Are you drowning in paperwork at home?

It seems as though my daughter brings home paperwork every day from school. “Wear your own jumper day”, “dress as your favourite TV character”, school trips, homework, lunchtime and after school clubs.  It can feel rather relentless especially if you have to deal with paperwork in your business, job, church ministry, voluntary work.

My daughter also attends piano and ballet class which naturally brings more paperwork into our home.  She enjoys them, therefore I have made up my mind to grin and bear it – whilst complaining just a tad to my husband!

I really do not want to come home to find paperwork waiting for me but they are not going to be dealt with elsewhere – unless my husband decides to jump on board! This is not his forte so I leave him to get on with tasks he excels in and enjoys. 

I have put the following systems in place in order to best manage paperwork in the home;

1. I read letters and file, if they require action I put letters in my handbag and send a reminder to action during my lunch break at work. 

2. I take photographs of ALL my daughter’s party invitations, homework sheets, class infornation and anything else.  If the original is mislaid, I can refer to my phone’s gallery for guidance and reprint if necessary.

3. I shred paperwork which is older than six months and no longer required. 

4. I  have requested for bank statements to be available online rather than mailed to me. 

How do you manage administration in your home? 

Do you find it time consuming?

28 thoughts on “Are you drowning in paperwork at home?”

  1. Have nearly all my bills by direct withdrawal so I don’t have to try to remember to pay on time. I still get the paper statements though, to make sure I’m not being overcharged or double billed. It’s easier for me than trying to check it online. Too many passwords to remember. I’m still drowning in paperwork, but I try to shred what I don’t need to keep long-term. It’s hard to know what to keep sometimes, and for how long. Biggest problem for me is having enough room to store what does need to be kept. My little house has limited room.


  2. When it comes to managing administration in my home, I reach for my trusty manila folders.
    (1) Each business that I deal with (bank, electric/gas company, wireless, etc.) gets its own folder.
    (2) In each folder I keep three months’ worth of stuff in reverse chronological order (I’ll hold onto an older document if there’s something special about it).
    (3) I alphabetically order the folder collection as a whole.
    Yes, it’s an old-school approach, but it works for me.


  3. I drown in paperwork, but the thing is I cannot live without them. I may get a an e-statement, but I will forget it, unless I can print it out and put it in my pile.
    I am too old fashioned to change I guess.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.


  4. Like others, I’ve been doing the online billing and payment online for years. I get aggravated by the few companies who still send paper bills. What’s up with me having to file that? I was keeping a folder and scanning and saving them, but that became more cumbersome than saving them to shred at a later date.
    Love the idea of the photos! I do that with bottles of wine we enjoy and keep a folder “shopping” on the phone. Comes in handy.


  5. Hi Phoenicia. I, too, have gone to online billing to reduce paper. I am enjoying some time away right now where I don’t have to deal with paper at all, and it has truly lifted my spirits. Cheers to you!


  6. I’ve hesitated with paperless for some things like bank statements just because it might be unreliable when you need them. But then again, years of bank statements takes up so much room. You have some great tips here, and perfect timing as the New Year will start us off for tax season – groan….


    1. You can always print your bank statements as and when you need them. It is an easy process once you have online banking. Thank you – glad you felt my tips were helpful.


  7. I like your tip of taking a picture of important documents before filing. I should start doing that as I’m always worried that I will misplace something. I need to be more vigilant about shredding old documents. I get around to those eventually, but I could develop more of a system for myself.


  8. I’ve signed up for paperless everything. I have a pretty good binder system for filing papers away. I generally take once a week to file my business stuff. That’s great how you take pictures of your daughter’s stuff. When I think back to teaching, I don’t know how I did it. A good quarter of the job was simply shuffling papers and filing reports.


  9. Great system, Phoenicia! When the mail comes in to the house, I stand near the shredder and shred the papers and envelopes I don’t need or want. I even get rid of catalogs right then and there. It works great. I too am the only one who deals with the papers in my house so I do this Monday – Saturday like clockwork. It really eliminates the clutter in my home.


  10. Good suggestions, Phoenicia. Don’t have any children so I don’t have to deal with the kind of documents you mention. Personally store all my documents in the cloud and only save what authorities in Sweden send me by mail because I have to. Have reduced their mail substantially though because I do everything they enable me to do online such as declaring my income. Same applies to any other entities that can be handled online instead of by mail.


  11. Ah, paperwork! We had a password for our new wifi system on a little piece of paper. I gave it to my son when he visited; somehow, it did not end up back on the bulletin board. But he had photographed it and sent me the pic immediately! So three cheers for the photo system. We have the opposite problem with invitations – it’s the online ones we cannot find. The paper ones sit in a spot in our dining room. I think I need a system to sort online stuff. Too much!


  12. Hi Phoenicia,
    I loved your #2 idea–to take photos of every note from your daughter’s school so you have a record of everything! That is such a good idea! I’m going to try to find a way to use it myself.
    My paperwork problems are mostly from the volume of postal mail I get. There are recurring bills I receive each month. I keep a list for each month and write in the amount due and the date due so I don’t pay anything late.
    Then there are the requests for donations. I get way too many. I keep them on an upright file box, and if I have extra money I pick one to give to.


    1. Thanks. Taking photographs of letters and other documents means not fretting if you misplace them. Life is too short to spend 30 minutes looking for a party invitation!


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