Organizing Paper

Are any of you buried underneath a pile of papers?  I, for one, am the queen of paper piles.  I usually have one on the counter and one on the end table next to the couch.  If I was really unorganized I would also have one on the kitchen table. There were bills, school papers, flyers, coupons, and receipts everywhere. I am so tired of paper everywhere and finally heard about a system for organizing papers that might work for me.

tame the paper clutter

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I lead a Moms group at my church and at our last meeting we had a round table discussion on a few topics -one of which was organization.  One of the moms suggested a filing box for all the household papers.  I pondered it for about a week imagining if it would work for me and where I would store it, etc.  Well I decided to give it a whirl and see if it will get me any closer to have a system that works.

organizing papers

I bought a cute teal file box from Target for $13.39. There were only 6 folders in it so if you don’t have any hanging (pun totally intended!) around you will need to purchase more.  You will need hanging file tabs too.  I chose this one because a) it was cute b) I liked the color c) because the top of the box flipped up to store pens, pencils, highlighters and things to make organizing easier.

file box supplies

I created a Silhouette studio file for the file tabs and “{organize}” vinyl for the front.  I did this because you can’t tell which is the front or the back since they look so similar.  If you want the files, click here to download them.  Keep in mind you will need to install Lobster Two font to view it.

organizing papers

family file box

I have a tab for the kids and myself — my hubby doesn’t seem to have papers I guess.  One for bills, to do, receipts, coupons/ads and taxes.  I may add one for mail and medical reimbursements, we shall see.  But I think this might work.

organizing papers 2

So have you tamed the paper clutter?  I would love to hear what you have found to work for your family.

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  • Suzanne

    Paper is the never ending battle. As much as I try, I still end up with piles. In fact, I have them in the same places as you do. I heard a suggestion to try to keep one counter clean of clutter in the kitchen which is my daily goal. That spot is precisely where the paper likes to land. Good luck!

  • Gina

    I have so many piles! I have a system like yours for current papers but it’s the old paperwork I cannot get rid of. Afraid I’ll shred or incinerate something important if I don’t go thru it piece by piece so I keep putting it off. I have many boxes of receipts and papers going back 7 years as suggested by IRS. Yikes! Any suggestions to help me “dig out”?

    • Cindy

      Gina, We too keep receipts for taxes. Each year after we go through the receipts and the taxes are filed the receipts for that particular year go into a large envelope along with the completed tax forms and is labeled “Taxes 2011″ and then filed away. I use those orange/tan colored mailing envelopes. I also tape a regular envelope to the inside of one of my kitchen cabinets (the cabinet we put medicine in) and label it medical receipts. When I have a medical receipt for the doctor or CVS or whatever I put it in there as soon as I get home and put the medicine away. Since it’s on the door of our medicine cabinet it reminds me to put the receipt in it. This is simple, easy and out of the way. Hope this helps! Good luck!!

      Cindy~

  • http://www.serenitynowblog.com Amanda @ Serenity Now

    I am, to quote Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick, a “piler.” I don’t know what my problem is! Lack of storage is probably a big part of the problem. I think I need a dedicated space. I love your storage file piece!

  • http://www.noordinaryhomestead.com Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead

    Great box! That was a fantastic find.

    We are slowly working on taming our paper clutter. Man is it insane. Our first task is sorting through old magazines and cookbooks to determine what we actually would like to try & then scanning it. Then the magazines are outta here!

  • http://decoratingthedorchesterway.blogspot.com/ Angela

    This is a great box! I am adding it to the Target shopping list!!! We too have such a paper mess!

  • http://mermaidlouie.blogspot.com Loui♥

    MY PAPER TAMER? A NEW SHREDDER!
    YOU’D BE SURPRISED AT HOW QUICKLY THE CLUTTER DISAPPEARS!
    WE’VE STARTED BY SORTING INCOMING MAIL BY THE SHREDDER..
    WE HAVE A RECYCLE BOX FOR THE ENVELOPES, MAGAZINES, NEWSPAPERS..
    THAT IS EMPTIED ON RECYCLE DAY ..
    THIS SYSTEM IS REALLY HELPING..
    IN THE MEANTIME, WE TAKE ONE BOX OF FILES AT A TIME TO SHRED..
    NOW TO TAME MY OFFICE..
    WARMEST HUGS..
    LOUI♥

  • Lana

    I love this and would love the silhouette file, but there isn’t any link to click. – - Thanks!

  • Beth

    I love both the file and the fact that you have made it so simple to properly pin, with correct credit, the idea for future reference. Thanks!

  • http://sugarnspiceinthelandofballsnsticks.blogspot.com/ laxsupermom

    If you are the queen, then I am the empress of the land of piled papers. Love your file box! Thanks for sharing.

  • MIka

    LOVE this!! But can you please help me with downloading the vinyl? I went to download it and it’s not working. I did downloaded the lobster file. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks so much!!

  • Gina

    Oh paper is my nemeisis. I am definitely a piler-wish I wasn’t,but I am. A constant battle and the worst comes in when I can’t find something we really need. My husband’s workplace instituted LEAN and he was telling me how organized he is at work and how everyone is amazed at how clean his desk is. So he told me the secret-binders! At the same time saw a post on I believe censational girl-hope I’m right!-about organizing bills with a binder and it clicked that this just might work for me. I’ve tried file boxes a million times and they never work because I am a piler-and I would just end up piling papers on top of the file box! This binder method totally works. Only difference is instead of hole punching the bills I put them in clear plastic sleeves after I pay them. I am off to buy more clear inserts and binders for all my catagories-misc. important documents,printable recipes,etc. This might be life changing! Hope this helps someone.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      That is awesome. I do binders for a lot of things too. I have a home binder with all of my paint chip samples, fabric samples and where I bought everything. It saves me all the time.

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  • Kris

    Paper is something that we all have. I purchased a used 4 drawer file cabinet. I have finally organized it so that it is useful. Now at least once a month I sit and do the “Paper work”. I have files for all my bills, medical/dental insurance and etc. I keep all the insurance paperwork attached to the bills that it references for quick finding.
    For our taxes several years ago our Staples store had some double sided report folders that had the Monopoly TAX square on the front. I bought all they had and we now keep our taxes in them. It makes if fun to look at them w/such cute folders.