FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) – Organization... Some people do it better than others!

When trying to keep track of doctor bills, vet bills, utility bills, mortgage statements and schedule changes, my filing system could use an overhaul. So, I asked professional organizer Helen Austen for some help getting my paper put together.

Helen first suggests having not one, but two filing systems.

“You’re going to have one that you have daily or weekly access to that’s in the heart of your home somewhere. The second one I call a reference system. This is what we’re most familiar with. It’s those filing cabinets in the second bedroom or in storage or somewhere out of sight and out of mind. It’s probably packed full of stuff that you haven’t seen in years that has its place and has value,” says Austen.

Make your easy access filer a desktop filing box, but not a huge one or one that has a lid. Be sure it can use hanging files.

Now that your daily file is ready, Helen suggests as few filing folders as possible. Maybe just use one for each person in the house. There are two other folders you should also include:

  1. An action file.
    This is where you put any bills that need to be paid and anything you want to follow up on.
  2. A “to file” file.
    This is the folder that will hold items that will eventually land in your reference filing system. Be sure to go through this file once a month to decide if this paper is worth keeping and then transfer it to your reference file.

Of course, one of the easiest ways to cut down on all the paper clutter is to go electronic.

Most of our household bills are delivered online which, at least to me, makes them easier to pay and organize via email or folders on the computer. It also makes them easier to search for via dates and keywords should I have to go back and look something up.

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