Getting Organized: Household Paperwork

Getting Organized Household Paperwork

Have you ever lost a bill and then forgot to pay it?  Or how about dug through a box of old paperwork to find a single document you need, never to find it and have to call some company to get a copy?  Or you have a pile of papers to be filed stacked on top of your filing cabinet?

Well, in case you have ever been slightly challenged in this area, here are some tips for getting more organized:

  • Use the one-touch rule for ALL incoming paperwork.

    This rule states that every single piece of paper in the pile can be touched only once. Either shred it, file it, or put it in a ‘to-do’ bin/basket/whatever organizational tool you use. This will ensure each piece of mail is seen and put in its place right away.  It only takes a minute to do this and it will save you so much time later.

  • Shred, shred, shred.

    Invest in a shredder and make sure you shred all paper you want to get rid of. This ensures identity safety while getting rid of unnecessary clutter.  You do not want these unwanted papers lying around with your identifying information all over it.  You also don’t want it going into the garbage can where anyone can access it when it goes to the curb.

  • Pay bills on a set day.

    Whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, manual or electronically, you will have much more control over your finances if you pay your bills on a regular schedule. You will find that you are less likely to miss or forget to pay things.  Here’s a tip:  when you write the check or set it to pay in an electronic bill payment system, write the payment date on the part of the bill you keep and file it right away.  This gives you easy access to the payment date if you should ever need it in the future.

  • Automate your payments.

    I personally love having my mortgage, car payment, etc. paid automatically each month. I just set it and forget it. And if there is ever an issue I can always go in and change it. But I don’t have to worry about forgetting to pay them or not getting the bill in time.

  • Set up a filing system that works for you.

    Whether this is a secure electronic/online filing system such as AboutOne, or a paper filing system in a filing cabinet, you have to use a system that works for you or you’ll never use it. I’ve found that scanning my financial documents using my phone into myAboutOne account and attaching the document to the appropriate contact is the best method for me. This way, I don’t have to keep all that paper on hand and I can access my documents any time from anywhere.

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