Organizing Bills Hall Of Fame: Ideas & Solutions

There are several steps to organizing bills, all of which are addressed in Week #11 of the Organized Home Challenge, and also below in this hall of fame in some fashion.

organize bills challenge
For some people this area of home organization is really simple, but for others it is a struggle to find the paper bills or to pay either the paper or electronic ones on time so you don't incur late fees.

The key is to develop a routine. Always place bills you receive in a central designated location. Be meticulous about it, so one doesn't get stuffed in your purse and forgotten for example.

Next, you've got to routinely deal with your finances and paying your bills. I personally suggest once a week during your weekly paperwork session. This will generally ensure no due dates are missed.

For full details and instructions check out the Organize Bills Challenge and then see below for how readers who've taken the challenge have done it in their own homes.

I would love to see how you tackle this area of your home as well. You can submit your own pictures here for the Home Organization Hall of Fame and I'll add them to the page.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to 52 Week Home Organization Challenge Hall Of Fame.

Bill Organization Before & After Paid

by Bec from 2012 - The Year Of Challenges

Paper bills pinned to pin board

Paper bills pinned to pin board

Paper bills pinned to pin board Calendaring due dates Spreadsheet for paid bills

Bec from 2012 - The Year Of Challenges took on this week's challenge, and shared how she does it both before the bill is paid, and also afterward.

Before the bills are paid she makes sure she doesn't lose the paper by pinning it to her pin board.

The one with the due date closest is in the front of the stack that is pinned to the board.

But she found that alone was not enough, so she also began adding the due date of bills to her calendar which she looks at daily.

She explained, "I have highlighted the bills so I can see at a quick glance when they are due. Once paid I tick it so I know it's dealt with."

Then, finally, after they are paid she adds the information to a spreadsheet, and files the actual paper bills.

She also made progress clearing out the filing cabinet of older bills that she didn't need to keep anymore, shredding them.

Great job Bec! Looks like you've got a system that works well for you.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to 52 Week Home Organization Challenge Hall Of Fame.

Calendar To Track Bill Due Dates & Accordion File For Filing Them Afterward

by HSS101 Reader

When I receive a bill I add the due date to my paper desk calendar and Google calendar.

Then I file the bills in a folder marked "To Pay/To Do."

I look at the calendar every day as part of my routine, plus it shows on my phone and Kindle on the Google calendar, so I can see when something needs paid.

When paid, I file the bill in a 12 pocket accordion file by the month. When the year is over, I already have my bills filed and the whole accordion file can go into the file cabinet.

During the year, the accordion file sits in a file bin on the window sill in my office with the "To Pay/To Do" folder sitting in front.

In the same file bin, there are also folders behind the accordion for "Taxes", "Health", "Retirement", etc.

Low tech, but it works very well for me.

***Update: I (Taylor) have now written an article about how to organize paid bill statements which uses a quite similar method to what this reader suggested, since it works quite well! ***End Update

Photo courtesy of

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to 52 Week Home Organization Challenge Hall Of Fame.

I Use A Tickler File For Paying Bills On Time

by Brandy

Brandy says:

I have been using a tickler file for years. However, I simply use expanding files without the flap.

I use one with January - December that I replace annually.

I also use the 1-31 that is used over and over every year.

Along with a calendar, these two expanding files get the tickler job done.

When I write a bill or event on my calendar, I place the bill or tickets/info in the same day slot in my expanding file.

When I see the bill due date and/or event has arrived I know I can find it in that day's number in the file.

As I pay bills, finish with receipts, or find any other item that occurred in a certain month and needs to be kept, I just place it in the current month. At the end of the year, I have a portable file of the year that fits nicely with other end of the year items.

how and why to create a tickler file
I buy a new Jan-Dec file every year. It works great and is quick to implement!

Taylor says:

Thanks for sharing what you do Brandy! I love a tickler file myself, and it is great for making sure you pay bills on time.

If you're not aware of what a tickler file is exactly, no problem. Here's my article on how to create a tickler file so you can use a system like Brandy's if you're interested.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to 52 Week Home Organization Challenge Hall Of Fame.

I Use A Chart Of Expected Bills & Follow A Routine

by Sally

Sally says:

I follow my father in law's teaching. I have a chart of all expected bills.

I have most of them automatically paid, but the few I have to send a payment in for are done twice a month.

I check off the bills on the chart as they clear the account.

As bills come in I open them, make sure they are right, and then they get filed in the folder which holds that chart, until I pay them.

After they clear the bank I move those bills to a file for 90 days (just in case) then they get shredded.

I love the chart, because at a glance I can tell if everything that should have been paid has been!

Taylor says:

Thanks for sharing your routine Sally. This sounds great, and the most important takeaway is that you follow a habitual routine.

That is what is most important for keeping track of your bills, dealing with them consistently.

The photo of the chart above is actually the free printable monthly bill organizer worksheet that is available on this site. So for those who want to try something to Sally, be sure to grab your copy today.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to 52 Week Home Organization Challenge Hall Of Fame.

My System For Paying Bills Twice A Month On 1st And 15th

by Jynae

I have grid paper in my monthly and weekly planner.

I write out all my bills and add them up, then from the bi weekly paychecks I set aside half the amount from each and put into a separate account we use to pay bills only.

I pay half of the payments on the 1st regardless of due date and the other half on the 15 regardless of due date, though I do separate them based on due date so nothing ends up late.

I always end up having more due on the 15th so the half I put away on the 1st balances it.

Also I always pay a few more dollars than I need to just in case taxes change the amount and I rarely look at the actual bill because the amounts rarely change.

Things are all paid differently but since they come out of the same account that I don't even touch we can't screw it up with our own spending.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to 52 Week Home Organization Challenge Hall Of Fame.

I Collect My Bills In A Wall Mounted Mail Rack

by Taylor

I pay bills once a week, when I also do my weekly paperwork session.

That's also when I meal plan, balance the checkbook, call about bills or other issues that need to be dealt with, do my banking, run errands, etc.

But I've got to have a place to hold the bills until then, as they come in the mail.

What has worked for my family is to use a wall mounted mail rack similar to the one shown above.

Each day, whether my husband or I grab the mail, we sort through it quickly (as suggested in the mail organization hall of fame. All bills or other things that need to be dealt with in the weekly paperwork session are placed up in the mail rack.

That solves the problem we used to have prior to this arrangement where we just laid everything, including junk mail, magazines, bills, etc., on the kitchen table and a couple weeks later we might run across it. Or we might forget completely and get a shock the next month when the bill was double, plus a whopping late fee.

That system, if you could call it that, was not good on our wallets since we paid a lot of late fees. That was silly since if we'd just had a routine in place we had the money to pay the bills when they were due.

Now, I don't worry about missing or late payments since I pay all the bills in the stack, or if I can (and want to) put off a bill a week I will if the due date won't be coming up too much after the next weekly paperwork session.

Then, after paying the bills I just place the paid bills in that month's paid bill folder. I used to have a folder for each type of bill, but I found that frankly that was too much work for rarely ever referencing those bills again.

Therefore, this system of one file folder for each month of paid bills is good enough for us, for most things.

Then it's easy after two or so years to just throw away almost everything in those files (well, technically shred and then recycle). I might save out one or two things to file somewhere else, but not much since no one cares two years later if you paid your phone bill, typically.

Are You Ready To Get Organized Now?

organized home challenge
I hope the ideas you've seen in this hall of fame have inspired you.

If so, I encourage you to do the Week #11 Organized Home Challenge and then submit your photos to the Hall of Fame here.

In addition though, I'd love it if you joined the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, where each week we tackle a different room or type of item in your home. Over the course of the year you'll organize your entire home and life from top to bottom, while also developing positive habits and routines to help you keep it that way!
Wall mounted mail rack photo courtesy of

Some links on this page are affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase a product through them I receive a small commission which helps me provide this information to you for free, plus support my family. My integrity and your satisfaction are very important to me so I only recommend products I would purchase myself, and that I believe would benefit you. To learn more please see my disclosure statement.

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Getting Rid Of Bill Clutter Hall Of Fame

Printable Monthly Bill Organizer Worksheet

Go From Organizing Bills Hall of Fame To Home Page

Comments for I Collect My Bills In A Wall Mounted Mail Rack

Click here to add your own comments

this is what I do for filing
by: Sharon D.

I am happy to say I am ahead of the game. I already do all of this. The only thing I do different is I have a file folder for every utility bills. I already date, amt. paid, and check no. on my bills after paying them. Looking forward to other challenges to see how I have done on my own.

my simple method
by: Kim

I never wait for a bill to come in, I have it all organized by due date and amount due and put it into my weekly budget. I check the total amount online for the gas, city, and electric about a week or two beforehand and put that # in my budget. So much simpler!

my current method not great so challenge is appreciated
by: Rolanda

I don't get a lot of paper bills, but when I do I tend to just throw them to the side and sometimes forget them. So this challenge will be worth while.

Solution for bills
by: Anonymous

I use a binder and page clear sheets. I put bill in, highlight the due date and file for what payday of the month when payed, then highlight paid across it and date paid. Put in plastic page sheet. That's after I paid it but I look at it daily to make sure I don't miss a payment. It works to keep clutter out.

how I remind myself of bills due
by: Vickey

I had input my bills on my Outlook calendar but only get reminders when on my desktop computer or laptop. Most of my bills are paid automatically but with reminders I know to watch bank account for when the payment clears.

I also downloaded a check register from an Excel template and I keep up with the date the bills are due. When I receive my paycheck, I input it in the template and it balances my checkbook automatically. During the month I copy/paste as bills are paid so that I always know how much money is in my checking accounts as well as how much money can be transferred to savings when all the bills are paid. I use this template for the 2 companies I own as well as all my personal checking accounts and credit cards. Very easy to also highlight deductions for tax purposes.

monthly planner for bill due dates
by: Gineen

I use a monthly planner (by the month) and write in the bill on the date due and at a glance I can see what is due each week or the whole month.

difficult to pay bills weekly
by: Kathy

Great bill paying ideas! Even though I have a good system down, it's more difficult to pay bills weekly when the income only comes in bi-weekly. Then it don't help when expenses cost more then I can bring in ;/

need help
by: Alison

I need a solution for bi-weekly paychecks and I also have bills that come in a variety of ways: email, paper, automatic withdrawal, etc. etc.

what I do
by: Danielle

I pay them online as soon they come. Then toss them in the trash.

Automatic payments
by: Heather

I set up automatic payments for all my utility bills, insurance, security system, club dues, church donations, etc. For credit cards I set up an automatic payment for the typical minimum due and then send an additional payment later in the month after I've had a chance to go over budget and verify how much extra to send.

App For That
by: Sassy Countess

Did you know that there are apps that you can download to your computer and/or phone? I have one that you take a picture of the invoice and then any and all receipts. Also, my bank has a free program for that as well, and it can even send out checks at an appointed time for free... even printed checks.

This might be useful to some people like me, who lose things easily.

What's the app called??
by: Anonymous

I was wondering if you happen to know the name of the app that helps with bills where you can take a picture of the invoice??

use online bill pay
by: Anonymous

I have all my bills, I.e. Utilities, mortgage, insurance, etc., on paperless billing. Some of these are on average payment plan so the amount is the same for a year, and some I set up on auto-pay through my bank. All my payments are done with on-line bill pay. When the emails come in I immediately move them to a Pay Bills email folder and go in twice a month to check things out and make the payments. Then I move each email into a sub-folder by category. Easy, peasy. Some creditors give you $5-$10 for going paperless! It's so freeing and rewarding with no paper clutter :-)

by: Tanya

I pay all of my bills through my bank and I get email reminders if I want (which helps with the larger ones.) Some bills are the same amount each month, and some I set on autopay and adjust the amount when I see the bill. (And no worries if I don't get to it. But I never miss paying them and I don't have to sort the paperwork. Also, I can easily review annual totals by vendor when I do my taxes -- to account for the office space I use in my home, etc.

I use to pay my bills late because I couldn't sift through the mail and deal with the mechanics of bill-paying. This electronic system has worked wonders for me, and my ability to stay organized.

how I do it
by: KimH

We lay all the mail on the foot of my bed and I go thru it when I get home from work, first thing, after dropping off my shoes, coat and purse.

I open the bills, look at the charges, and write the due date on the front of the envelope and the amount due, the minimum due and the amount I expect to pay if its a big one that cant be paid off easily.

I put them in a basket sitting on my dresser that nothing other than bills or pens go into.

I pay my bills every 2 weeks or so, usually, which is how often I get paid.. Occasionally I'll have most of them paid off so occasionally I only have to pay them once a month.

I also pay all of my bills (with the exception of a few doctors bills) with my banks online bill pay so there is always a record of it being paid. I shred my paper bills after I've written them in a book I keep meticulous records of bills I've paid, the dates, due dates, amounts & interest rates. It works for me.

keeping the mail moving
by: Anonymous

I like that you keep your bills corralled in one place. I have three adults in my household so I bought three magazine storage bins in a different color for each individual. We sort the mail into each of these so everyone can deal with their own mail.

Accordion File addition
by: Anonymous

Each of these Accordion File Folders come with many slots also known as pockets. I use many of them for my monthly bills including keeping my return address labels and stamps in the first slot. In addition to filing my bills when they come in; I move them into another slot when they are separated and ready for payment; then I sort them according to due by date so, if its due on the first I put it in the date a week before when I have the check made out I complete the envelope with a Love Stamp (it reminds me I love my life style so I am happy to pay my bills) then I put it in the slot for the post office. Then I keep my receipts in the back slot of the pocket until the next bill comes in after checking to see that they have received my payment I shred my previous statement.

Budget Spending
by: Tanya

My pocketbook is quite tight so I run a spreadsheet of weekly payments, and then with the money left over I allocate payments for bills due also and see what is left for food and petrol.

I pre-enter these payments into internet banking so I know they are done.

Organising bills
by: Anonymous

I'm surprised that all the home organisation seems to be the woman's job! We both worked full time and so in our house we have always shared responsibilities. My husband has always paid the household bills. When waiting to be paid they go in a letter rack with the first ones to pay at the front. Once paid they are filed under the appropriate heading in the filing cabinet. Now most things are paid by direct debit so there is not so much filing to do.
I think paying bills and organising the home should be shared if you are both working.

Organize with manila envelopes
by: Anonymous

I use a manilla folder and label each one with the date due and the bill (example 1st Mortgage) then I file them in date order. On the inside of the folder I write user name and passwords for online bill pay. I then use a piece of paper as a check list which I keep in plain view showing the date due and type of bill. I cross them off on pay days when they get paid. Don't forget to add give and save before you pay bills. Everyone needs an emergency fund and should work on becoming debt-free.

mix and match
by: Anonymous

I do a combination of the bill chart and the bi - monthly bill pay. I write down all the bills, their due dates, and the amount due. Then, on each payday I pay as many bills as I can (at least up to the next paycheck). Because I pay bills first thing, I don't have to worry about coming up short later, plus it gives me the chance to get ahead (a big plus if you have a variable income).

pay twice a month, on the 1st and 15th
by: Anonymous

I pay my bills 2 weeks in advance. This gives me a cushion to be sure they arrive on time. I also pay my bills 2 times a month. The beginning and on the 15th. I have a small note posted on my desk to help remind me of my payment schedule. I find this much more simple than paying as they come in. I also enroll in automatic bill pay through my bank to save on postage and time.

I have an account for automatic bill paying
by: Anonymous

This is what I have done for several years, too. I have a separate bank account in which I deposit money twice a month from each pay check. I have everything set up on automatic payments, so all I have to do is to make sure that on each pay check I deposit $700 into the account, and then the bank takes over from there. I do this with off of the "important" bills, such as mortgage, student loan payments, utility, donation to my church, etc. I do log in to the bank to make sure the money is flowing to where it needs to go, but it is a very easy system and rarely have I had a problem with it (the problems I have had were user errors on my part). But the bills are always paid on time this way. I use another account for bills that I can't set up on automatic payments or for infrequent or periodic expenses.

how I pay bills and budget at the same time
by: Anonymous

I pay my bills every week even though I get paid bi-weekly. I have a spreadsheet with payment categories and track each and every expense monthly. I have set up an excel graph that totals each category and provides a percentage of income for the monthly budget. Each week I update my budget to match my new expenses and make sure that I am on target (by % of income). This includes my savings, retirement and emergency cash fund. Each of these are paid first each and every payday. In my opinion I must pay myself before paying my monthly bills. If I do not have enough for savings, retirement funds and emergency cash, then I adjust my expenses (by category) so I can contribute to savings.

By graphing the monthly expenses to the monthly budget each week I have ample time to adjust my discretionary spending (dining out, etc.) so I do not exceed my budgeted amount.

When I have to identify expenses for my yearly taxes I can auto-filter by expense category and then sum the amounts. This spreadsheet is also a great reference to look up the expense on my online bank records. No more searching through ton's of paper receipts.

Pay Bills Once A Month
by: Nana

The phone bill comes in a larger envelope than the other bills. I attach it to the frig with an extra large magnet inside the envelope. As the bills come in I place them in the envelope. Most of my bills are automatically deducted from my checking account.

On the first of the month I phone the bank to get the interest for the former month. I then rectify my checking account. I then write in all bills from envelope with due date listed as if I wrote a real check. Then I know how much I have left in my account. I keep bills till I get statement. Then I shred them.

Paying bills twice a month is a great method
by: Anonymous

I work in finances and this is the method. I advise majority of my clients to do it too, and I use myself!

my system
by: Anonymous

As soon as they come in I write the due date and amount on the envelope and put them in a designated location. I also keep a list of all my monthly bills and check them off as they're paid. This helps not to miss any and also to budget how much you'll need.

Bill question
by: Heidi

How long should I hang onto hard copies of paid bills?

Careful what you shred
by: Luci

I like all the ideas of organizing / paying bills. I'd be careful about shredding everything, though. I learned the hard way that car insurance carriers expect you to have 3-5 years proof of insurance in order to switch and get a good price.

I use the system of putting all my utility bills in one folder, credit card bills in another, bank documents in another, etc. I used to use the system of putting all the paid bills in one monthly slot. Didn't work so well for me.

I used to be late on bills as another poster mentioned. I also had the money to pay them; I just didn't have a system. Paying late fees unnecessarily is just insane. Putting bills in the same place every time without fail is the best system for me. When I fail to do that, I forget or can't find it.

I started using a Tickler Filing System
by: Terri

I recently started using a Tickler File System. I have a file box and use hanging file folders. It is working great so far :)

Bills Paid Online
by: Mary Pat Higley

I've switched over to paying most bills online, with prompts for payment. Other bills I write due date on outside of envelope and organize as they are due.

by: pepper

My husband and I both get paid bi-weekly with 2 days in between our checks. I have a running list of each bill that is due for every month and the dates due in a binder and throw the bills in it. As each bill gets paid it gets crossed off and filed. Not the most eye catching but it works. And anything that needs to be taken care of is shoved in it also. I sit down every couple days with a cup of coffee and see what needs to be done. Since I am the one who deals with our finances I have everything listed in the back-names, account number, how it gets paid, if it's mailed what date to mail it by along with some stamps and whatever else is needed. That way if I'm sick or out of town for work he can open it and look and the info he needs is right there for him.

Paperless and Electronic - No paying by checks
by: SerendipityFr0g

My husband gets paid weekly, on Thursdays, so Monday or Tuesday, I look to see what his paycheck will be for that week (thank you!) and I figure out which bills need to be paid first, typically the cell phones, car payment and mortgage are within the first 2 weeks; then power, cable, insurance, sewer, water and credit cards are the last 2 weeks. When there's a 5th week, it's used to pay on collection bill(s), prepay mortgage and car, to 'pay down' the principle.

Every single bill we get is paperless, and we get discounts for going paperless on some of the bills! (free money is the way I look at it!)

So once hubby is paid on Thursday, I usually pay bills Thursday or Friday.

We used to be repetitively late with mortgage, power and cable bills, but with the new system I have started, I have actually caught up and am finally 1 mortgage payment behind, and ONE old bill that was in collections, is now paid off. One more bill in collections, and we are golden!

I have also finally gotten it into my head that I have a water and sewer bill, which I had never had before moving to city life... And they were never sending us the bills, but we always got the late fee bills! Weird! But now, I know my sewer is $22 a month and my water is $13 a month, so I just call and make the payments over the phone. Everything else is electronic payments. Which I LOVE!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to 52 Week Home Organization Challenge Hall Of Fame.

Get Email Updates & Newsletter

home puzzle

Let me help you put the pieces of your home puzzle together. Join over 200,000 others and get tips, articles and organizing challenges sent directly to your inbox to help you get your house in order. Plus, you'll get a free 12 month declutter calendar for 2016!

Let's Stay Connected!

follow Home Storage Solutions 101 with RSS be a fan of Home Storage Solutions 101 on Facebook follow Home Storage Solutions 101 on Twitter

follow Home Storage Solutions 101 on G+ Follow Taylor on Pinterest follow Taylor on Instagram

Join Over 200,000 Others And Get Organized Starting Today With Tips From My Newsletter

Join The Declutter 365 Facebook Group (100,000+ Members)