{Test Results} Organising family paperwork and bills

I have finally done it! I have conquered my family paperwork and come up with a fantastic system to keep my bills and ‘to do’ lists organised. You will remember that my inspiration for organising the family admin was Gemma’s (from My Big Nutshell) fabulous faux Kikki.k folders and some great guidelines from Debra from Home Life Simplified.

These test results follow on (finally) from:

{Crash Test} Organising family paperwork
{Crash Challenge} How to organise family paperwork and bills
{Crash Test Update} Family paperwork: creating a “Tickler File”

I had already picked up a $5 expansion file folder from Officeworks and thought it would do the trick. Also, they are cloth bound, so look pretty too. I headed back and picked up another 6 of them. I have five in black and a pink one which holds all our important docs and certificates. It will be easy to spot it and grab it as I race out of a burning house, or something like that (touch wood I never have to)

Expansion file folders

Using Gemma’s folder themes as guidlines I made up the following folders:
  • Utilities & Insurance
  • Health & Lifestyle
  • Manuals & Warranties
  • Ideas
  • Important Documents
  • Renovations & Maintenance

I think I will also make up one for recipes and takeaway menus, as I’m always ripping recipes out of magazines.

Using my trusty label maker I labelled each of the pockets in the expansion file. Here’s the Utilities & Insurance folder: 

Inside the Utilities and Insurance file

I like how I can just drop in paper and bits and pieces regardless of their size without having to hole punch or put in plastic sleeves. The less steps involved the better! It also copes better than plastic sleeves do with heavier manuals and booklets. Pretty simple isn’t it? The labels on the front are made from bits of extra card found inside the expansion files. I just cut them up and labelled them. They are currently being held on with mini wooden pegs. Kind of cute, but not very practical. I may have to glue them or use a metal pin/brad thingy.

Tickler File

My biggest win in taking on this Crash Test has been my ‘Tickler File’. You can read about what it is and how it works in my {Crash Test Update} Family paperwork: Creating a “Tickler File”. I have found the best container for my tickler file. I took one of the expansion file folders I bought and gutted it ie tore out the dividers. I kept two pockets at the front for my index card stash. Then I just dropped my tickler file folders and dividers in. It’s great and matches the rest of my folders. 

I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now and it is brilliant. Bills go straight into the date folder when we get paid or it’s due date. Kinder forms and event invites go into the date folder the day before I have to do something with it. Library book reminder slips go into the corresponding return date folder. Easy, just throw it in and forget it until you need it. And when you need it, there it is! Brilliant! I don’t have to set reminders in my phone and find somewhere to put the paper until I need it. One step – easy. I also use index cards to write myself reminders and file them in the relevant date. If I don’t have time to sort mail straight into the tickler file then I pop them in a little metal mail rack which sits near the front door.

So there you have it. The Crash Test household is organised. It didn’t cost too much either: $35 worth of folders, some manila folders and dividers (for the tickler file), and something for label making.

Do you think this might work for you? Would you try a “Tickler File”?

SOURCE: http://www.crashtestmummy.com.au/test-results-organising-family-paperwork-and-bills/

September 24, 2013 — Tracy Verboom