Friday, April 2, 2010

Project Organization :: Bills Bills Bills

Oh bills... all those endless bills and other paper things that we know we should keep and  we know we should be keeping safe in case we ever need it.

I used to have my file drawer and put all the bills and important paper things in that drawer. I hated doing it though, because the drawer was so full that it was a pain to put things in it. Plus, putting things in it, also meant that I had to take things out. 

Once I found a site that said listed all the bills you should keep and for how long you should keep it. Tax info : forever, Bank statements : 1 year, Bills : 1 year, and so on. 

Seriously, can you imagine a more boring task?! So, of course, I never put the things in the file drawer and they just piled up around the house. 

But, going back to what I started doing this year - since I hated having to take things out and so on this is what I did:

I bought a file folder (you could also use a file box like the one above) for 2010. Labeled each tab for a different thing, since we don't get many things on the mail anymore (long live online billing!) I made some general labels : Bank Accounts, Credit Cards, Car, Utilities, Health, Tax, School and so on. 

Now, starting January 1st 2010, everything goes in that file and nothing comes out. For all the bills and so on that we had for 2009 I put them in another folder that I got for 2009 and same thing for the things we had from 2008. These folders just get put away and forgotten in a little corner. If I ever need something from a previous year, I can just go to that folder (that get the year written on the front all big and bold) and pull it out!

That file drawer is still in use. I keep the permanent things in there - birth certificates, ids, passports, and those sort of things that stay. 

The current folder stays in an accessible spot and every time I get the mail I open it next to the folder and put it away as soon as I open it. No more mail laying around. No more figuring out what I need to take out and what needs to stay. 

And make it fun! Get colorful, cute and fancy folders! It's totally worth the extra buck, and whoever said that just because it's bills they have to stay in an ugly folder!? 

(I got this idea a long time ago from the blog


Do any of you have any other wonderful tips on the matter? 
I remember from our first post on organization a lot of us struggled with this... 
What have you done that has worker? Or what are you doing that isn't working?!


Liesl said...

I so very much needed this post! I can't stand bills sitting around on the counter or by the computer and I need to organize them in some way! You gave me some great ideas, thank you!!!

Trevor, Kika, Olivia said...

Menina, i NEED to become more organized, especially with important papers! I used to be so on top of things and organized but this depression thing... The other day I had to reschedule Olivia's 12 months check up cuz I couldn't find her immunization card (STILL don't know where it is!!) or her medicaid card. Oops! I WILL USE your tips, Ana!! :)