Friday nights around here are “date nights”

It is on the calendar.

But Friday Night Date Night doesn’t always happen on Fridays or at night, nor is it what most people would call a “date.”

We call it that because it is a time when we commit to be together and enjoy ourselves . . . It is when we go through the mail from the week and pay our bills.

Here is our little system of dealing with paperwork:

1.  Place Incoming Mail in Box

The mail goes directly into a decorative box.  We may sort some junk mail out into recycling, but if there is not time, no one worries, it all just goes in the box.


2.  Set Aside Time Together

Some time during the weekend, we nab a half hour or so to sit down together with “our boxes.” Usually I grab the incoming-mail box and sort through it quickly.  We have a bills pile, coupons pile, catalogs pile (for any left over catalogs that we have not opted out of on catalog choice), and each of us gets a pile (Cole accumulates his own already).  Andrew downloads the weeks banking transactions since we bank online and he usually brings our monthly box . . .

3.  File in Monthly Box

We have a monthly file box, filled with file folders for all the areas of our lives: bank accounts, utilities, car, credit cards, stocks, insurance . . .  We pay our bills online, and put the paid bills in a month box (we have gone to paper bills on a number of accounts).


4.  Accordion Folder

At the end of the year, we transfer the paperwork we are keeping into an accordion folder, label the year and store.


Simple system, but it works.


Organization Tip:  Use three containers to organize paperwork throughout the year: 1) collection box, 2) a monthly box, 3) an accordion folder.


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