How to Organize Bills

Methods for Organizing Mailed Bills

Organizing the bills you pay by mail starts with taking them out of your mailbox. According to one approach, you actually don't have to organize your mail immediately when you receive it. Simply have a bin inside your house where you throw all the mail. Then, a couple times a week go through it and sort it all at once. When you do, make sure you have another bin that you put all the bills in.

Write the due date of each bill on the outside of the envelope and stack them in order of when they need to be paid. Set aside a time every week to go through the bin of bills and pay them. As you do this, it's a good idea to find a place to file your paid bills. That way the only bills in the bill bin are the ones you still need to pay [source: Brynes].

Another system uses "The Four Ds." The first D stands for dump. Start by dumping all your bills and paperwork out on the floor. The second D stands for distribute. Go through everything and organize it. Staple multiple pages of the same bill together so they don't get lost, and if you haven't paid something yet, write a check for it immediately and set it aside to be mailed. The third D stands for diminish. Get rid of everything you don't need to keep -- start with the easy stuff like junk mail and credit card offers. The fourth and final D stands for due diligence. Once you've organized everything, use a filing system to keep it that way. Every day when you receive your mail, sort through it and pay any bills you receive. That's all there is to it [source: Chatzky].

The basics of keeping your bills organized boil down to keeping them in one place and paying them according to a set schedule. For some people, that schedule might be every day after they check the mail. For others it might be every Tuesday night before primetime television starts. Just make sure you know the due dates and mail your bills out at least a week in advance. This will ensure that they get processed on time.

If you tend to pay all your bills online, keep reading to find out how you can stay organized as well.