Monday, May 9, 2011

Millions of Papers

Well darn if I didn't have an amazing weekend! Saturday we attended a surprise party for our good friend who just earned a PhD. My husband, this friend, and this friend's father are all accounting researchers and had fun talking shop. Our friend's sister was on my dorm floor at BYU freshman year, and seeing her was a treat. Then on Mother's day, Josh put the kids all down for naps and let me take a nap while he fixed lunch. And then let me take another nap. Heaven!

But I come to you, my friends, with a plea for help. I am inundated with paper! Magazines, recipes on sticky notes, paperwork, letters, cards, coupons, receipts, you get the idea.
My financial messNot my house, photo courtesy melted_snowball on flickr

I have a "home management" notebook, but frankly it's a mess. In the past two weeks I have lost two sets of paperwork that needed to be filled out and returned. I have two cubbies in our desk that are for my effects, and a purse that sits on the floor.

Does anyone have any good ways of managing paperwork? I am at a loss, I keep organizing it but it never sticks. It's a right mess within a day or two. I recycle lots of papers, too.

I want to hear about your system for dealing with the paper clutter that attacks our households on a daily basis.


  1. Not much advice. We're still working on that one too :) Jeremy does have a pretty good system for receipts, though. We go through them together and categorize them in quicken (i think there are online programs too). Then he has a small manila envelope for every month and we stick them in that envelope. All of these go in a filing box that we keep up high in a closet and also houses other important documents. The move has kind of messed up our system a bit and we need to do a bit of an overhaul, but that's what's been working for us so far. It's actually kind of nice because we know exactly where a receipt is when/if we need it (which has happened a few times). Once we got the system down, it seemed to work far as the other things....who knows! It's tough with all that paper. I ended up keeping the cards that I "couldn't get rid of" in a box in the basement. Then I'll go through them every year and see if I'm ready to get rid of it or not. I figure at least it's purging a bit. Some I'm sure I'll never get rid of because the messages are sweet or they are from someone who has passed on, etc... and mean a lot. Anyway, sorry I don't have too much advice.

    What I really kind of want is a locking filing cabinet to store all the important papers in...we'll see :)

  2. I think I FINALLY got something that works!
    I have a legal sized tote for important things like taxes and old receipts and bills... I just never found myself FILING in it. So what I did last year was I got an expandable filing thing from Walmart which has 12 slots with the months written on them. Every month I stack my papers in an "inbox". When the month is over I go through the papers and anything that looks mildly important gets filed in the month it's under. THEN when I need to find something I just look to the month that happened. This has been marvelous for some insurance claims we had a few months back! Once it's been a year I look through the papers and ditch any that wont be needed again. I'm finding that most things only need to be kept for one year at the most.
    The hardest part is the "inbox". It's pretty full right now because I never did April. I should probably get off the computer and do that today....