How do you deal with incoming paperwork?

(16 Posts)
Bluecarrot Tue 06-Aug-13 16:43:56

The more complex the system the less likely you are to use it.

I had an a4 box file for each year I was childminding and needed to keep records ( now its all online. If I need one again I can just ask the company to send it), plus one for important documents, and a tray for things that need actioned..

The yearly ones I didn't even open the box, just slip the letter in through the gap. I never actually needed anything from it to be honest. Because it takes 5 seconds to "file" it, it gets done right away.

The important stuff is more carefully placed in, in that we open the box and set it in, always with passports on top. If anythings needed from it, it doesn't take more than 2 mins to locate.

The tray is emptied every weekday.

OrangeLily Tue 06-Aug-13 16:21:57

Oh for god sake. Feeling ill obviously equals being unable to write properly. Please ignore all the clangers above!

OrangeLily Tue 06-Aug-13 16:18:21

I opens the post. Open and keep anything necessary. The rest of the junkmail and envelopes get recycled. I out any mail in a basket in the study and DH then files it in his crazy filing system! He then goes through it now and again and chucks old stuff out.

gobbin Tue 06-Aug-13 16:05:14

We use box files in an Expedit shelving unit from IKEA in the spare bedroom. Each file is for something different e.g. Payslips, my car stuff, his car stuff, passports/personal docs etc. Day to day we put things on the stairs to go up once opened and then file once it's been taken upstairs.

MrsHoarder Tue 06-Aug-13 15:05:42

We have a drawer for stuff to file. When it gets full, DH files or I start binning. I've never actually had to bin anything yet (I would happily go paperless...)

GetYourSocksOff Tue 06-Aug-13 14:58:43

To be fair, we're just so blinkin busy all the time that the pile seems to grow without us really noticing, until it's a big job.

I'm trying out the folder method! This means that I can sort it out as it hits the mat and he can still access his stuff. We'll see how it goes......

tribpot Tue 06-Aug-13 14:02:35

I think if your DH wants paper but can't be arsed filing it:
- gradually stop paper coming to the house, see if he notices it
- pile it all in a box, when full tell him to put the box in the attic or it gets binned.

Why look at the clutter?

BornToFolk Tue 06-Aug-13 11:37:01

I have loads of cheap envelope wallets, that everything gets filed in. I've found that the key is have load of them and be really specific about what they are for. Some of my files only have one or two pieces of paper in but I prefer that to having overfull ones.

I keep stuff probably longer than I should be as I have space to store it (filing cabinet in the spare room) it doesn't really matter.

Incoming post gets opened, left downstairs until dealt with, then I take it upstairs and file. I try to keep on top of this! I do the same as Jan49 with emails in that they stay in the inbox until dealt with, then filed away.

specialsubject Tue 06-Aug-13 11:31:37

when something drops on the mat - open envelope, tear out window, bin that and recycle the rest.

if it needs action (e.g. a bill) it goes on to a table in the lounge where I will see it and do something with it. If it is just for information, it goes into the 'to file' tray in the office, or even sometimes right into the correct file.

junk flyers go straight into the recycling without stopping.

Jan49 Tue 06-Aug-13 11:19:55

If I receive something by post that needs to be dealt with, I put it on a kitchen surface and deal with it in a few days or so. It doesn't build up.
If it's by email, I leave it in my inbox so I see it every time I log in, and then when I've dealt with it, I shift it to a folder named "Water Bills" or whatever.

If it needs dealing with but not yet or I can't manage it quite yet, I write it on the calendar and put the paperwork on a shelf by the kitchen calendar. So the calendar will say "renew xxx by end Sept" and I cross it off when it's done. I also try to write things on there at the beginning of the year so I know what is due and when. I also use the calendar for things like reminding me to check a direct debit has gone through and birthdays.

I'm in a temporary rented house and everything related to the house including bills goes in one folder. But when I've lived somewhere for longer, I use a briefcase with dividers and have sections for gas bills, council tax, etc. I tend to keep the bills until the briefcase is overfull then shred the oldest or go through and thin out the contents by getting rid of things like leaflets and envelopes that come with bills. I actually have 2 divider briefcases, one for bills and one for things like medical records, pensions, Wills.

GetYourSocksOff Tue 06-Aug-13 10:59:52

Oh I like the 12 pocket folder idea.

Tribpot, that is a very good question.......

tribpot Tue 06-Aug-13 10:53:44

Why does you DH prefer a paper copy if he doesn't deal with it?

I have a folder for the year, everything I need to keep goes in there. There is a separate folder for 'rolling papers' - temporarily useful, eg utility bills which have to be less than 3 months old to be useful as a form of ID. They then get binned.

MissOtisRegrets Tue 06-Aug-13 10:47:42

Laly that is organisational gold!

<scuttles out to find a 12 pocket file folder>

LalyRawr Tue 06-Aug-13 10:45:06

I have a folder with 12 plastic wallets. Every bit of post we get (with exception of junk mail) gets put into the plastic wallet for that month.

When a year goes past, the previous post in the months wallet gets shredded.

There are extra plastic wallets a the back for stuff like P60's which we keep for more than a year.

That way, if we need a specific payslip, or letter, we know where it is.

Pascha Tue 06-Aug-13 10:43:42

The key is to deal with it straight away, then file or shred it. Don't let it hit the hall table. As soon as you start a pile of things to do you've lost the battle.

GetYourSocksOff Tue 06-Aug-13 10:39:46

Most of my own stuff I've switched to online only, so I don't get a great deal through the post now. There are some things (such as nursery bills) which still come in paper form.

DH prefers to receive a paper copy, but it just builds up on the hall table and drives me insane.

Do any of you have a good system for dealing with incoming paperwork?

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