Once you tackle your books, it is time to declutter your papers. Today we’re going to focus on those little scraps of paper you have floating around your van, the kitchen, and your purse: receipts. Find out how to declutter and organize receipts with these tips!
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Thankfully, receipts are not a difficult clutter area for me. The worst of it is holiday gifts. I purchase gifts all year long to save the most money and that means having a way of organizing them for an entire year. Luckily, after the holidays, I can shred them and call it a day.
The rest of my receipts follow specific systems so that I’m not drowning in them. If your purse or wallet is overflowing with receipts or you struggle to find the ones you need when you need them then you’ll love these tips for how to declutter and organize receipts.
Add Less Receipts
You can start decluttering your receipts by simply adding less to the pile. Every week you make purchases and likely shove those receipts in your purse. Instead, use your phone to take pictures of the amounts you spend or to make notes of ATM withdrawals. The gas station is an excellent example of a place you can easily take a photo of the pump instead of printing out a receipt. I also forgo a receipt at Starbucks or any other place where it is offered.
Secondly, pay with cash so that you don’t have to hold onto the receipts that you do get. When you pay with cash instead of your debit card you don’t have to worry about adding the purchase to your register. Then, when you get home, you can immediately place the receipt in the recycling.
Create a System for Receipts
Once you start bringing less receipts in, it’s time to create a system for handling the ones you do. Start with the receipts you save simply to add to your check register. Place receipts in your wallet in front of where you store your debit cards. Each night add those receipts to your register and recycle them. Don’t let them pile up for weeks. Storing them in front of your cards helps as an incentive to clear them out nightly.
Storing and Organizing Receipts
For receipts you must keep for returns or warranties, add them to a small binder along with any other pertinent paperwork. Then make it a point to go through the binder monthly or quarterly to clear out receipts past their return window or expired warranties.
Receipts that you need for tax purposes should be stored in a file along with your other tax documents. After filing, keep everything together for the recommended number of years and then shred them when it is time to discard.
During the holidays, you collect a lot of receipts. You don’t want to get rid of them in case a gift needs to be returned but you also don’t want to store these with the warranty receipts. Instead, I recommend storing these in your Christmas binder (or that section in your planner). Include packing slips from shipped items as well as gift receipts.
After the holidays, purge what is remaining in your Christmas binder to make room for the next year.
Now that you know how to declutter and organize receipts you can move onto the next area of paper clutter in your life. Don’t forget to use your phone to get fewer receipts, add them to your register nightly, and organize receipts that you have to keep for a streamlined system.
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