The Holidays are upon us! How can this be? Just yesterday we were toasting the beginning of 2018 at midnight, and now it's almost at an end. Absolute insanity!
But, alas, time marches on, and here we stand on the brink of The Gift-Giving Season. Which leads to The Buying Stuff Season. Followed by The Returning Stuff Season. Which leads, inevitably, to The Searching For Receipts Season.
Here's a handy little tip from Perky Pollyanna Organizer (that's me) on how you can avoid the mad dash to locate the receipt for the rainbow-printed poop emoji footed pajamas that seemed like a good idea at the time, but it turned out they weren't, and now you need your $29.99 back STAT. Because: enormous credit card bill. Coming due in 30 days. And you need all the subtractions that you can possibly get on that thing, yo.
I store my receipts in two contraptions that you can obtain for about $1.50 each. One is a coupon organizer and one is a picture file.
(In the dark ages, we used to actually PRINT pictures on ACTUAL PAPER and then we stored them for later perusal. Sometimes, we even cut them out with special gadgets and taped them with lignin-free tape to lignin-free paper and put them in ACTUAL BOOKS that were 12" wide and 18" thick and we decorated the pictures and papers with little stickers and wrote cutesy captions with lignin-free pens around our printed pictures. We spent 40 bajillion dollars on these things back in the day, and we probably would have a fatter retirement fund if we hadn't been into this hobby. But, alas, the milk is spilled and there's nothing we can do about it except continue to look for space to store our gigantic scrapbooks in our houses because the faces of our children are enshrined there. Now, of course, we just let these pictures hang out in our phones for all eternity and we never actually get around to printing them. So good luck finding a picture file in a store. BUT a coupon file ought to still be attainable!)
I don't claim that this is rocket science, People. I'm just tossing this out there because maybe you haven't thought of it and it might just serve you well.
I chose these two items for two simple reasons:
1. They were compact and small enough to fit into my glove box or the door pocket of my car.
2. I already owned them and found them in a closet somewhere.
But they have worked out perfectly for this purpose. So here's what you do to avoid any hassle come time to return Colossally Bad Gift Ideas to the store from whence they came.
From this day forward, whenever you make any purchase, hold the receipt in your hand until you reach your car and immediately deposit it into the correct spot in said file. Don't shove it in the bag or in your purse or wallet. Do so if you wish, but do so at your own risk because I promise you that they will be lost to you forever if you choose this course of action! (I'm speaking from experience here, People. And you know I am an Oracle of Truth because this has happened to you, too, and you know it!) :)
I chose my categories based on where I shop most often: Target, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, and Lowe's. Then I added a category for "Clothes Stores" where I put all things from clothes or shoe stores. I also have a category for "Other Stores" which includes the post office or some random place that sells some random thing that I need to survive but which (inexplicably) Target or Walmart does not sell. This is also where I file service-related receipts for the plumber or electrician or mechanic. These categories are mostly empty files, but... it occasionally happens that I drop a receipt there. Choose your categories based on your personal spending habits. (Business expenses could be a file, for instance.)
And I file every. single. receipt. And I file them every. single. time. You may be tempted to think "I'll never return this" but I can't count the number of times I've thought that only to find, upon opening the new Super Glue bottle, that it won't unseal. Or that the grocery item was partially opened already unbeknownst to me upon purchase. Or that the flour had tiny disgusting bugs in it when I got home. Or that the whatever it is won't work the way it's supposed to and I need to swap it for one that will.
So: blah blah blah... All that just to say that I almost never toss out a receipt without filing it.
I put one of these file thingies in each car that I drive, so there is never a chance that a receipt will find its way into The Black Hole that is my wallet, purse, pocket, or glove box. That way, when I need a receipt, it's in one of two places. Every time.
So while you're out tracking down the turkey or the stuffing for your Thanksgiving meal, swing by the section of the store that sells coupon organizers and toss one in the cart! You'll thank me and bless me on December 27th when you're heading to the store with all those returns -- and your receipt is in your hand!