Please File Accordion-ly


Some of the most difficult and annoying papers for me to keep organized are the ones that I need to “keep out.”  You know the ones I mean.  The ones that can’t be tucked away neatly in a filing cabinet because you:

  1. Might forget about them.
  2. Need to use them often so filing them away wouldn’t be practical.
  3. Need to keep them for just a short amount of time, and then you can toss them, so they don’t really need a permanent home in your filing cabinet.

These are the papers that used to end up in piles around my house; tiny stacks that I would move around from surface to surface, hoping to find a practical home for them.

Here’s the stuff I’m talking about:

  1. Receipts
  2. Coupons
  3. Invitations
  4. Gift Cards

It may not seem like a lot, but this stuff can pile up, and quickly.  So, after moving my little piles around and around and around, I finally came up with a solution.  Drumroll please….an accordion folder.  Ta da!

Are you excited?  If not, maybe I need to explain a little more all the great things about the accordion folder, you know, just to help you get into it.  Ok, here they are:

 1. It’s portable.  I can toss the folder in my car when I am running errands.  This way, I always have all my coupons, gift cards, etc. with me.  How annoying is it to get to a store and realize that you left your 20% off coupon at home?

2. Everything is in one place.  No more searching…

3. It’s easy to keep organized.  Since it’s out and I use it everyday, I am reminded to go through it every now and then to clear out expired coupons, toss receipts I no longer need to keep, and throw away invites to parties that have already happened.

4. It’s a family thing.  Meaning, Mike files all his receipts in here too and knows where to look if he needs anything.

You’re dying for a closer look, aren’t you?  Well ok, here you go…

The coupon sections are for stores I frequent along with a miscellaneous section.

  1. Baby Stores/Baby Products
  2. Bed, Bath & Beyond
  3. Michael’s
  4. Misc. Coupons

The additional sections are for:

  1. Current Invites
  2. Gift Cards
  3. Receipts

I’m sort of a stickler about RSVP-ing to events, since it’s a huge pet peeve of mine when people don’t respond to an invite.  When I get an invitation in the mail, after checking my calendar and then double-checking with Mike that I haven’t forgotten about some other commitment, I respond.  Then I write on the invite the date I responded and how (i.e. via email, phone, etc.), put the event on my calendar, and then into the Current Invites section it goes.  You’re starting to get a tiny bit more excited about this little folder, aren’t you?

These little files are available at any office store and come in many sizes, depending on your filing needs.  I think I got mine at my local drug store.  They are relatively cheap, maybe $10-$15 dollars, which, considering how much use I get out of my little guy, I’d say is a steal.

So, do you have the little pile problem I had?  Do you think this system would work for you?

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  1. Hey Kelly, I’ve been using accordion files for years for paystubs, bills and also for all of those instruction booklets that come with appliances (receipts, warranties, etc.). Love my accordion file!!

  2. The file idea is a great one. Now I just have to discipline myself to use it! I often stand at the garbage can when bringing the mail into the house and immediately tossing the junk mail. It is the non-junk mail that often clutters the counters. Thanks for the great inspiration!

  3. I have a big problem with paperwork – as you know – example – the dryer! I should give the file a try!

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