how to organize paper receipts

Paper is the clutter that keeps on coming, and one of the biggest sources next to mail is receipts. This article on how to organize paper receipts will give you an easy solution to a clutter headache.

I love this tip for home office organization that will tackle another important area of your home.

how to organize paper receipts

How to Organize Receipts in a Home Office

Organizing receipts can be a daunting task. Between sorting through stacks of paper and deciding what to keep and discard, it’s easy to become overwhelmed quickly. But there are easy ways to streamline your receipts in a way that is easy to keep up with. This is my favorite tip, and I know it will help you keep track of these tiny papers going forward.

a pile of receipts in front of a pen holder and calculator

What to Keep and What to Toss

When it comes to organizing receipts, the first step is deciding what to keep. Generally speaking, you should save all receipts for big purchases or any items that may be tax deductible. If you’re not sure if something needs to be saved for tax purposes, consult an accountant–they’ll be able to guide you in the right direction.

On the other hand, if a receipt is for something small or not tax deductible, it’s probably safe to toss. Small purchases don’t need to be saved, so only keep the necessary receipts!

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How to sort receipts

Once you have a good idea of what to keep and what to toss, it’s time to sort out what you are keeping. For this setup, you will want to sort your receipts into piles for the months they belong. I find this is a much easier way to streamline a setup that you can refer to quickly as needed.

Set up a receipt organizer

I like to use a small accordion filer to organize our receipts. Not only does it work perfectly to house a year’s worth of receipts, but it also takes up very little space in a home office.

There should be 12-13 pockets giving you one for each month of the year. Label each pocket for the month.

File the receipts into the month when the purchase was made.

a blue accordion file labeled receipts

Set up a shortcut

I am not a fan of hard, and I find the easier I can make a setup the more likely I will stick with it. For receipts, I also have a large bin to toss them into as I bring them into the home.

This makes it really easy to get our receipts contained so they do not end up all over the house. Corralling is definitely an organizational term and a great shortcut to implement in your own home.

a gray basket full of receipts

setting up a receipt routine

Finally, you will want to have a routine that you do each time you are shopping. This easy list will keep you organized going forward never misplacing a receipt again.

  1. Whenever you are out shopping, make a habit of putting your receipt into your purse or wallet. This will ensure you always have each receipt when you arrive home.
  2. Once home, be sure to put each receipt into the basket or container you have setup to toss them into.
  3. Whenever you pay your bills each week, set aside time to sort out the receipts in your basket.
  4. Toss any that are not needed.
  5. File what you are keeping into the month where it belongs.
  6. If it is needed for taxes or is for a very large purchase, file it into the correct file.
a blue accordion file next to a grey bin labeled receipts

Organizing your receipts is an important part of keeping your home office in order. By following these tips and ideas, you’ll be able to declutter and make the most out of the documents that are essential to your business or personal finances.

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One Comment

  1. I quit.
    I quit leaving paperwork (AKA bills) on the kitchen counter.
    I file those receipts for major items–foundation repair, major appliances, taxes, and insurance the moment I bring them home.
    Those other pesky receipts go into an envelope that will be reviewed when the credit card statements are reconciled.
    Shredder, here we come.

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