Organizing/Storage Of Bills, Important Papers, Etc.~ Need Help PLEASE!

Updated on July 21, 2010
K.H. asks from Denton, TX
7 answers

Hi Mamas,

What do you use to organzie your paid bills, important papers, etc. I don't have a good system in place for these things. What helps you keep organzied? With two kids now, I need help before the papers get out of control. Thanks!

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answers from Hartford on

Get rid of all the paper, it consumes you. File the important things like taxes and receipts, warranties ect. Do the bulk of your bills online. I have saved my self so much time, aggravation and late fees by setting everything up through my bank. As soon as I get a bill I pay it online and can schedule it for the due date, then I shred the paper and it's done and gone. No more missing a payment because it fell behind the desk or someone used it for scrap paper and threw it away. Once you get in a routine, sign up for automatic withdrawal on any of the bills that are consistently the same amount like car insurance, student loans and such. I keep our birth cert, social security cards, and anything like that in a safe. I use to have file folders full of all my paid bills with the check numbers and it was overwhelming. Now the bank website takes care of my confirmation #'s and I can reference it anytime I need too. Free yourself and get rid of all the paper, have a nice bonfire. :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We have 2, 4 drawer filing cabinets. 1 for personal & 1 for our company. These are located in our office downstairs that houses the wireless printer, etc. We prefer to work in the kitchen area.

PERSONAL cabinet: The top drawer is most important with banking info, investment info, passports, etc. Drawer 2 is medical, Home Depot, Best Buy, receipts/warranties for appliances, gadgets, daughter's most important tests, Drawer 3 is continuation of Drawer 2 Drawer 4 is all IRS.

I keep old bank statements, utilities etc for the year separated in a clear gallon ziploc bag in a file box until time to shred. I shred about twice a year.

I do keep super important papers such as Birth Certificates, car titles, Social Security cards, Savings Bonds, etc in the safe which is bolted to the foundation in a safe area.

In the meantime, I have 2, 3 drawer little plastic Sterlite sets in my pantry (huge pantry) for filing right away. When a Sterlite drawer is full, I fil in the cabinets. I have total of 6 drawers, 1-Investments, 2-Misc receipts/info, 1 banking, 1-taxes, 1-insurance/etc

I file daily in my sterlite drawers when the mail runs. I love these little drawers. I have 6 more drawers in the pantry that have paper and school supplies.

BUSINESS: Since we also work from home and I use the kitchen table for my latop and business. I have a tote file with hanging folders for my company work. The last file in the tote has a color coded plastic enclosed folder where I put incoming personall bills. I keep a tablet in that folder and as any bill comes in, I either pay it right away or put it on the schedule in my tablet.

For company business, I have a folder for my weekly receipts for 1- expense reports, 1- Accounts Payable, 1- checks, envelopes, labels, deposit slips 1-things that are ready to file in the office. I carry the tote to my room or office to try to keep the area tidy. The tote has all my daily work, ledgers, etc in it.

I'm also President of the cheer boosters and a lot of paperwork for that as well. That is kept in a separate plastic see through bin and when I work on cheer, everything cheer is in that bin.

Hopefully not too longwinded here but I am known for details and knowing exactly where to locate a receipt or paper we need. Our CPA loves me, LOL

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

YOU have to find a system that works for you. And it looks like you have several good ideas already.

The first suggestion I would say is to go electronic if you can. My husband is a computer geek and feels that with today's technology most info is secure. We do probably 90% of stuff online through our bank. Then set it up to have bills sent to you electronically which will dramatically cut down on the amount of paper!

Immediately I have a 'mail basket' that is just a little flat oval basket that goes up in one of the cabinets. Everything gets thrown in the basket so it's off my counter once a week (if I have time) or once every other week I sit down and go through it.

I have an accordion file that is A-Z. Every month when I pay bills I fill according to what makes sense for me. A-American Express,
B-Bank, C-Charity/Cable, D-Doctor, I-Insurance/investment, etc.
Since I handle all the household paperwork, it's filed in a way I know how to find it. *My dear sweet husband recently was looking for something and I told him it was under I-for Insurance and he asked why NOT A-for American Family, because he normally doesn't do anything with the paper!

At the end of the year, I pull everything one letter at a time. Shred what we no longer need and then staple/paperclip the rest by category/business. I then put all of that year together in a file pocket, label the outside 2008 or whatever. Then have those banker's boxes that I will put the files into.

For immediate 'paper work' especially with kids in school. I have a decorative 'file holder' that sits on my desk in the kitchen. Each child has their own file. Everything for a school year goes into that file (well anything important). Again at the end of the school year, weed out what we really don't need and paper clip the rest.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I dont have a lot, so I just got a file box... it looks like a tool box, but has racks for files to hang. very convenient, doesn't take up much room, and it's portable (so if you want to cart it into the kitchen table to go through papers...)



answers from Honolulu on

You need, a file cabinet.
Or file boxes.


answers from San Francisco on

A filling cabinet with two or more drawers to hang folders in. Label them any way you want but just so you know what's in each folder. Some of my folders only have a few things in them and others, like my "manual" folder are bloated. (I save all the manuals for anything we buy in this folder. I go through it every couple of years and get rid of manuals for items we no longer own.) I have my two drawer filing cabinet right next to my computer desk and my wireless printer sits on top of it.

We have a separate folder for receipts, home phone bills, cell phone bills, water bills and trash bills. Each of our cars have a folder so whenever work is done on a car, the paperwork goes into their respective folders. Each member of the family has a folder for medical paperwork. There is a folder that I just labeled "IMPORTANT" and we keep our birth certificates, passports and marriage licence and SS cards in there.

I could go on and on but you get the picture. Just sit down with your pile of papers and start organizing them into piles. Like meets like. Then when you have your piles, shove each pile into a folder with a label and stick it in your cabinet.



answers from Phoenix on

I have a one drawer file cabinet and I file everythign away in order in there. Then after I do taxes for the year I move those into a file box that gets stored in the closet for 2 years then moves up to the attic. It keeps everything organized by year and catagory and I keep in the closet because there have been times i have needed to look into them, I never box up important papers that I may need though, they stay in the file cabnet like home warranty or manuals and such. Hope this helps. You can get a pretty imexspensive 2 drawer filke cabnet at target and I buy the file boxes at Costco (they come in a 4 pack)

Oh and to add, every time I do bills i file away all the papers that are on the desk, so they may pile up for a week but then I take a good 30 min - 1 hr and sit down and organize everything while paying bills. When its filed I know its paid and done.

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