How to Organize Paperwork by Year

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As I mentioned in my New Year’s Resolution post for 2015, 1 large part of my goal is to become more organized. I’m not an overly unorganized person, but there were definitely some areas of my house and life that needed some work. One of those definitely being paperwork.

Since moving into our new home, I haven’t really had a storage method for paperwork. Receipts, bills, coupons, adverts…. They all ended up in piles on our dining room table. That, or they’d mysteriously disappear when I came time that they were due. I knew I had to come up with a solution that I would stick to.

How to Organize Paperwork

What You’ll Need:

  • 12-tab accordion folders for each year you need organized
  • 12-tab recipe-card sized accordion folders for coupons
  • Extra manilla folders for added categories

1. To start, make sure you have one accordion folder for each year you’re categorizing. I bought these cute plaid-print folders off of Amazon, but they can be purchased at stores like Staples, Walmart or Target. The trick is, you will definitely want to buy folders with 12 tabs, one for each month.


2. Label each of the tabs with the months of the year. My folder came with pre-labeled inserts, so all I had to do was separate and add.

3. Throughout the year, add paid bills and completed paperwork into the month that it was issued. Before a bill is paid, I like to keep it in the very front pocket (I added the paperwork for the set month BEHIND the tab), so that I know exactly where unpaid bills are stored. Once I’ve paid the bill, the top portion goes straight into the month it was issued.


4. If you receive larger packets of information – for instance, since we purchased our home in 2014, we had documents like insurance policies, legal paperwork, etc. – keep these separated in their own labeled manilla folders in the back pocket of the accordion folder.

5. Once the year is up, use that very front pocket to store tax paperwork like your w-2’s. That way, if you ever need to pull out those documents later down the line, you’ll know exactly where they are.



1. Similar to your paperwork, label your smaller accordion folder by month. Store coupons based off of the month they expire so you’ll know when to use them by.

Eliminate clutter of mail as it comes in. Make sure to file mail into it’s correct spot before it can turn into a pile somewhere.


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