30-Day Organize-athon | Day 14: Organize Your Paperwork

30-Day Organize-athon 14

Welcome to the 30-Day Organize-athon!

In today’s 5 minutes we’re going to express-organize your paperwork.

Ready, set, organize!

Day 14: Organize Your Paperwork

Step 1: Gather all the paperwork from around your home – whether strewn throughout the house, covering every surface of your home office, or assembled in a towering pile. (If this alone takes more than 5 minutes it doesn’t count!)

Step 2: Quickly flick through the papers and create 3 piles:

  1. Action Pile: Papers that need your attention – look for bills, school notices, invitations, etc.
  2. File Pile: Papers that need to be filed – look for warranties, tax info, insurance notices, important receipts, etc.
  3. Discard Pile: Papers that you don’t need – look for junk mail, notices for past events, random scraps of paper, etc.

Keep it moving and don’t overthink. If you’re really in doubt about something, put it on your Action Pile to consider when you have more time.

Step 3: Schedule a time during the week to action the Action Pile and file the File Pile.

Step 4: Discard the Discard pile. Be sure to shred sensitive information.

And you’re done!

NOTE: We’ll tackle the rest of your desk, den, study, or home office area tomorrow.

Got an Extra 5 Minutes?

  1. Start dealing with your Action Pile now. It’ll be easier to continue later if you start now; and/or
  2. File your File Pile; and/or
  3. Shred your sensitive Discard Pile.

Now don’t you feel liberated?

The 30-Day Organize-athon Mantra

Move fast. Don’t overthink. Let it go!

Start the 5-minute timer now.

Leave Your Comment Below…

Please leave your comment below to say you’ve done today’s task.

See you tomorrow!

[Image by aussiegall]

175 thoughts on “30-Day Organize-athon | Day 14: Organize Your Paperwork

  1. Jamie English says:

    We have a notebook and small filing cabinet. The notebook has folders for all our regular bills and mail (statements etcetera). Every 6 months we file the items from the notebook into the cabinet. So this one takes less than 5 minutes to tidy up (the filing can get behind)!

  2. Holly Hall says:

    Thank you for having this one today, I have been needing to do this but it felt so overwhelming since both my husband and I work from home we have not only normal household paper trails but work paper trails and a small area for everything.

  3. m says:

    I will need a lot more than 5 minutes on this one! But I’ve got a good start and will complete when I get home tonight.

  4. Michelle Clark says:

    Ive been good with this one…..working on starting a business so I HAVE to take care of paperwork. But i did need to take out taxes from 8 years ago.

  5. Jill Beck says:

    Done – started this weekend. Have a green plastic bin for our son and his school papers and a purple one for our daughter – papers we are keeping go in there. We also each have a different color folder where each of our things go into each night now.

  6. Debra Stanley says:


    Thanks to the notice board clean up on the communication centre this one is already done for us
    All our paperwork gets pinned to the appropriate board as it comes in now and is actually getting actioned straight away now that we can see what is on it

    Need to do a full declutter of the filing cabinet now though as everything has been filed and the folders are looking full again and messy

    Luv Deb

  7. Adrienne says:

    I have been working on this one. I have a laundry basket and bags of paperwork. It was in the kitchen. I like to clip different flower pictures with the information as well as recipes (took care of those recipes in another task). I am finally going to pitch the flower pics and when the time comes to get the landscaping done, I can use the internet. As for the rest, I am filing away. 🙂

  8. Dawn Yates says:

    OK so that 5 minutes was a little longer (not counting the gathering:) but got it sorted will work on the pile when I get home from work

  9. Lisa M. says:

    This is one that I really need to work on. I do good dividing the pile but never get around to filing everything. I think I keep more than what I need to so will have to redo the filing cabinet again! Thanks for the tips!

  10. Luca S. says:

    Good, I did a great work of organization for papers some months ago and since then I keep all at their place. I just inserted my last 2 sheets last night and all is done! 🙂

  11. Carrie Jones says:

    I’m starting to feel like I’m ahead of the game for a change…this is another one that has just recently been tackled in our household so the 5 minutes was just enough time for me to action what needed to be actioned and file what needed to be filed. After reading one of your other documents I no longer have discard piles of paperwork…it gets discarded as soon as it is opened and looked at 🙂

  12. Sarah says:

    I’m letting my husband deal with this one. He insists on keeping a lot more paper than I would (I would make heavy use of the scanner).

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