The Endless Stream of Paper
  • episcopal
    Posts: 1,851Member
    As I sit at the computer, I notice piles of miscellaneous papers (mail, receipts, stuff printed off computer, scrap paper, etc.) both to the right and left of the monitor.  There are also piles on the dining room table of mail and other paper stuff.  Fortunately, we retrieve all of the important stuff right after we take it out of the mailbox.

    Managing all this crap sometimes feels like a full-time job in and of itself.

    How do you deal with all of the paper that comes through your place of residence?  Do you have a system?  If so, how effective is it?
  • OxiMOMOxiMOM
    Posts: 3,104Member
    Omg that's my house!!!!

    Bills we have a system unpaid on the right side of the tv stand paid on the left side. As I pay them I write date paid how much and the conf number then move them over where they sit for 3 months till I eventually file them by month in a folder.

    Everything else sits around for months till I get sick of it and go thru it all save stuff we might need trash the rest. Lately I have been throwing junk mail away as it comes but the house is still a paper cluttered mess.
  • episcopal
    Posts: 1,851Member
    That's it, @OxiMOM, it's all that junk mail and the volume of it that comes through.

    Sounds like a pretty good system that you have. 

    Somewhere there's a list of how long one needs to keep financial statements of any kind.  My shredder has become my new best friend.
  • OxiMOMOxiMOM
    Posts: 3,104Member
    See I have to take care of the paper stuff DH rips it all up without paying attention to it. The last time he helped me with the paper stuff our birth certificates ended up in 4 peices in a trash bag outside and I had to open 2 bags and look at every peice till I found them.

    We have a garbage can right next to the front door in our living room so lately when I grab the mail I pull out anything for DH anything for me that may be important the rest goes in the can.

    Our main problem is DH's junk mail. I know we're Married but I fee weird opening his mail so it sits and sits and sits. His pay stubs too his night stand he moved in with is STUFFED full of his pay stubs from 7 years ago hell he even has some of his ex's pay stubs in there.
  • sunnymommasunnymomma
    Posts: 2,171Member
    I have a bag right by the door for the junk mail. bills go on the table, bank statements and anything that doesnt need to be read but needs to be saved go right into the filing box. If shit sits to long I usually get mad and recycle it all at once. Lord knows what i have recycled that I might need some day
    I am me, and I am loved
  • squishsquish
    Posts: 1,107Member
    Pay it, shred it. If its important for taxes them its filed. Junk is either shredded or ripped and thrown out as soon as I get it.

    I hate clutter. A lot of my bills are digital too so that helps.
  • GritsGrits
    Posts: 4,370Member
    squish said:

    Pay it, shred it. If its important for taxes them its filed. Junk is either shredded or ripped and thrown out as soon as I get it.

    I hate clutter. A lot of my bills are digital too so that helps.



    That's pretty much how I do it. I don't keep one damn thing that's not important. I take the bills out and hang them on the fridge. All the extra that comes with goes in the garbage. Paper clutter drives me seven different kinds of crazy. If the kids spill on it, they don't tell, paper is glued to table....I could go on. But yeah, I only keep important mail. I have a small flexible file folder (looks like an accordion) for keeping up with receipts and other important papers. But I weed though them every 3-6 months, depending on how full it is. But I am ruthless with anything that's not necessary. I throw all kinds of stuff away if we don't need it/aren't using it or it isn't worthy of donation. The garbage men hate me.
    "I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles." ~Audrey Hepburn
  • MarySunshineMarySunshine
    Posts: 7,953Member
    I keep trying to start a system....but the other half keeps blowing said systems to hell. 8-| LOL
    "I don't poop. I create magic."- ABC

    I'm as sexy as a burp mid-kiss. Watch out!

    For every loser there's one that has to win. So bite your tongue, grit your teeth and grin...
  • episcopal
    Posts: 1,851Member
    @squish, I pay my bills online, but I still am reluctant to get my bills by e-mail.  I'm always afraid of an e-bill getting lost amongst spam and good mail.  I'm also afraid of missing due dates.
  • squishsquish
    Posts: 1,107Member
    @ Episcopal I have my dates pretty much memorized. I use my white board for date reminders and I keep the emails until I pay them. I did have that happen to me once with our gas bill but it was because I accidentally deleted it before paying. I just make sure that the senders are saved and in my contact list so they don't end up in spam.

    Any paper bill I get is put on my cork board until paid. Emails are deleted once they are paid. The bill is also erased from my white board.
  • episcopal
    Posts: 1,851Member
    @squish, the key also is to make sure that you schedule your payments when you know you'll have money to cover them.  I always try to at least get the payment in the system immediately after the bill arrives.

    Ah, technology...  I got my first Smartphone in my stocking this Christmas.  I'm still learning how to navigate that!
  • squishsquish
    Posts: 1,107Member
    @episcopal that's why I use my whiteboard. I also note my which Fridays are pay Fridays so I know what bill will be paid with what pay and pay them on that friday. It's depressing to see money go out at once but ill be done until next pay and money that is left is for groceries and incidentals.

    I'm still trying to get my mom to pay bills online but I doubt that will ever happen so don't worry about being behind in technology :)
  • episcopal
    Posts: 1,851Member
    @squish, I'm fortunate that both DW and DD are very much up on the latest stuff.  DW has to be since she works in an office at our local university.  DD is up on it just because she's 18 going on 19!

    So far, I've been able to master it all as I've needed to (lol).  
  • shate98shate98
    Posts: 5,020Member
    @episcopal it's 7yrs for financial records.

    I keep all of the medical records too but I shred everything else after 1 year (just in case there's an issue with an account or something then I have a record of payments made)
    "As you wander through your life, whatever be your goal,
    keep your eye upon the doughnut, not upon the hole."
  • episcopal
    Posts: 1,851Member
    @shate98, and isn't it 10 years for tax returns?  I think I still have all of our returns from the time DW and I got married, and that's 25 years.
  • shate98shate98
    Posts: 5,020Member
    @episcopal honestly I never get rid of them, I just stick them in a box in the attic, but I've heard 7 at a minimum.

    oh, and my paper system is to throw a party and all of the paper ends up in a bag in a closet, lost until I find it a year later when it's no longer important (the bills always get paid, tho)
    "As you wander through your life, whatever be your goal,
    keep your eye upon the doughnut, not upon the hole."
  • WebosMama
    Posts: 265Member
    You need to keep tax returns and related paperwork for 7 years - I believe the IRS can only audit back that far. We started doing e-bills and e-payments about 3-4 years ago. The mortgage gets paid on the first everything else gets paid on the 10th. I don't need the bills to remind me anymore. When you do e-bill most of the companies stop snail mailing you stuff as well, everything is e-mail and just gets deleted. Junk mail is trashed as it comes in the door, I can't stand the stuff. If it is junk mail for my husband I have no problem opening and trashing.
  • gramalibbygramalibby
    Posts: 3,744Member
    We finally got DH one of those scan ur bill things he is sooooooo anal about keeping every paper bit , yea me as I would go through and pitch he is one contented man and I free from clutter
  • episcopal
    Posts: 1,851Member
    Thanks, @WebosMama!  Reducing the amount of junk mail in and of itself would be enough for me to fully convert to on-line bill pay.
  • episcopal
    Posts: 1,851Member
    I wonder how many calories I burn each day hitting the "Delete" button.  Hmm...
  • LiquidPeppermintLiquidPeppermint
    Posts: 841Member
    DH works at home, so between faxes about a Caribbean Vacation for 8 for only $79, those pieces of paper that he scribbles notes to himself on, DSS's drawings (that he leaves lying everywhere, but if you touch them, he goes through the roof), every Pizza Today magazine ever published, the Domino's Equipment and Supply catalogs(of which we have a couple dozen, all identical), and DD's drawings (that she doesn't care about, but she's only 2 so I hate throwing them all away), our "office" (also known as the dining room, laundry room, and only room with a door to the backyard) is always a disaster area.  We don't even have the bill problem.  We're mostly paperless on bills, and the couple who do send us bills, we keep in a special place and I throw away monthly. 

    Yesterday, I dumped about three pounds of paper into the trash can.  I know DH will come to me looking for that one note he scribbled with that oh-so-important address or phone number on it, or DSS will want that two-line drawing that was the beginning of his career.  But I just couldn't take it anymore.
  • junglezoo
    Posts: 249Member
    I put all our bills ontop of the fridge but I know roughly when they are all due because it's roughly the same time each month. All the other stuff goes straight in the recycle bin.
    I'm going to the zoo zoo zoo. You can come too too too....
  • Marionettevie
    Posts: 2,729Member
    i rip whatever is junk up and throw it away...i used to save it for my mom because she takes newspapers and stuff to a recyling place but i would forget and i would have bags all over the place and it annoyed me so i stopped. when ever the desk is over flowing i clean it up...so about every two months....dh makes SO MUCH fucking paper i want to strangle him...
  • just_mejust_me
    Posts: 1,035Member
    @gramalibby did the paper scanner thing work good for you? We are thinking of getting one but not sure if its worth the investment.
    I can't be perfect all the time...so give it up already!
  • gramalibbygramalibby
    Posts: 3,744Member
    Yeppers goes right on the computer in its right folder meat and clutter. Free
  • MomaFive
    Posts: 1,539Member
    Our mail goes to the post office. The only thing delivered here is the wkly paper.
    Since I get nearly all bills sent to me via email while I'm at the post office I can sort : bills that aren't emailed, magazines, junkmail
    All bills are opened there, envelopes put in with junk mail, then on the way out the door there are huge blue recycle bins that all junk mail gets tossed into. I've been doing it this way for 6 yrs, works well for me.
  • episcopal
    Posts: 1,851Member
    @MomaFive, do you go to the post office daily?
  • MomaFive
    Posts: 1,539Member
    Nope like once a wk LoL I avoid it, that's where my bills come from LoL
  • episcopal
    Posts: 1,851Member
    @MomaFive, I figured (lol)!