May 8, 2009


Does anyone have good ideas about organizing paperwork?
My office desk is always piled with papers that don't have a home.
What do you file, and what do you throw out?
How do you organize tax information?
Do you keep product information booklet thingies when you buy something?
Do you keep bank statements? For how long?
Do you keep copies of your monthly bills (electricity, phone)?

Does anyone else have a pile?


  1. I also have piles. But here are a few thoughts: Most banks will do electronic statements now, so no paper statement comes to you. Even if you do keep getting the paper, I don't think you need to keep them - cause the info is online (even the tax stuff.) Utility bills, same. I keep a small upright file holder right by my computer for stuff that comes up a lot, e.g., Kid Art, Ideas, Recipes. Bigger file box/cabinet below with Categories & Subcategories, like Car: Insurance; Car: Title. (Now that's terribly nerdy, isn't it?) I put all our tax info in one folder and hand it to Mike at the beginning of a new year. You could try that, too.

  2. Victoria, you sound really organized. Maybe I could come over and see your system?
    Thanks so much for the tips.

  3. Hey Jenny,

    My normal method of dealing with piles in the office is to wait until my husband gets sick of them and takes care of it. But, when I read your post it motivated me to go ahead and tackle them on my own (your post and the fact that we were throwing a birthday party for our daughter...) We either shred or file most stuff. The things that are hardest for me are personal letters or cards. One of these days I'll start a binder to collect Christmas card photos from friends and family, but I have yet to do it yet. We'll be in town soon, so I'll send you an e-mail about that.

    Take care.

  4. Well, I can't really give you advice since my ONLY strategy of organization came from you. I copied that file box you had. The only problem is now all of our stuff doesn't fit in that file box so I had to buy another one. I don't know how much stuff I really need to keep but I don't want to just keep buying more file boxes. I've liked the ideas here though - good discussion. I hope more people comment.

  5. I have a file cabinet with a million labeled folders. We used to just stick everything in each file, but it was a mess.... So we put "2 piece steel fasteners' on each folder and then you just stick the paper on that... maybe I should blog about this because I really like it. Also, at the end of each year, we go through it, clean out what we want to keep and then put those papers into a manila envelope along with that year's tax info and put the date on the top. I really like what a friend of mine does. She gets those giant binders and three whole punches EVERYTHING and puts it in there by catagories. She has a new binder for each year. It's nice because she will just throw stuff in the binder and then when we're at the park or something, she brings it along with the punch and she goes to work while we all chat... makes us all feel bad for being unproductive :)

  6. you So know, I have NO comment here! ;-)

  7. P.s. don't you want to put a link to the sign in thing on your boastful thing so I don't have to hunt down the address? > -] Pleeease...

  8. Lots of piles, make sure to move them ever so often so that it is assumed you are doing something with them. Otherwise complaints may arise, use them to explain how busy you are, you have so much to do, etc.

  9. PS yes that picture of the snowman was from an early April blizzard we had in the midst of fighting the now famous Fargo flood of 09. In the almost a year we have lived here, we have experienced a tornado, torrential rain, blizzards, and flood. Who could ask for more?

  10. I found a website with some helpful information about how long you should keep what:

    Hope that helps!