Where do you keep all your 'stuff'?

baileyandbellaAugust 24, 2011

Stuff like...mail, receipts, stuff, stuff and more stuff....LOL

I try and try to keep this area organized but it still just gets messy. It's always been on our kitchen counter, which I hate, but not sure where else to put it, we have a rather small home.

Where and how do you organize all your stuff?

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In our upstairs is a filing cabinet next to my desk. It is a 4 drawer. I have hanging files and everything is labeled and organized. I put things away on a daily basis...so when the mail comes and it is a receipt from a donation it goes in the folder marked " taxes 2011". If I buy something it that has a warranty and info book I make a new folder and everything goes in it...say a lawn mower etc.

Downstairs we have a secretary in the foyer. I stop there when the mail comes. I open and throw away most everything. The bills go into the notebook I have kept since the 90's. I can turn in it and tell you what my monthly bills were in a second...even faster than a computer :) I have a pocket in the notebook and the current monthly bills go in that to be pd one time a month. I have a notebook page started at the beginning of every month and I hand write the list of bills and amounts. As they are paid and logged into the computer ( our checking etc is all on line but I like a hard copy) I record the date and chk number and toss the bill. That is it. I don't get any catalogs or mailers anymore...I stopped them all. I get a few credit card offers and basically that is all that comes in the mail. Pretty easy and trimmed down. I hope this helps and if I can show pics or answer questions let me know. c

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 12:04PM
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I have a small letter file on the hutch that holds bills waiting to be paid. After I pay them they're filed in the filing cabinet in dh's office. There's a basket with envelopes for receipts that sits on top of one of the bookcases in dh's office. When it's time to pay a bill I grab the receipt basket, match them up, then file them away. A couple times a year I go through the file cabinet and shred things I no longer need to keep.

The bills go into the notebook I have kept since the 90's. I can turn in it and tell you what my monthly bills were in a second.

My mom did that too. She was uber organized.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 12:34PM
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I bought a secretary desk from Pottery Barn to help with organization of "stuff".

If you prefer a more traditional style, I see numerous secretary desks for reasonable prices on my CL all of the time.

I also have purchased a large 1940s buffet (which will eventually be replaced with a custom wet bar) which we use to organize our "stuff" that goes with us when we are leaving the house (keys, purses, hats, etc). My significant other has a lot of equipment that he must take to work each day and this gives him a place to keep things organized and at hand when he leaves.

However, in general, our house is still not as organized or clutter free as I'd like. I tend to prefer neat organized spaces, whereas my significant other tends to make "piles" everywhere of stuff. In an effort to keep both of us happy, I've tried to buy and create spaces for him to store his things that can be tucked out of the way in order to keep the clutter hidden.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 12:55PM
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When we did our whole house reno, I designed an office for my Dh - a place for his filing cabinet, a couple of desks, a cupboard for all his "stuff", lots of windows, nice carpeting, etc., to get all his "stuff" out of the kitchen. Where is all his "stuff" still, in the kitchen on the counter.
However, because I've been married to him for almost 30 years I knew this would happen - so in the planning of the kitchen I planned a little counter spot, out of the work triangle (which is the secret), for all his "stuff". He uses the little counter spot. Does he know I can read him like a book and planned this - no.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 1:42PM
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Invest in a 4-drawer file cabinet. You can get a lot of storage utilizing minimal floor space. Buy a pretty one and decorate the top with a lamp and a pretty "in-coming" mail basket.

I'm the pot calling the kettle black, because I have just now come to realize I need more file space so I am shopping for one for our home office. I am actually looking at this one from Office Depot. You can't beat the price - $199! It is pretty wood (questionable), cheap, probably not the best quality, but I really don't care. It will not be moved much once I get it placed in the only space I have for it.

I will not need all the drawers for filing, so will use to store all those other things that drive me crazy - photos, photo albums, manuals, warrantys, computer and office supplies,.......the list goes on and on. Yep! This old gal has got to get organized!

Would love to have a nice vintage, solid wood (mahogany), cheap, but that is not likely to happen.:)


Here is a link that might be useful: Cheap/Pretty/Wood File cabinet

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 1:47PM
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I think one of the secrets to keeping "stuff" organized is to open the mail and toss everyhing, except for things that need to be paid, read or is a receipt for something. We do that and then the to pay stuff and receipts go in the file by my desk, the to read goes in DH rolltop desk in the office. If we have "stuff" (tools, bottles, misc) that goes down the basement or to the garage...it is put in a box in the laundry room and the first person going to the b/g takes it with him. Works well for us.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 2:10PM
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blfenton, I have the same situation in my kitchen. I call it the "holding station". At least I get to see what comes through the kitchen, before going to the office for action.

But even better than that, let me tell you about his real paper organizer! He is self employed (excavation business), works out of a service truck a lot, so he has a CIGAR BOX, double-side taped to his dash to catch receipts, business cards etc. Talk about a red-neck! It would be too much trouble to open up his brief case.

Picture this: At 10:00 at night, when I am doing paybles, I am running out to his truck, flashlight in hand, looking for all the wayward receipts that didn't make it to the house.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 2:46PM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

With the exception of one, all of my bills are sent to my electronic bill paying account with my bank and I pay them electronically - that saves tons of paper and space and, if I need to, I can access the bill and the payment electronically.

By my desk, I have a HON two drawer filing cabinet (purchased at Salvation Army for $10). In the cabinet I have the Homefile Organizer system (link below) which has been invaluable to me. In fact I have given it to several people as gifts and they love it. Please be assured I have absolutely nothing to do with this company.

You can often find very nice file cabinets at Salvation Army and Goodwill for a fraction of their new cost. For example, I just Googled the file cabinet I purchased at Salvation Army and the new price at Staples is $170. So if you have a stretched budget, don't forget these two sources.

Here is a link that might be useful: Home File Organizer

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 3:11PM
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We enter through the garage into a little mudroom/drop zone. On the wall in there I have a 3 tier organizer. Very cute HG find. Each compartment has a little cream ceramic plaque with "Mail," "Magazines" or something else on them.

Keys, badges, DH's wallet and other things that leave with us every day are currently in a bowl on the bench in our mudroom. I'm not thrilled, but it works for now.

Bills (utilities) are automatically debited out of my checking. I don't even open the paper bills when they come, they go straight to the shredder - the ones I can't opt out of, that is. Mortgage is on auto pay through online banking. Our mortgage is our only debt, so no car payments or credit cards to have to organize through.

(OK that's a little misleading, I do use my Discover card for everything I buy, but I pay it off through their website every week like clockwork, so I never accrue interest and never really get a bill. I can't tell you how much money I've made through cashback rewards!)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 3:19PM
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Avesmor, why do you pay Discover every week or did you mean month? Agree, cash-back rewards are nice!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 3:33PM
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I forgot I had cash back rewards until I got a notice in the mail last week. Let's just say I've bought some excellent gifts for Christmas already! lol

Back to the stuff question. Scizzors always goes into drawers. I keep a pair in the kitchen and LR. They're a distance away from each other.

I keep pens/pencils next to the phone, some on the desk, and some inside my coffee table.

Receipts, insurance papers, etc., go in a very messy file cabinet.

Tax stuff I let my dh file away since he's the one who does taxes.

Bills, I'm fortunate to have a coffee table with a drawer in front where I sit on the sofa. It's turned into a desk drawer so that's where I keep bills because I open the drawer a dozen times a day and I can stay on top of paying them, while not leaving them laying around.

I even have a real desk, but that's mainly for stationery storage which has really come in handy.

Without my coffee table I honestly don't know where I'd put bills.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 3:50PM
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DH had a basket in our old kitchen for all his stuff. Until he filled it up and started using the counter. In the remodel, I gave him his own counter and cabinet. He used that until he filled it up. Now it's on the bar. Aghhh.

We have a small desk area that has some of our stuff. Pencils, pens, paper, etc. I have an expandable file that I keep our bills, reciepts for the current year due to a home based business.

I have a single drawer file cabinet in a spare closet for other filings. And then tax stuff is filed in the safe.

Current bills go in my bill book (student planner). I've been using them for years and they work great for me to track bills and use as a journal. Which also helps track the business.

Yet, I still have flyers, magazines, and junk laying around on any given day. I throw away some things, others I pile up a few days for the shredder.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 4:15PM
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We have a filing cabinet in one of our walk in closet's which is only for storage...

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 4:34PM
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I have a desk in the livingroom for bills and records,ect.; and it has a drawer that holds everything from paper clips to hammers and screwdrivers. Also an armoire in the computer room with shelves and baskets to hold all the other "stuff".

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 4:53PM
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natal - oops, yes, I meant every month!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 5:55PM
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"Stuff like...mail, receipts, stuff, stuff and more stuff....LOL "

Mail is dealt with daily. Junk is trashed, bills are paid, magazines in the basket/purging the old ones, etc.

Receipts are filed right after being paid. My files are set up according to line items of the tax forms. Makes tax time go a LOT easier.

Stuff... well, I don't know specifically what you are referring to, so I can't tell you how I deal with it!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 6:38PM
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It starts in little piles on the kitchen counter, seems almost alive, growing, and slowly moving towards the office. If it makes it to the office it goes into plastic boxes on our desks marked "bills" and "to file". We have 4 sets of 2-drawer filing cabinets and most everything gets filed in there. I also have a lot of genealogy so a 4-row wired shelf holds more boxes.

The best organizer I have for all the "other stuff" is a vinyl shoe organizer that hangs on the back of the door (see link). In the office I store scissors, pens, pencils, extra staples, stapler, envelopes, stamps, and everything that I don't want to clutter the desk.

Since we recently downsized a LOT, there is barely any bathroom storage. I have one there too with deodorants, toothpaste, nail polish and accessories, everything that I wouldn't mind being seen, medicines on the top out of reach of children. I also use one for sewing/crafts, with similar colored threads together, needles, more scissors, tools, glue guns, and all are so easy to find because they are clear.

And while I seem to be promoting these...my daughter used them on the back of her baby's doors - pacifiers, onsies, hats, socks, pajamas, thermometers, again things easy to find without having to dig in drawers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Like this one

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 7:33PM
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I have a filing cabinet and computer credenza in my office that holds my permanent storage and office supplies. Additionally, I have a decorative hanging file box that sits under the kitchen desk for items that I need easy access to. That's where items that have some outstanding action needed reside. Once the item is resolved, it goes into the office files.

I have a plastic envelope for coupons that stays in the car. I'll temporarily put receipts into it until I know that I don't need to return anything from that receipt.

Like other posters, most of my bills and associated payments are electronic. I've gotten rid of most of the catalogs using CatalogChoice.com and I'm even moving to digital magazines as my current subscriptions expire. Consequently, what little junk mail I receive can usually go straight into the recycling container without ever coming into the house.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 7:43PM
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I'm much like Fly - everything that comes in the house is gone through at that time. Goes to shredder bin, file cabinet or basket to be dealt with. File cabinet is organized with all home files. I do like her notebook idea! I might try that.

Most of our monthly expenses are paid online also or debited directly from our account (utilities, etc.). Less paper there.

I handle all my grandmothers finances - investments, expenses, etc. I keep her records in a secretary.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 10:03PM
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haha....tina...you meant trailrunner...not fly ! But that is OK...can't think of anyone I would rather be mistaken for :)

Most of my bills are paid on line by ME...but I don't let the bank do auto withdraw except the house payment...I don't want anyone in my acct till I see the bill . If they make a mistake we have learned the hard way that you are going to get a credit or wait a LONG time for a refund. They take it quickly but they are very SLOW to return it . c

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 10:20PM
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I have two files in my filing cabinet in the desk. One for bills to be paid and another for the paid bills. I also keep a master sheet of what needs to be paid so a bill doesn't get over looked. I go through the paid bills folder and shred every few months.

I think that what ever system you find that works for you is it needs to be done daily or else the paper stacks do get overwhelming for me at least.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 11:22PM
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Bills are all online in one form or another.

I handle mail as it comes in and have a 3 tier office inbox for kid papers, adult stuff and coupons/discounts. I sort through it every 2 weeks or so and winnow down.

The best thing about our new kitchen is we went with all drawers for base cabs. That gave us 7 feet in the peninsula of top drawers that hold asst miscellaneous stuff. Dh has his own drawer for keys, wallet, cell phone, scraps of paper, lists, receipts he might need, lozenges, etc... It is his domain and I only take things off the counter and put them in there if he forgets (about 25% of the time they are on the high part of our island). It isn't habit quite yet. His stuff used to go on top of our micro, so I purposely put our micro on a shelf 13" off the counter. It is too high (and not in a drop zone) to collect junk on top any more. I have my own lower deep drawer in the peninsula for my work stuff and pocketbook.
We use other top drawers there for scissors (a few on one side of the kitchen and a few on the other), pens, paper, stamps, tape, etc.... We still have a bunch of stuff in our peninsula from the reno (such as manuals, receipts, etc, that will get moved somewhere else very soon and we can set up a drawer for each son. This way, if there is a stray item anywhere, it will get deposited in their drawer. If they get too full, I will clean them out for them with a garbage bag by my side. That should cure them....at least after a few times... sigh...
We do have a filing cabinet for long term stuff, but that recently got moved from the office when it became our younger son's bedroom. The office is now in the bsmt, so I bet the filing may back up a little and get done in batches. It used to be a few feet from the kitchen where the mail got tended to...

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 11:49PM
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My DH has ADHD and will lose his cell phone walking from one room to the other. So I have to keep things really organized. I can't stand to see piles of stuff, so I have a system, and I utilize baskets a lot.

I have some tubs that I use for moving things from room to room and for things that need to go outside or the garage. I keep these by the entry door in the kitchen (the door we use all the time). Incoming mail goes in a basket by the door and I take it to the office. I also keep a shredder in the kitchen, so I can immediately shred or recycle as I go.

In the office I have a divided wooden organizer where I sort the bills, the to read, and needs attention. Once a month I sit down and set up bill pay and I can check the payments on line. I then shred the bill as soon as I pay it.

For tax related and receipts, I have a basket that we put all receipts in. I downsized from a 4 drawer file cabinet to a single file storage box by purging a LOT of stuff i don't need, but thought I did. I keep our previous 7 years taxes in those bankers boxes that we store in the attic.

For the every day little clutter...we have a charging station for cell phones & cameras, a key rack for keys, and I have a dedicated dish on our dresser for glasses, DH's wallet, etc. I keep my calendar on line and on my phone (I have an iPhone and would be lost without it now that I've finally set it up). I detest paper, so I really handle it as it comes in.

I also found that, oddly enough, having multiples of commonly used things, like scissors or pens in multiple locations, I actually have less clutter. I keep them in drawers or baskets in several different rooms of the house.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 12:59AM
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I'm with Pesky1 on multiples of things in different rooms. For me, it's tape measures--I keep one in 3 different rooms, another in the storage compartment of my car, and a miniature in my purse. And I use them all the time.

I live in hurricane country, so I keep a large plastic container with a cover with handles in a cabinet in my laundry room. In it are all the necessities for a power outage: flashlight, batteries, telephone, candles, matches, etc. It's nice to know that in a crisis, I can grab one thing and it will have everything I need. It's also nice when the power goes out in general. Nothing worse than groping around in the dark trying to remember where you put everything...

I try to always buy furniture with drawers, and the drawers need to be a height easy to reach, otherwise I'll never use them. So, for example, my TV stand is waist high and has one large drawer flanked by two smaller drawers at the top. I keep a folder of takeout menus in the larger drawer plus all the manuals for the TV, bluray and TIVO. In the smaller drawers I keep things like coasters and batteries. It's important to me that whatever is stored is near whatever it's going to be used for. The batteries are there for when my many remotes need replacements. The coasters are there close to the end tables where they'll be used when company comes over. In my "Florida room" I have a tall wooden cabinet with two drawers at the top. In these drawers I keep the specialized light bulbs that are used only for the sconces in that room, plus playing cards, pens and notepads.

Since I live in a ranch house i.e. almost no linen storage, I bought a big chest of drawers and put it in a spare bedroom, and this holds blankets and sheets. Another chest of drawers in another spare bedroom is used for towel storage.

Hope some of that helped.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 1:42AM
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I love the notebook idea! Nice and neat and very organized. Am I the only one who saves paid bills? That 's my biggest paperwork nightmare.
We pay EVERYTHING with a debit card, and I like knowing what's in the account at any given time. But DH has insisted we get a reward card. I've resisted for the longest time--thinking it would be too hard to manage. Any tips?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 5:03AM
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Sorry Trail!!! See what happens when I am on the computer too late?! LOL

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 8:04AM
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I keep a treasure box on my coffee table it's a decorative box w/lid that I can put things like cards from dear friends, funeral obits, beautiful notes from friends and family, pictures of friends children, the kind of thing you just can't throw away but don't want sitting on the counter. Sometimes I have to go through it at a later date to clean it out and then I am able to part with it but when I receive it I am just not ready to toss it just yet.

When I get the mail coming back to the house I stand in the garage and throw out all ads that I don't want and it never makes it into the house.

I keep a 3 ring binder with clear pages that contains all warranties and instructions slid into the pages. You can just pick up the three ring binder and flip through the clear pages and find what you need. You do have to go through it and clean out once in awhile as you get rid of that product/appliance in your house.

Even with this, it's a challenge!! My counter still has stuff on it argh.....

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 9:35AM
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Thanks everyone!!!

I don't keep bills anymore after I pay them. I did for years and stopped about 5 years ago.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 9:55AM
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I have two large explosions of paper -- one in the corner of my kitchen by the phone and the other is my desk. If I get up enough courage, I'll show a pic of the kitchen.

Junk mail goes in recycle every day. Bills I can't pay online go in a mail sorter, propped on end with the due date written on it. It's usually local taxes or insurance. I pay all the monthly stuff online. In my email, when I get an emailed receipt I put it in a Bills Paid folder.

The stuff that gets me is newsletters, "offers" that are interesting (like signing up for extra points on my cc), financial statements, etc. They all tend to pile up until I have a chance to sit and look at them, or file. I also have a pretty good stock of BB&B coupons!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 10:34AM
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I too, pay bills online, and buy as much as I can with my discover. Always pay it off and love having the extra money just for buying with discover whatever I would be buying anyway. I keep bills in one drawer writing when they're due on the envelope as soon as I open it. I discard paid bills. Most other mail goes into recycling. We have a coupon large coupon organizer for mostly fastfood coupons that I put in the phone book drawer in the kitchen. I am trying really hard to follow advice that I heard once, to get to a point where you only handle every piece of paper once. I have add and will lose things easily without organization. But I am married to someone that saves everything "just in case". I keep a list of things to do. I have a love/hate relationship with that list but it does help me. However, I usually have a pile of things that I haven't decided what to do with yet: newsletters, sales flyers, offers, children's artwork, ect. I have found that if I let the pile get big enough, many of those things take care of themselves. The offers expire, the child artwork gets something spilled on it, the sale ends. It is what it is. We just try and do the best we can.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 1:17PM
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I don't keep bills either, not sure why I would want to look at them again after they are paid.

I pay most everything on-line, so have electronic records of what was paid when.

I also have filing cabinets I purchased used and then painted. You don't have to spend a lot of money to be organized, but you do have to keep up with it. Create a system and live it everyday, then it doesn't get overwhelming.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 1:35PM
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The ONLY good thing I do is open my mail in the kitchen and put most of it in the recycle bin....Bills to be paid get put on my desk, which, in turn, needs cleaning every few weeks since other stuff (coupons, etc.) pile up. I'm not here to share tips...I'm here to grab all the good advice you guys have given and get my life back in order. My house isn't messy but the kitchen island and the desk do get the piles. Need to handle that asap.

I pay almost all my stuff online, but like several, keep the paper bill for a month. Cannot even tell you how many times I've needed to refer to it while talking to a rep. "Why is there a late fee, you cashed the check 2 weeks ago according to my online banking?" "What is this 5.95 security fee?? No, we did not agree to that." I like having some paper to refer to. But I try to keep it down to a dull roar. Like others here, I do NOT do automatic payments on anything. I file most of the banking claims in my office and after idiotic people simply ordering ONE thing online and not realizing they agreed to continual ordering, the auto payments mess people up when they have any other emergency thing come up. I got rid of all mine and simply set things up to pay before due date.

Does anyone have a good recommendation for a closet organizer that holds up? I already have full length rods in my walk-in but need one of those drawer/shelf units to go across the end.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 9:35PM
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i'm looking forward to being more organized soon when my living room is done (on hold right now) and I move my hoosier into it to serve as my desk/bill pay/laptop/shredder station, etc. I have an antique double sided oak file cabinet that will sit next to it....The hoosier drawers will hold all my office supplies, incoming mail, receipts, etc. I saw somewhere on line not long ago a very narrow/thin shredder which would fit inside the hoosier's big base cabinet part without taking up a lot of room. Right now stuff is not organized, and I struggle with managing receipts. I no longer hold onto paid bills anymore either. I shred everything paid after the next bill comes in. I call junk mail companies when there is a toll free number and suggest that they save $ by not sending to me anymore. Cuts down a lot. I was pretty unhappy with Improvements catalog, however as another company id them as the source for a mail list when I asked them to stop the new catalog I just got and asked how they got my name....

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 11:27PM
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I'm glad this topic was brought back. I only pay 2 bills online, the rest by check. I always keep the old bill until the next month's bill comes in, then I toss it.

I want to get more organized though, because I keep the bills on my coffee table, I can easily hide them because our table is large.

But I want an organizer book/binder that I can look at every day to see if a bill needs paid that day. I want to be able to file the bills in the book/binder.

Can any of you suggest what I should buy? This way I can put the whole thing in the drawer of my table and take a peek at it every day.

It sure would get rid of the paper clutter I have in my wooden basket on the table!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 12:41AM
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I don't know about a binder, oakleyok, but they do make special accordion files just for that, or at least they did (haven't seen one in a while, but then I'm not looking, either). They were usually not a full 8-1/2 x 11 size, but more the size of an old-fashioned bank statement envelope, with 31 individual pockets in them, one for each day of the month. I would guess that an office supply store might still have these.

(I on the other hand, drown in paper, since I'm self-employed and have to keep everything for at least 7 years. I get a monthly accordion file each year and keep the receipts organized that way.)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 10:35AM
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I am glad this thread came back up, too.

Oakley, we use three-ring binders for bills that have been paid and paper records like medical, vet, home improvement, etc. They are easy to store and it is pretty easy to find something you need quickly. I should probably use dividers, especially on the home improvement ones, but since I put them in as we get them, they are pretty much in order. I include bills for things like reupholstery, new tile work, a big landscaping job, flagstone patio-anything that I may want to check cost on later. It is also a good way to keep track of those improvements that you can deduct when you sell and have capital gains to worry about (not that we plan to sell).

I use 1" binders for the bills which get cycled out periodically and have moved to a slightly larger one for the home improvements one. You can also get some of those plastic sleeves to put in the front for the new, unpaid bills. Since I have moved to mostly electronic billing, I don't have as much to put in the binders these days, but I do occasionally print out a paper copy of something.

Thanks for inspiring me everyone! Maybe I will turn today into an organizing day! Always feel better when things are in order and easy to find...oh and neat, too. I did clean out the junk drawer in the kitchen last weekend. It looks GREAT. Alas, the extra stuff I pulled out is still on the counter...where to put it??? ;p

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 10:36AM
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Baskets and cubbies on my desk.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 1:21PM
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Thanks, Cyn. It's been so long since I've bought any kind of binder, are you talking about those large ones, at least 8 x 11?

I'm going to look on the Office Depot website and see what they have.

I do have a desk in the LR where I keep all the stationery, but I have to have the bills right in front of me so I won't forget! lol. Also my weekly planner calendar. At least the calendar is decorative so it looks nice sitting on the table.

NHB, that's a beautiful and well-organized spot you have there!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 1:34PM
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Yep. I also get the ones that have the clear pocket on the outside to slide in a piece of paper in front-it lets me slide in a title page such as "Financial Information for Cyn, Annabelle and Clouseau, etc.

When we moved in here, there was a desk area in the family room end of the kitchen. We took it out. Of course, it wasn't as nice as yours, nhb. Now I kind of miss it, but the room looks much better without it. DH uses one of the bedrooms as an office, but my stuff is stuck here there and everywhere. Makes it tough to stay organized.

Oh...and I cleaned off the counter! Yippee.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 1:54PM
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I have a roll top desk in my den, lots of room for stuff.
the first slot on the left is where the bills go that need be paid.
after they're paid, I file them in the lower left drawer.

My biggest problem is supermarket flyers. I try and go through them as soon as they land (along with the junk mail) and just save the couple of flyers I need, and throw
away the rest.
After I clip coupons, I put them in a basket
that I keep in the kitchen cabinet. After they expire I throw them away. :(
I hate paper clutter on the kitchen counters, so I try hard
to keep up with the paper chase.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 5:14PM
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I missed this thread in August, unfortunately I keep everything (self-employed). I'm a filer, but I have active files for projects I'm working on stacked all over my desk. I'm sure there's a better way. Trailrunner, or those who keep a notebook.....a few more details? Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 5:50PM
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As soon as I get the mail, I go thru it, putting the junk mail in the recycling bin. Since I do all my banking on line, I open the mail and the original/resend envelope also go in the recycling. Odd mail w/envelope gets a quick lookover and either shredded or recycled....whew!

Everything is put in the mail file(a little larger than what natal has)and when i'm notified from the bank the bill has been paid, the bill goes in a folder in my file 'drawer', and saved for 6 months. With all the junk mail these days, this is a daily 'ritual'.

I don't get a daily newspaper, thank goodness.

Magazines? Don't ask! ;o)

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 7:32PM
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I've paid everything online since Quicken introduced Bill Pay in the early 90s. However, I am grateful I'm compulsive enough to keep my statements. After 2 pretty serious thefts and a house fire, they made my life a LOT easier. When you have to prove cost to an insurance company, they're invaluable. Online statements are fine, but they usually only make them available for a year to 18 months. Sometimes that's not enough.

I have a basket by the door into which I put important mail. It organizes itself as newest to oldest, because I put the newer in front. At tax time I go through and sort them into companies or accounts. Stapled, they go into a credenza that has file drawers in it. I might refer to them once in a couple years, but I have them. Legal papers go into another file in the same place.

Junk mail goes into a paper grocery bag, really neatly, which I turn around and usually bury in the garden. Paper recycles well and prevents weeks when the thickness of a section of news paper.

Now magazines? If I like an article or ad, I've started tearing off the cover of that mag and putting them into a binder with a pressure clip holding them in. This has come in extremely handy when talking about ideas, and I can throw away the TONS of magazines I seem to accumulate.

I'm considering that neat desk scanner thing I see advertized on TV. It has an auto document feed, where my scanner is manual. Last year I scanned statements before and like it. I did them individually and am storing them by account/month on a CD for that year along with a .pdf of last year's tax return, the TurboTax version I've used, and any receipts I might need to reproduce for a deduction. I'm storing that in a binder with 1 printed copy of my tax return. I'm anal enough I am thinking of going thru previous years I'm saving and consolidating like this. Imagine the space I'll free up!

But that's after a gudzillion house projects that need finishing. That's a task I'll do when I'm procrastinating about something else.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 10:29AM
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