Paperwork can easily clutter up a home if left for longer than ooh, 3 days but it can be pretty easy to keep on top of it. We operate a fairly full on system which includes a filing cabinet and all manner of sticky labels and this is mostly because of a few business interests and my working freelance from home. However we also have a day-to-day system (mostly for home bills) which means we don’t get swamped by piles of paperwork which have yet to make their way from the front door to the filing cabinet because they’re yet to be paid etc.
It’s pretty simple. If I have time (if I don’t, I shove the letters into a letter rack beside the front door and they get dealt with at the first available opportunity) I open every single item of post the second it comes in the door and anything which needs to be paid goes into a green folder, everything else which needs my attention but doesn’t involve money goes into a pink folder, anything which I can’t pay from home goes into a blue folder and everything else is recycled. These are kept by the front door then scooped up every Friday morning and taken into the study. I then take 10-15 minutes to pay any bills, file the statements into the filing cabinet and add any dates to diaries and calendars.
It is a system which really works for our home and means I spend a max of 30 minutes a week sorting through bills and sorting out my receipts for tax. It doesn’t become a hassle to deal with and it means nothing gets lost or forgotten about. Before we implemented this basic system we were often late in paying bills and found ourselves really stressed when looking at the piles of paperwork on the desk. I’m really happy with this system now, it take minimal time and thought which in my book is perfect.
How do you keep on top of your paperwork?
P.S. This is the Wednesday task from That Housekeeping Post, read more here.