Today we’re going to separate all of that paperwork you gathered yesterday into groups of like items. Magazines with magazines, PG&E bills with PG&E bills. It’s hard to know what to throw out, if we don’t know what we have, so I’d recommend sorting completely before throwing anything away. The one exception is something that is definitely trash, like a soiled napkin.
As you’re sorting, group items into big rough categories:
- Utilities (electric, gas, cable, internet, water, trash)
- Insurance Documents (home, auto, healthcare)
- Home Maintenance (house keeper, gardener, contractor)
- Banking (investments, savings, checking)
- Debt (credit cards, mortgage, car loan, personal loan, student loan)
- Car Maintenance (oil changes, gas receipts, tires)
- Schoolwork (fliers, homework, artwork)
- Healthcare (EOBs, receipts, instructional papers)
To make this process easier, write out each category name on a 3x5 card or small piece of paper. Sit with the bag of papers to be sorted next to you, and put the 3x5s around you in a semi circle. As you grab a paper from the bag, quickly put it near it’s correct 3x5 card. Once you’ve sorted all the papers, you’re done for the day. Leave them out if possible, as tomorrow we will group them into more specific categories.