Step 3 of organizing all that paperwork!

The four step system to organizing your paperwork. 

The acronym I use to organize paperwork is FISH: Find, Initial go-thru, Sort, Home.

The third step is to go through them and sort everything into piles.

Organizing CU. Helping busy moms get organized.

(Prefer to listen to all the steps in one place? Check out the second episode of the Organizing Confidence Unlimited podcast.)

Now that you’ve done step 1 (Find) and step 2 (Initial go-thru), and you’ve gotten rid of the shred and recycling piles, you are left with only the keep.

This will likely be the hardest step for most people.

Go through them and Sort everything into one of five piles:

  1. Active (‘to do’ items like bills to pay, RSVPs, rebates, forms to fill out and mail back)
  2. Current (‘use for the near future’ like tax docs, sports calendars, paid bills from last 3 months)
  3. Long term storage (previous tax returns, medical records, warranties)
  4. Sentimental (old papers you wrote in college, kids artwork)
  5. Receipts

Keep in mind, you may now be in the mindset of tossing stuff and you need to create more shred/recycle piles. If so, that is awesome! Remember our mindset shift: “What do I need to keep?” instead of “What can we get rid of?”

Like I said, this one will be the most daunting one. For every 30 minutes you work, take a 5 minute break! Sorting everything in one night may not be possible and that’s fine! There is no need to rush through all of this! As long as you continue to make progress, you’re moving in the right direction! Step 4 is coming up next!

Paperwork is one of the toughest areas of the home to get under control. If you are feeling overwhelmed and need some help, contact me!


I’m Maggie, owner of Organizing CU and a busy working mom who understands the struggle of trying to juggle all of it. Using my Reduce, Arrange, Maintain philosophy, I can help you get and stay organized!

7 thoughts on “Step 3 of organizing all that paperwork!

    1. Organizing CU Post author

      Absolutely! At the bottom of every page on my website is a list of categories. The paperwork section will get you back to any blogs about paperwork, including these!

      Reply
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