Tuesday, February 21, 2012

52 Weeks of Organizing: Taming Paper Clutter

Week #3: Paper Clutter

This is a biggie! Paper clutter....since I save pretty much every receipt, bank statement, and who knows what else, we seem to accumulate an awful lot of papers, hence the paper clutter. I've pretty much gotten a system in place {it's only taken me 28 years to do it}, but even with my 4 step system, the paperwork often gets backed up and even overflows! I have narrowed it down to 4 places in our house that important paperwork can be found.

STEP 1: I keep a basket in my kitchen that holds monthly bill paying supplies. I posted about this some time ago, but you can click on this link to read more about it. This works very well for keeping me on track each month. I know exactly where all my bills to be paid are, as well as receipts for that current month {or two}.
STEP 2: Receipts, such as insurance paperwork, or things I might need only a few times a year, go in a binder which I posted about last month.
STEP 3: Once the month {or two} is over, I file papers in a photo box, file being the key word here. I used to just open the box and toss in the receipt, but over the last year, I have taken the time to label categories and file accordingly {medical, bank, household, etc.}. This makes it so much easier and saves me hours searching for a receipt when needed.

STEP 4: The final stage of my paperwork, it ends up eventually in a file box. This is where you will find yearly taxes, receipts for major purchases, and other receipts that I may or may not need throughout the year. I like knowing that I can pull a receipt from 3 years ago if I need to. This box holds 3-5 years worth of the most important receipts. Any other receipts get shredded after a few years.
I know you are thinking that is still too many places to keep receipts, but this works for me. Our receipts used to be all over the house, in different drawers and boxes, and worst of all unfiled! This 4 step system keeps our paper clutter under control, and I've saved myself so much time looking for that receipt I know I have, but can't seem to put my hands on when needed!!
I'm linking up to a bowl full of lemons for a linky party: one project at a time-hope you'll join in too!

1 comment:

Rosario said...

Like your paper file system. I think I should consolidate some of my files. I have already made it a goal to shred receipts every month. I will only keep the past three months. I only keep the ones regarding to the mortgages and line of credit. Or anything regarding our rental property. Other papers bills and receipts will get shredded.

{a day in onancock}

07.14.18 We (Peter, Glenna, Addison, & I) took a day trip to Onancock for Dawsyn's 1st Birthday party! What a gorgeous day on...