Thursday, August 18, 2011

Getting organized

I have come to realize that our biggest downfall financially is how disorganized we are.  I open mail and it ends up in some random pile or drawer, never to be found again.  This is extremely frustrating when you know that there is a bill that needs to be paid, but you can't for the life of you remember where it is (like our corporate provincial tax bill, now where did I put that again?)

I'm slowly trying to go through drawers, shred what I don't need to keep, recycle what I can, and file what's important.  It's going slowly, but it feels good to get organized.  Once that's all done I can sort through the filing cabinet itself and get rid of old papers and come up with a system that's really going to work for us.

After all of this work, the important part is to make sure we don't get ourselves back into the same situation!  I'm going to come up with a filing system where I can put unopened mail/mail that needs to be sorted, bills that need to be paid, an action folder of papers that need to be dealt with, and a folder of papers that need to be filed.  Then I need to set a date each week to sort through all of the files and put things where they belong.  Hopefully this will help with the paper clutter.  I also need to create some files on my computer to store the e-bills that we receive.

Ironically while sorting through papers I found this book I bought last year....perhaps I should have read it when I bought it.  That's my goal for the next couple of weeks is to read through it and create an action plan.


  1. I have an accordion file that I keep on my desk. When mail comes I sort it right away, recycle what I don't need and then file bills in the to be paid area of the file. I pay bills once a month so I just have one section for bills to be paid, once I pay the bill I move the statement to the "to be filed" area until I get the next bill reflecting the payment I just made. Once I get that one the to be filed statements get filed. I also have a section for bills that don't need to be paid immediately (Costco membership, auto registration--ones that give you more than 30 days notice basically).

    I keep the file on my desk so it's a visual reminder and easy to grab for filing, otherwise I end up with stacks of mail and something is forgotten.

  2. I have 2 magnetic bulldog clips on my fridge. One for bills that need to be paid this pay period, one for bills that need to be paid next paid period. Everything that's been paid gets filed into an accordion folder. It doesn't take much to be organized and you don't need to spend a lot of money. You could also sign up for e-billing so you don't lose your bills.

  3. Somehow I find that I am less organized with e-billing - I like to physically have the bill in front of me, and online they only store the bills for so long.
    I don't plan on spending any money to get organized. I'm just using paper files, I may jazz them up a bit with scrapbook paper that I already have. I'm going to put them in our storage box by the phone so that they're right in the kitchen where I open mail and they're convenient. I always plan to put things on my desk, which is in the basement and out of the way (which is how papers end up all over the house).