How to Organize Paperwork at Home

Do you have piles of paper in your home that are overwhelming you? You can organize them so you can actually find what you need when you need it. You can cut the clutter by understanding what is okay to throw out.


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    Get some file folders and a pen. You will need 1 large box and a file box to put the files in. If you have many piles, start with the smallest.
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    Eat the elephant one bite at a time. Mark boxes, TRASH, and FILE and begin sorting just on these two categories.
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    If you keep an article of paper make a file for that subject, (example: Unpaid Bills). Put the bill in the file folder and label the tab Unpaid Bills and set it in the file box.
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    Keep making files for whatever subject you need to file labeling them as you go. These could be anything you think is important to keep: birthday cards, car information, checking account, dental, home loan information, home maintenance, insurance, medical, unpaid bills, utilities, etc.
    • The best place to file something is where it is most obvious to you. Put things where you think they should go and it will be easiest for you to find them later.
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    In another box marked "Trash" put in junk mail, duplicate bills, old papers that you know you will never really need.
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    Touch it once. Either file it or throw it out.
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    Make sub files if you want to. After you file your papers you might want to make files within files that are close to the same subject. For example, you could divide car information into car insurance, recalls/warranties, repairs,and copies of titles and registrations. This way you have all the info when you need it.
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    Start at the mailbox for new papers that come in. When you get your mail out of your mailbox, go through right away and toss the junk. When you get into the house, make it a point to place it near your file cabinet. Choose a specific time that fits your schedule to open your mail and sort it on a daily basis. You could put unpaid bills in a folder in the front of the file box to help you to remember to pay them. File the important things and toss the rest in the trash can located next to your file cabinet.
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    Use your calendar. Does a particular piece of paper require action or attendance at a later date? Write it in your calendar, then file the paper. You can even write where you filed the paper.


  • Make it a habit. Sometimes you have to create a practice for something that needs attention in your life. If you can just practice doing this for a month, it can become a habit and life will once more be a little easier.
  • If you have a lot of piles of paper in your home, just try to go through it a little at a time. Trying to do too much at once can become overwhelming and then you won't want to do it at all. It is important to understand that in today's world we have ourselves stretched so thin that there just seems to be so much to do.
  • Keep your shredder next to your desk and shred sensitive papers as they come up so they don't pile up.
  • You are not the only person with all this paper. Many people are having the same problem as you.

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Categories: Clutter Busting