To consolidate objects simply means to gather them together into a more manageable arrangement. For example, before cleaning the carpet, you would consolidate your furniture in one corner; before changing the oil in an automobile, you would consolidate the tools needed. Likewise, before making a family budget you should consolidate family data, and before filing taxes you should consolidate your past year’s tax information. Since most financial data are recorded on papers that easily may be lost, it’s a great idea to establish a filing location to hold financial papers. The filing location can be simply an unused drawer or even an old box in a closet corner—the only important thing is to remember to use it.