Organizing Paperwork

by jessicaturner on April 22, 2011

This past weekend I organized some paperwork.

Well, organized is not the right word.

I filed paperwork in some bankers boxes.

I used to be great and organizing bills.

But somehow, I got busy and a little lazy.

After going through massive quantities of paperwork, I recommitted myself to getting organized once again.

Will you share your paperwork organization tips? Do you file bills by vendor, by month? How do you keep receipts? What about donation receipts?

I can’t wait to read your feedback.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

becca April 22, 2011 at 7:18 am

I was trying to find an image for you but I can’t find one with the searches I’m doing. Frustrating, isn’t it?!

So, we’ve used several systems in our 10 years together, but finally! One that works!

I found a file sorter thing at Best Buy at the first of the year. It’s like a little box with a clasp and a handle, when you open it’s like an accordion file with tabs. It had pre-printed categories in it, but I didn’t like the categories so I got some Post it tabs and relabeled the way I wanted.

I file by vendor. The first slot holds all the bills due upcoming.

as soon as I get the bills, I open them, staple, and then use a sharpie to write the due date at the top (so there’s no forgetting).

Then, when it’s time to pay the bills, I whip the papers out of the front and go at it. As soon as the bill is paid, I put the bill with the confirmation page I print from the computer stapled together in the slot for that vendor. It works out great. Then, when the year is over, I can just write the year on the box with a sticky note and then put it on a shelf. That way, there’s no filing everything and then emptying it in a banker box later, it’s already in its box for good. I think I paid like $7. for it.

I have a “misc.” file for receipts we need to keep and then for “big” stuff (we just bought a car in February), there’s too much paperwork to keep in my box, so I have a file in our filing cabinet for that, but how often do you buy a car or house? KWIM?

Wow, this was long. I’m passionate about organization! :)

oooh! Found one! Mine’s green and cuter, but you get the drift


Sarah K April 22, 2011 at 7:44 am

If I remember right, I think Erin at Sunny Side Up did a great post on paper organization. Me, I have stacks and piles everywhere, so I’m hardly the leading authority on this topic!!

Here’s Erin’s –


nicole April 22, 2011 at 10:09 am

I have filing cabinets. One for bills, reciepts, pay stubs etc… And one for important docs and school stuff. I have them filed by vendor. I have a box that I put everything in and then once a month I file it away. I sort my recipets by the two stores I shop the most and then I have a file for taxe write offs. It took along time to find something that worked for us. I have redone my files numerous times lol….


Sonya April 22, 2011 at 11:21 am

I have a filing cabinet where I put bills, paycheck stubs, bank info, car stuff, etc, by vendor or type. I usually go through every summer and take out anything that is over 1 year old. Every time I have stuff to be file I place it in a file sorter in the upper drawer of the filing cabinet and I try to file it in the correct place once a week.

I keep receipts in a box and try to match them with the bank statement. I balance online, but I still like the paper trail! This is one thing I have the hardest time keeping up on and right now I need to get rid of a whole bunch of old stuff!

I also keep a separate plastic file organizer that has monthly tabs for anything that is upcoming like weddings, parties, tickets, etc.

I’m thinking about changing some of my filing stuff, but that’s a summer project so I haven’t even thought much beyond changing it!


Erin R. April 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I file by grouping. For example: I have a hanging file folder for all of the household bills and then a manilla folder for each vendor. I have a hanging file for each bank account with manilla folders for account stmts, check doubles, etc. I have a hanging folder just for donations and have manilla folders within it for world vision, tithing, goodwill donations, etc. I also have a tax haning folder with manilla folders for “out of pocket medical”, and any other receipts or forms and stmts that we might need for the next tax year, that way it saves me time in getting my taxes preped. Hopefully that gives you a picture. I only keep receipts until my bank stmt has been balanced unless it is a major purchase item, writeoff item, or something that I may need to return or prove my purchase in some way. Then I file the major purchase ones in our fireproof safe, the home improve ones in their file, the tax related ones in their file, etc.

I also file my bills in order by month within their manilla folders.

I admit though, I often let it pile up and then do a big “file-athon” and then kick myself for letting it pile up.

Let me know if that didn’t make sense or if you have further questions.


Becki April 26, 2011 at 11:26 am

I file bills by vendor – grouping together credit cards, car, and house each in seperate sections in a filing cabinet. Pay stubs, 401k, and giving each have their own section as well. In a seperate drawer I keep monthly bank statements. I put receipts for each month in those envelopes. I started doing this when I only used my debit card. Now I do it with any receipt i want to keep. So, if I have to find an old receipt I just have to remember what month I bought it in. Which I can usually do. I think I might blog about this now, you’ve inspired me.


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