I know I’ve touched on this subject in the past, when I wrote about how to organize paper clutter, but today I thought I’d dig a little deeper and give you a peek into my filing cabinet to show you how to organize bills and get rid of some of the excess paper clutter. Are you ready?
In this digital age I’m one of the weird ones that still likes to get a paper bill in the mail. There’s something about holding it my hand that reminds me to actually pay it. I can put it on my desk and it doesn’t disappear but if it’s a bill that gets emailed to me, it just gets buried in my inbox and I forget all about it. Is it just me, or are you like that too?
Filing our bills used to stress me out because over the years it accumulated into a lot of paper clutter. I used to organize our bills by each individual provider, meaning I had a file for Pacific Gas & Electric, City Electric, Pest Control, etc. It was a lot of files and when I finally remembered to clean them out, every few years, there were a lot of papers in each file!
Here’s how I organize them now – I have 6 folders, one for every two months – Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/Jun, Jul/Aug, Sep/Oct, Nov/Dec. Here’s what they look like.
Pretty, aren’t they? I just love me some bright colored, organized file folders! Now when I get our bills I place them in the folder for that month, and when that month comes around each year, I remove the bills that are in there and shred them.
Organizing our bills this way has significantly reduced our paper clutter and it has made it easier for me to find a bill when I need it.
How do you organize your bills? Do you have a good system that keeps your paper clutter down? Or are you a digital bill person? I’d love to hear what works for you! To learn how to organize taxes while hanging onto them for 7 years, click HERE.
I never considered filing them this way before! I love it! We currently file by provider and yes, it gets overwhelming. I always seem to have a stack to sort and then file. We’ve been boxing ours up at the beginning of the following year and putting them in the attic but lately, I’ve been wondering why as we never dig through them and they just take up space.
Kiera Chambers says
Just to be clear…you shred them the following year or once you’ve paid them? My husband and I disagree on the need to keep the paid bills or not, I think I like the idea of keeping it at least until the next year rolls around and then dump out that file, shredding last year’s bills before adding this year’s bills to them.
I love the dividing them up by months, because there are some bills that you get yearly, car registration, that you get maybe 3 months before it’s due, nice to just place it in the month file you need it to rather than trying to not lose that one bill that isn’t due ‘just yet.” Thanks
Yes, I keep them for a year and then shred the stack I take out of the folder when I put the new ones in. 🙂
Carla Cain says
Would you do a separate folder for college tuitions/sorority bills or place them in the same monthly folders? I need the tax info too. I am always tracking our papers for taxes and it makes it very stressful around here. Thanks for the info.
Yes, I would do a separate folder for the college stuff because I think you can write some of that off for taxes. 🙂
Abby Smas says
I’m thinking scan them with an app like scannable, then they’re on the cloud and you can put them on a jump drive, then shred them. Tah dah! Even less paper clutter.
Ooo, I’ve never heard of Scannable, I’ll have to look into that. Thanks for the tip! 🙂
Hi thanks for this tip it makes a lot of sense. Going to start doing this I have some hanging folders that have years of paper in them. I think this is a good time to start the decluttering.
Cynthia DelMonte says
Where do you put them before you pay them? Do you have another organization for mail/bills unopened or not paid yet?
I have a place I stack them. Usually they come in the mail pretty close together so I make a small stack and then pay them all at once. 🙂