Organizing Papers

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Okay. Who is ready to get their papers organized? In today’s post I’m going to teach you exactly what I do with my papers because it is an easy system that anyone can use to stay organized. 

If you do these things you will be able to eliminate that pile of mail. The bills will get filed right away. When papers come home from school you will know exactly what to do with them so they are not left sitting on the counter or other places that drive you crazy.

I’m going to tell you how I have my papers organized and then I’m going to teach you how you can do this for yourself. When I say papers I mean all the papers. The bills and statements. Family documents. School papers.

I don’t use file folders. I don’t use a file cabinet. I used to do that until I switched to binders. 

What I do is I have black 3-ringed binders. I have a different one for each category. When papers come into the house I decide if I need to save them or not. If I need to save them, I immediately put them in the binder where they go.

This is key, the immediate part.

Because what happens when you set one paper on the sideboard or on the counter to put away later? It becomes two. Then it’s a pile. 

And when that happens you don’t even want to put the papers away because it feels overwhelming.

When you feel overwhelmed, you don’t put the papers away and the pile gets bigger.

Can you see the cycle?

This is why I put away my mail everyday

I used to have a Mail Day and I would save my mail for this one day a week. But some weeks there wouldn’t be very much mail and so I would tell myself it would be okay if I did it next week.

But then next week the pile would be too big and I didn’t feel like doing it. 

I didn’t have enough time.

I didn’t have the money to pay the bills.

There was always an excuse.

I realized I was doing this to myself and that if I always put away the mail everyday it would only take me about 3 minutes or less and I would never have a pile.

I could eliminate the overwhelm.

I could eliminate the pile.

I would be organized.

My bills would be on time.

So, when I say to put away your papers immediately, this is what I want you to avoid.

Are you ready to set up your own binder system?

step one| categories

The first thing you want to do is to organize your papers into categories. This might already be done for you for the most part if you have a file system already established.

I have five categories: Home + Auto, Bank + Income, Utilities, Financed, and Medical + Family.

Through the years I have found that this is what works for my family. When you organize your papers, if you find you have other needs than I have, create what works for you.

step two| folders

Once you have your categories established, you will know how many binders you need. I use one binder for each category.

Then you can use folders in your binders to further organize the categories.

So, for instance, in my Home + Auto binder I have all the papers from my home + auto insurance because they are with the same company. Those are in one folder.

I have another folder for my house statements. I have another folder for our vehicles and maintenance information.

When I get papers in the mail, I know exactly where to put them, and it’s EASY to put them away. All I have to do is to pull out the binder and put the paper in the folder. DONE.

This is super self explanatory. The Bank + Income binder has bank statements and information from Sky’s workplace, and retirement. We previously kept his pay stubs in here, but they are all digital now.

The Utilities binder has all of our utilities company information and statements.

The Financed binder has the school loan and if you have credit cards those would go here also.

The Medical + Family binder has all the information for each member of the family. I have some kids with allergies and that information is in here. 

You can make copies of their insurance cards and put them in here so when you are on the phone you aren’t digging around in your purse for them. I also keep eye prescriptions in here.

If you have a lot of medical bills or on-going care, you might consider creating two separate binders. One for Medical and another for Family.

step three| important documents

I know you are wondering about the tax documents. About the social security cards. The Titles. 

I keep all of those things in a different place, locked in a fire proof safe.

I like to have a process be super simple and easy to use, so I only use the binders for the papers that I use on a monthly/daily basis.

Besides, IF something should happen, it’s good to have that peace of mind to know that the really important papers are going to be okay.

FINAL TIPS

Okay, I want to go over some final tips for you.

It’s really good to be consistent. Get the mail at the same time every day. As soon as it comes into the house, open it and put it away. Trash it or file it.

Pay attention to your mindset. You want this to be easy. Even if you have a lot of credit card debt or medical bills. Before you sit down to pay your bills, think about how you are feeling.

Think about what your money is doing FOR you. This is what I did when I had a bunch of medical bills from having Frankie. I had to remind myself that I was glad to pay for the best service. That I was glad that I didn’t have to share a room. That I wanted to be able to send her to the nursery so I could rest. That because we were so well taken care of, we didn’t get sick. That we had an amazing birthing experience that, really, was priceless. Of course I wanted to pay my bills.

Even if it’s something ongoing like your electric bill or your water bill. Instead of feeling like you don’t have enough money to pay it, change your mindset.

Because really, it’s all a choice. You could not pay it. You could decide to not have electricity or water.

We have to remind ourselves WHY we want to pay for things. 

And when you want to pay for it, that is when you have an abundant mindset.

That is  when the money will flow through you and come back to you.

But you have to believe that what you have right now is enough.

And it totally is, no matter how much or how little you have.

Okay, if you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment so I can help you!

Also! if you want to see photos of how I have this organized, come see me on Instagram!


Hey! Did you know you can listen to this blog post? Click play below.