4 Painless DIY Organization Tricks — What Are You Waiting for?
We love home shows where the expert comes in and gets rid of all the clutter! We know that we can do it ourself, of course. Remember those 40 brilliant organization hacks? The de-cluttering part is the critical factor, and it doesn’t have to be painful. Whether we are organizing a closet, a desk, a kitchen pantry, bathroom medicine cabinet or even a jewelry box, the principles of organization remain the same: There is a place for every thing and every thing is in its place. We can get there painlessly by taking these four steps.
Step 1: Sort. Pull out everything that will be living in this place and create piles of “like” items – we’ll call these “collections”. In a closet this might be all skirts or all hanging pants. In a jewelry box it might be all necklaces or all bracelets. On a desk it might be all post-its or all pens. You get the idea.
- Throw away anything broken. If it’s been broken for more than a year and you haven’t fixed it yet, chances are you never will. If you really must keep it, fix it now.
- Give away anything that’s not broken but is never used. If you haven’t used it in a year, chances are you never will.
- Find a new home for anything that doesn’t belong. For example, if you are storing a portable fan in your clothing closet, move it to a utility closet. This closet is for clothing.
Step 2: Create a “home” for each collection. Here’s where you get creative by repurposing boxes, bins, decorative tins and other receptacles and using them to hold collections. These organization tips from our favorite bloggers will provide inspiration for every room of your house. (We notice that our organization mavens have a place for everything!)
Step 3: Put everything in its place. Now that you have thrown away or given away things you don’t use and have created a home for everything you need, your items are pared down. Now carefully fold and store each item in its place.
Step 4: Keep everything in its place. Organization doesn’t end here. This is just the beginning. We now need to maintain our organization and it’s not difficult. The key is to get into the habit of restoring everything to its place after use. After you complete a work project, tidy up your desk. When you come home at night and take off your jewelry, put everything in its place. When you are getting ready to leave in the morning, put makeup, hair products and tools away. When you’ve completed a craft, sort and tuck away. Do a little dance. It’s a celebration — you have restored order from chaos.
Do you have an organization hack of your own to share? Tag us on Instagram @britandco. Come on — share the love!
(Photo via Getty)
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com