Organize Your Important Papers, Bills, Receipts, and More

Savvy Shelving
Tired of shifting bills and junk mail from counter to counter in your home? Squelch the struggle against paper clutter with these smart ways to get organized.

In and Out Boxes

Organize papers in a jiffy with "in" and "out" document trays. Whether it's a permission slip, a bill, or a birthday card, keep track of items to send and those that you have yet to view. Be sure to keep up with the trays to ensure that the "in" box doesn't overflow and the "out" box gets sent out when necessary.

File It Away

Set up household filing cabinets to keep track of important documents that aren't necessarily active papers, but are still papers you'd like to keep. Take time to organize your files by creating labels and spending time sorting all of your documents into the appropriate sections. Dedicating time to setting up the filing cabinet will help you keep it well-organized in the long run.

Learn more file organization strategies.

Wall Files

Install hanging magazine holders on the wall to organize mail and other documents in a quick and efficient manner. Wire files help keep things visible and fresh in your mind. Label the hanging files to make paper storage fast and simple.

Rolled Up

Need an accessible storage option for crafting paper and supplies? Install wire wall bins to collect crafting materials in a way that’s both simple and organized. Wire bins make it easy for you to see which bins contain which supplies and labels make finding supplies and putting them away quick and easy. This system makes much more sense for craft paper than a file folder or filing cabinets. 

Cork Board Cabinet

Keep your important papers all in one space, but out of sight for guests. Install corkboard lining on the interior of a shallow office cabinet to tack up important papers that would normally clutter refrigerator doors, countertops, and desks. Closing the door conceals the pinned items for a tidy look. This alternative desk organizer is perfect for families without an office. 

Here are some creative cork reuse projects. 

Convenient Cubbies

Cubbies built into a desk or cabinet can be just the right size for storing loose papers and other office essentials. Assign each family member a cubby for corralling their important papers. Organizing paperwork by each person is a great way to stay on top of your mail, and a helpful way to keep an eye on the kid's papers. 

Eye-Catching Display

If you like to stash photos, invitations, and memos in sight, why not show them off a bit? An attractive, easy-to-use metal wall hanging helps you keep track of papers. Its decorative geometric design adds interest and keeps everything on hand for when you need it. This stylish solution won't hide pretty invitations like a traditional mail organizer would. 

File in Style

Stashing magazines in filing cabinets will lead to magazine neglect. A right-size magazine holder keeps reading materials in check and clutter free. This bold design was perfect for its punchy surroundings, and it's big enough to hold plenty of catalogs without being overwhelming. Remember to purge old or untouched items on a regular basis to avoid a paper pileup.

Just Drop It

You may already have a desktop file holder without even knowing it! Take charge of underused kitchen items that could be repurposed for organization. This vintage toast rack becomes an elegant in-box on an entry table. Use the slots to keep postage stamps handy for outgoing mail and to sort what comes in. 

Portable Projects

Forget boxy filing cabinets. Flat-bottom tote bags are sized right for file folders and make perfect project carriers. Tuck a separate shelf under a desk to keep the bags upright. Add more storage with a set of stackable drawers on the desk and stash wrapping paper in a pretty bin beside it.

Here's how to organize a home file cabinet.

Expense Tracker

A well-ordered expense tracker makes it easy to maintain inventories and keep important documents on hand. With several compartments, this file box ensures manageable space to organize receipts and other frequently-accessed items. Look for a device with labeled pockets so you can organize information by subject, date, or alphabetically. Once full, run your papers through a receipt scanner to keep them stored digitally on your computer. 

Style-Setting Role

By keeping papers on hand and off the desk, this wall-mount mail organizer helps corral paper clutter. Use each compartment to organize items by category, such as bills, schoolwork, and notepads. Affix metal hooks to outer panels for keys or grab-and-go items.

Get inspired by these creative command centers.


Message Center

Keep clutter at bay with a multipurpose work station. This communication haven is built from a patchwork of magnet, dry-erase, chalkboard, cork, and pegboard squares behind the built-in desktop. The combination of materials ensures that messages and papers can be stored in versatile ways. Use magnetic boards to hold papers you need only temporarily, dry-erase boards and chalkboards to jot down quick messages, cork boards to stick more permanent papers on (favorite take-out menus, emergency phone numbers), and pegboard squares to mount containers for desk supplies.

Out to Dry

Create a personal filing system that meets your daily needs and makes sense to you, but make it easy to use. Intended for dishes, the slats of this drying rack stand file folders and notebooks at perfect attention. Use the slotted compartment designed for sponges to stash small office supplies. Filing papers and pens just got a whole lot easier. 

Here's 19 more home office solutions.

Tray Chic

A good desk organizer doesn't have to sit on top of the desk. Quarter-sheet baking pans make great clutter-catchers in shallow desk drawers. Designate a tray for each specific need, such as organizing bills or corralling extra office supplies, to keep your desk surface clear of clutter.

Raise the Bar

Keep needed items in sight and in mind with color-coded folders. Attach towel racks to the side of a desk to create a mock file cabinet. Add grommets to file folders and hang them from the bars with curtain hooks. Personalize each file folder with labels and postcards for a memorable way to organize.

Stationery System

Stash everything you need to accomplish a task in one designated area. Perfect for storing small items, this mail organizer adds a burst of style to the desktop and keeps colorful stationery on hand for jotting a quick note. With a desktop file holder like this, your drawers can be free of clutter. 

Kids' Organization

Keep homework and school papers organized with a simple filing system. Standing files with tabbed dividers sort paper by subject or activity, making it easy to separate classes from extracurriculars. You can find a desktop file holder like this at any office supplies store.

Here's how to make a decked-out homework station. 

Great Space-Saver

Sync your family's busy schedules with a communication center at the heart of your home. A host of wall-mount organizers, such as bulletin boards, magnetic panels, and file folders, save space and encourage parents and kids to exchange important messages. Magnetic strips of memo board provide a place to hang cards and photos.

Organize On-the-Go

Create a portable coupon and receipt organizer from an index card case and stash it where you'll remember to take it on errands. Alphabetized divider tabs are the perfect solution for filing lists accordingly. The mini file folder is easy to stow in a purse. 

Reorder and Recycle

Stop searching high and low for important papers, coupons, and receipts. Instead, sort papers by type and organize each subject in an accordion file box. Designate an hour each month to sort through everything: toss expired coupons and archive last month's bills and receipts in a separate file.

Here's how to organize files.

Yours and Mine

If your home has many people who get mail, designate a specific spot for each person's incoming letters and magazines. Turn basic baskets into savvy organizers and store them in an easily accessible location, such as near the entryway. Make sure your mail organizer is large enough to accommodate bigger items, such as magazines, if necessary. 

Savvy Shelving

Take advantage of unused wall space to contain clutter. Spiff up a metal poultry feeder with iron shelf brackets and magnetic strips to keep contents in place. Use different sections of the feeder to sort cards and receipts. Simplify organization with magnetic labels, and fill mini canisters with rubber bands and paper clips.

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