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If there’s one time of the year that I’ve always dreaded, it’s tax season!
Even years when I know we’re going to get a refund (and, sadly, I don’t think last tax year isn’t one of them!) I drag my feet because it means my year-long struggle with disorganization finally comes to a head: months of bank statements to print out, receipts for supplies that I bought for blog purposes, and W-2s and 1099s from companies I have worked with throughout the year that are shoved in the bottom of my purse. It’s such a mess! I feel like an ostrich that hides its head in the ground during tax season.
This year I’m organizing every part of my life and my business, including my blog taxes! I decided to create a DIY “tax command center” where anything tax-related will be stored and organized for my blog, especially year-round!
And you won’t believe how cute and creative this old kitchen cart turned out as my new tax command center!
How to Repurpose a Kitchen Cart Into a Tax Command Center
Before we get into this fun tutorial, let’s start with the very first step in getting organized!
STEP 1: A Field Trip to Staples
There’s something I love about buying things to get organized! Just being surrounded by office supplies gets me excited; something about them just spews “organization,” doesn’t it? 🙂 So you can imagine my excitement for not only new folders, but for my new DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Value Pack.
I couldn’t wait to neatly label folders for receipts (by month), W-2, bank statements, etc. I also loved that the DYMO LabelWriter® 450 has:
- thermal printing technology (read: no smudging and no need to buy ink! Woo hoo!)
- comes with four LabelWriter® Label Rolls, is competitively priced, and has DYMO Label™ software
- eliminates the waste and hassle of sheet labels because you only print out what you need.
- the ability to print labels directly from text in Microsoft® Word, Excel®, Outlook®, QuickBooks® and other programs or easily print addresses from Outlook® Contacts or Mac® Address Book
- prints crystal-clear barcodes, labels, and graphics with 600 x 300 dpi resolution
In fact, the DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Value Pack is now free when you purchase 4 LabelWriter label rolls! Sweet!
So by having everything labeled neatly, the DYMO LabelWriter® 450, along with my tax command center, should help me stop procrastinating with taxes and easily gather up what I need during this dreadful season and tax seasons to come! LOL
To learn all about the DYMO LabelWriter® 450, you can read up on it here.
STEP 2: Picking an Old Kitchen Cart (or small table)
I’m infamous for buying furniture from the thrift store and then just letting it sit “abandoned” somewhere in my house or garage. This kitchen cart was no exception.
I had picked it up from my favorite thrift store a couple years ago and while I had tried to paint it this dull color (bleck!) it only became a scuffed-up, messy place to store old pictures and paint. I knew it would be perfect!
STEP 3: A Coat of Color!
My business colors for this blog is a pretty deep pink, orange, and white. This tax command center was going in my colorful basement office, so it seemed fitting to paint it print to match everything else.
I custom-mixed this shade of pink with chalked paint (with red and white), gave it two coats, and painted the edge white to make it POP!
STEP 4: Creating a Place for Files
When I first started this project, my first thought was that I would place the folders on top of the command center.
But you know how working on projects goes–sometimes the brightest ideas happen during a project, right??
And I’m so excited over my next move: to remove the wood slats on the top row and create a place for hanging file folders!
If I had foreseen this creativity, I would have created a place for hanging file folders before I painted the kitchen cart (insert face slap here).
As a result, I was left with stripes…..and…..GASP!!….I was all out of custom paint mix!
But now that I had a bunch of wooden slats, I was about to repurpose them into something cool!
After pulling out the nails, I glued two of wooden slats together for the left side, and two of them together for the right side…
…and then once they dried, I glued and nailed them on top of the striped ledge of the kitchen cart, to build “walls.”
I also ran one of the scrap wood slats through my router to create a 1/4″ groove for the hanging folders to glide.
Now that I had built “walls” with my leftover wooden slats, I was ready to attach the routed piece of wood to the top of the “wall” so that the hanging file folders could hang and slide. I used wood glue, clamps, and a nailer to attach them. This was the challenging part because I had no idea if it would work!
I needed a way to make sure the hanging file folders wouldn’t fall out the front or back, so I cut pieces of wood for the front and back and joined them with pocket joints.
Now do you see where I’m going with this? 🙂 I was surprised it worked!
Because I was out of custom-mixed paint, I had to mix a new batch (yikes!) to get everything to match! Sadly, I didn’t match it exactly so I ended up having to repaint the cart for a third coat and it ended up being more reddish than pinkish. HA! (Lesson learned: when custom-mixing paint, always mix more than you think you’ll need!).
I also glued one of the other left over wooden slats to the side and created on-board storage for envelopes and stickies (although the glue left a small gap–oops!).
I used my new LabelWriter® 450 to create labels for these supplies.
STEP 4: Embellish!
I love adding stencils to projects! So I decided to cut a stencil with my personal cutting machine for the front that says “Files”!
After everything was painted and stenciled, I added a coat of clear wax to protect the paint.
STEP 5: Printing Labels!
The DYMO LabelWriter® 450 was really easy to set up straight out of the box. It comes with a CD to install the software on your computer, PC or Mac. (TIP: Make sure you install the software first and then plug in the LabelWriter® after the software installs).
I loved how easy it was to use, although it did take me a minute to figure out what the heck I was doing! LOL
Because it comes with so many printing options, silly me forgot to change the label type, so I kept test-printing my name wrong. LOL
After a couple minutes, I figured out–genius!–I had to change the label and could print the months on two separate labels.
I plan to use these labeled folders to store all of my receipts and bank statements each month.
With everything easily labeled and each month you’re adding to the folders, it will make taxes a breeze!
Because the DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Value Pack comes with four rolls of labels, I am storing them in a cute basket underneath of the table.
Everything will be within reach to make taxes and labeling easier!
I found that little organizer/mini dresser at the thrift store a couple years ago. I painted the drawers and used my LabelWriter® to label them for stamps, mini stickies, and more!
I also added this picture frame above (just has a piece of paper behind it).
Each month I’ll have reminders what needs to be done for taxes to keep me on track.
Let’s have another look at the “BEFORE,” shall we?
Tips on Creating Your OWN Tax Command Center
Here are some tips on creating your very own tax command center if you own a business!
- Buy a DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Value Pack at Staples for all your labeling needs.
- Create folders for each month of the year, including a folder for W-2s, bank statements, etc.
- Use a small table that is designated as the “go-to” spot for your taxes.
- Create the tax command center in a place that you walk by daily, as a visual reminder. Store receipts daily or weekly.
- Keep a reminder board with a few monthly “To Dos” that you can easily see and check off.
So what do you think?!
Do you own a small business? How do you prepare for tax season so it’s not so dreadful? LOL
Leave a comment below and lets chat about it!