Get Organized #1: Bill Box

I get a lot of emails asking how I find time to sew or craft with 4 kids running around and still run a household. Answer? Ignore them.

Kidding!

I thought over the next few days, I’d share with you all some of my favorite ways I keep organized.

Today, I’m showing you my bill box. Oh how I love my bill box! Going out to buy one *might* be my favorite part of the new year.

You’ve all seen these accordion files before, right? You can get a solid colored one at any office supply store or super center. Those run about $8. I usually spend a little more and get a cute one to make my bill paying life more pleasant.

Here’s last year’s:

I label it with the year clearly on the outside.

Some of these files come pre-labeled. I don’t really like their categories, so I re-label. I bought a pack of file folder labels for just a few dollars 7 or 8 years ago and I still haven’t used them all.

You can label them however fits your needs. I use the following categories:

Bank Account
Cable
Chase/Old Navy/TCP
Debit Receipts/Check Duplicates (I clear this one out after I’ve entered receipts and reconciled statements)
Dental
Insurance
Medical
Mortgage
Newspaper/Magazines
Pay Stubs
Questar (gas)
Qwest (phone)
Receipts (for major purchases)
Retirement
Taxes
Tithing
Utah Power (electric)
Water

At the end of the year, I take the entire box downstairs to our storage room. It doesn’t take up a lot of room and it’s easy to locate something should the need arise. Like the time the cable company turned us over to collections for a $16 bill because they hooked cable up at a house we hadn’t lived in for THREE YEARS and then tried to tell me I never paid off our original account. And I’m still bitter about it. :o)

Next up? The Family Binder

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Comments

  1. Amanda Jo says:

    Great idea!!!! I have the hardest time staying on top of all the papers and filing. I really think this method will work for me!

    Thanks! Can't wait to read tomorrows blog!

  2. This is why I love you.

  3. This is great! I have started an organization blog at http://www.heapsorhappiness.blogspot.com and I would love to post a link to your idea when we get to "tackling paperwork" in late January. I have had friends begging me to write a book for years, but the blog format is more managable with so many little ones. I have enjoyed your blog for months, so thank you for that as well! ~Laura

  4. I am lovin' this! I already have a binder so I am ready to go and will be following your next post too. Thanks Char!! Kristin

  5. I'm SO glad you're doing this… I need all the organizational help I can get! I'm queen of the unorganized!!!!

  6. Laurel @ Ducks in a Row says:

    Keep them coming!

  7. Kristine Robinson says:

    Cool – thanks for sharing. I will be getting one tomorrow!

  8. FYI: everytime I see an accordian file, I think of you.

    damned cable company anyway :)

  9. The Lil Missus says:

    Oh I can't WAIT for the family binder one! The bill organizer is SUCH a great idea, and I've really had it laid on my heart to start a family binder and I'm sure your blog about that will be fabulous too! :o)

  10. For the last 10 years or so, I've done this same type of system, except in a file cabinet with file folders. At the end of the year I just take out all the file folders and put them in a big box. I think I'm going to give your idea a try….I like the idea of having everything stay together in its own file container. No more going over years' worth of files to find what I need! Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. The Harding Hive says:

    You don't even know how much I appreciate this post. I have a drawer that is OVERFLOWING with miscellaneous bills that I can't put in my filing cabinet because IT is overflowing as well. This is a great way to start my organizing.

  12. I try to be organized. I really try. But I would never keep up with this! We do everything online anyway, but that means no record of it. Regardless, I admire you!

  13. Get N Together says:

    I just have a stack of papers sitting by me waiting to be filed away…I like your idea!

  14. This is making me nauseous….because I am SO behind on being organized! I still don't have a 2010 calendar!

  15. I just went out and bought one and labeled my files. So excited to have everything at my fingertips, without having to go to the filing cabinet.

  16. SuzSpeaks says:

    where did you find your cute/decorative box? I can't find one :( I know I can use plain brown.. but filing will be so much more fun if it's in a cute box! ha!

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