Conquer the Paper Problem

Marilyn Bohn from Get it Together Organizing shares some of her tips for creating a working filing system.

To set up a working filing system where you can find anything in 10 to 15 seconds, follow these tips:

• Use hanging files. Don’t use a manila folder inside the hanging files because they are just something more to purchase, take up more space and they hide the tab behind them.

• Organize by categories. Select a color of folder for each category. This keys our mind where to go when we need to find something. Some ideas for categories:






• Put the tabs in front of the files so they don’t get hidden by other folders.

• In the action files have a tab labeled Bills to Pay. If you get a paper bill immediately put it in this file. Plan on paying your bills once or twice a month on the same day. When that day comes, take the bill out and pay it.

Mark the date paid, clip paid bills together, and move them to the back of the file. Or, make another file that says Bills Paid. Utility bills can be thrown away after paying, but most people are uncomfortable with this, so I suggest keeping bills for one month. Rotate them to the recycle bin when you pay your bills again. You do not need to save most paid bills because you can prove two ways that you paid it – by canceled check, or credit card, or the next bill that will reflect your payment.

The biggest tip for cutting down the paper coming into your home is to pay bills online. This cuts down on paper work, time and money (stamps and for some bills envelopes). Set up bill paying through your financial institution and go in monthly and pay the bills you want to pay. Your institution will notify you when they have sent payment. Make a folder in your email and send this information to the folder. You have a record if you ever need it.

Marilyn Bohn

Get It Together Organizing


Look for a copy of Marilyn’s book in stores this summer. Go Organize! helps you conquer clutter in three simple steps. Author and professional organizer Marilyn Bohn guides you through the entire organizing process using her Lights On Organizing System. You’ll learn how to use the Searchlight, Spotlight and Green Light to transform your surroundings and increase the wattage in your home. There are chapters to help you organize your kitchen, bedroom, closet, home office, storage areas and other areas of the home. You’ll also find advice on organizing inherited items and memorabilia and learn how to organize for a downsize to a smaller living area.

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