My Top 3 Organization Systems for 2017

The following is a guest post on her top 3 organization systems for 2017 from regular contributor, Kristin at The Gold Project.

My Top 3 Organization Systems for 2017 at I'm an Organizing Junkie blog

Happy 2017! A new year means a fresh start. The time to re-evaluate some things in my life. On the organizing end, I like to look at the systems that are working in my home and which ones need to be changed. I like to take every system, room by room.

I thought it would be fun to share the three systems that have continuously worked in my home. These systems will remain the same for 2017 because they are extremely beneficial.

My Bill Paying System

This two drawer organizer has been a life-saver for me. I get paid twice a month; the 10th and 25th of each month. The top drawer is labeled 10th and the bottom drawer is labeled 25th. Every time I get a bill in the mail, it will get placed in one of these two drawers depending on when I pay the bill. When it is bill-paying-day, I will grab everything out of the drawer and start paying each bill.

In addition to the bills, my monthly bill planner is also located in the drawer. I have used this printable for the past four years and it has been the most beneficial printable I have ever made.

There isn’t any thinking that goes into paying bills. I know all of the bills located on this sheet have to be paid on that particular pay check. You can download the printable and use it for your bills.

My Receipt Organization

I struggled in this area for years. I would just throw all of my receipts in one big box and eventually sort through them when the box got so stuffed I couldn’t close the lid. Then, one day, I decided that I had to create a better system. One that saved me time and frustration. I purchased an accordion file from Wal-Mart for under $5.00, labeled the tabs, and the rest is history.

I have been using this system for four years and I do not see myself changing it any time soon. I organize the receipts by store name. So, if I make a purchase at Wal-Mart that receipt will be filed in the “U-V-W” section.

I try to go through the entire file at least once every six months and eliminate receipts I do not need anymore.

My Emergency Binder

A couple of years ago, I worked on putting together an entire binder collection that included documents that were needed in my home. Out of them all, my favorite is my Emergency binder.

It is the binder that includes every vital piece of paperwork for our home. If our house catches fire or if we have to evacuate our home due to a tornado warning (it does happen where I live), then we just have to grab this one binder and head out of the door.

It includes:

  • social security cards
  • drivers licenses
  • birth certificates
  • home insurance policies
  • home warranty policies
  • banking information
  • medical insurance information
  • life insurance information
  • marriage license
  • car titles and paperwork
  • important numbers and contacts

We have four members of our family and we have included documents for each one of us (if they are available). I make sure not to have this binder displayed for people to see when they walk into my home, since it does have important numbers and information.

What organization systems do you have in place at home that are really beneficial to you and your family? I would love to hear all about them. I am always looking for new systems to try.

Looking for more help getting organized? Check out the Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle – 38 awesome resources compiled together in one package.

My name is Kristin and I am a middle school career education teacher by day and a mommy/wife/blogger by night. I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have two loving children. We recently made a life-changing move to Arkansas, so our new house is always under construction. I get excitement out of finding new creative, functional, and cute ways to organize things! I also enjoy writing and documenting life as it happens. So, I put these loves together and created The Gold Project. With the help of my husband, I am attempting to turn our house into a home. So, check out this special place of mine and take this journey with me!


Filed under: Containerizing, Guest Bloggers, Kristin, Organizing Basics


24 Responses to My Top 3 Organization Systems for 2017

  1. 1
    Susan Pearson says

    I have a different system for receipts that works really well for me. When I get home they get dropped in the current month wallet. On the 1st of each month I empty these and take them to my accordion file where there is a section for each month. I empty out the corresponding month from the previous year. The majority get discarded but if it is an expensive or meaningful item the receipt is scanned into Evernote and kept digitally for as long as needed. This system literally takes about 15 minutes on the 1st of the month to deal with the month just completed. If a receipt is really important it goes into Evernote on the day of purchase as some can fade before the end of a year. I also enjoying seeing the difference (or similarities) between the same month a year apart.

    • 1.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      My system is very similar to yours Susan. I will blog about it soon 🙂 Laura

    • 1.2
      Buffy says

      Good tips as this is the bane my existence and a major cause of stress in my business and personal life.

  2. 2
    monica says

    Thanks for an inspiring post! I am curious as to whether or not you use any automatic payment systems. I get paid once a month, and I have almost all of my bills automatically deducted or paid with my Costco credit card (where I get gas back for all purchases). As I am typing this, I am realizing that I cannot think of a single bill that is not done by auto-paymentl This not only saves me from any late fees, but it also saves on the cost of stamps, checks and envelopes as well as freeing my mind up from worrying!

    • 2.1
      Kristin @ The Gold Project says

      I actually do not use an automatic payment system for anything. I could, but I find it better for me to sit down and physically pay my bills. It makes me aware of the amounts we are paying. Plus, it forces me to write the information down. And, I don’t want something automatically deducted from my checking account if I want to dispute the amount, which has actually happened several times.

      • Mary Ann says

        While I like the dependability of automatic electronic payments, I don’t like some other company having access to my bank accounts. Instead, I use the “Bill Pay” feature at my credit union. I can set it up to send a check electronically to each company on the date I choose. That way payments are never late and I control if money goes out of my accounts. I still track it by hand with pen and paper as a backup and keep the paper bills for a year. Just in case 🙂

  3. 3
    Mandy says

    A fireman friend helped me develop emergency plans & said binder contents should be copied & given to a trusted family member or friend. “What if disaster struck your home and you are NOT there?” I thought it was great advice! Anxious to use your receipt method.

    • 3.1
      Megan says

      Here in New Zealand, we are experiencing a lot of earthquakes. Often we don’t have time to get a folder, and as was mentioned, sometimes you aren’t home when the disaster strikes.
      There are a couple of ways around this. I have an emergency kit in the garage. This has several days worth of food etc in it. I should have my folder in there. On my ‘must do’ list. Even if I am not at home when the disaster occurs, I can get the kit when I get home.
      Another way is to scan the documents in and then email them to yourself on a gmail account. You can access gmail from anywhere so you can bring the details up on any device when required. You can make a folder in your gmail specifically for these documents. This works well if you can’t get back into your home which is sometimes the case (eg fire).

    • 3.3
      Buffy says

      I just found out that Fidelity has a free online storage system that is meant to store all important documents and such. There’s even an option to list specific contacts that will get important documents upon your death. My husband and I can share the account so this should help us tremendously since we don’t get time when he’s home to review forms, account status etc.

  4. 4
    JulieD says

    I have Excel spreadsheets- one for med, and one for each deductible category. As I get them, I enter the amount in Excel and file the receipt in a matching file folder. At the end of the year, I can just total each sheet and I do not have to go through all the receipts and figure out what I bought. Saves a lot of time and only requires minimal computer skills- could also use Word or even paper.

    The problem I have is “temporary” type receipts- like things I might want to take back, or something I returned by mail and I need to check later and make sure I got a credit…

  5. 5
    Chris says

    I put temporary-type receipts on a spindle. For things with a warranty, I put the receipt and manuals together in a sheet protector in a binder (four of them, actually).

  6. 6
    Megan @ Adventure & Home says

    I love the emergency binder idea! We have all our important documents locked away, but they aren’t in an easy-grab format. I may have to change that! I do a very similar bill-paying system, except I just have a Google Spreadsheet that I keep everything listed in, grouped by paycheck/due date. Very helpful post!

  7. 7
    Kristi Burton says

    I’d love to see more details on your emergency binder. How you organize the insides. For example, I have 2 notebooks for just life insurance info, so putting that in a binder seems difficult, seems like I’d have extra stuff to put with the binder. Snyways, live the idea, love to see more.

  8. 8
    Cathy says

    Great ideas from all! Thank you for sharing your ideas..all are great!

  9. 9
    Tracy Gould Sheinin says

    Thank you for the monthly bill planner download! This is what i need right now. Happy New Year!

  10. 10
    DeeDee says

    Many of those documents need to be in a bank safe deposit box, not in a folder in your home.

  11. 11
    Sarah | The Teacher's Wife says

    I LOVE your bill organizer!! Any way you could share where it’s from? Right now, I keep my bills in a mail slot and I’m not a fan of it!! Love this post so much!


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