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.
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.
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.
I buy a new Jan-Dec file every year. It works great and is quick to implement!
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.
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?
I hope the ideas you've seen in this hall of fame have inspired you.
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 Amazon.com
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.