cleared out the old data but left the formulas, so this year *should* be a breeze. To actually get the raw numbers from purchases, sales, sales tax and other requisite data, I download info directly from PayPal (which I use exclusively for business) in .csv format and import it into a Microsoft Access table. No entering by hand! Then I can search, crunch and query my way to the bits and pieces I need. It helps to have some database experts around as well as the "MS Access for Dummies" book (not kidding!). It's worked well for my needs and has been very much worth the time invested in learning to use it. Even if I have someone else prepare my taxes in the future, I'd need to do this anyway and is really about 80% of the work.

I realize I've had about 5 or 6 posts now with not a picture to show for it. I'll make up for it soon, I promise!

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