A reader’s journey to becoming organised

This is a guest post by reader Annette Higgins

I come from a family where my parents were hoarders and my husband’s family are very tidy. Due to the bad habits I inherited from my familiar examples, I once mislaid a cheque for a large amount for a few weeks with all the other mail. I also ran late for submitting my tax returns.


It took many years for me to develop a system which helps me to organise my household affairs, and appointments effectively. Here are a few steps I used on my journey to becoming organised:


The first step I took was to learn how to manage the mail efficiently.

  • When I have a lot of mail, I use an envelope opener.
  • I separate the content of the envelope from the envelope.
  • I use a document holder to store the information I need to use the computer for.
  • I throw the envelopes and unwanted paperwork out.


I use 2-ring colour-coded folders to manage my paperwork by topic in a cupboard. e.g. I use red for tax and black for medical expenses and medical information. I have previously used a filing cabinet but found that it wasn’t as user-friendly as the folder system.

note from Kat:  my bill organiser will help you to sort out bills once you receive them in the mail and organise payment dates.  


I put receipts in a specialised receipt book and throw out receipts not needed to be kept. I also have a Warranties and Manuals folder for such purpose.


I manage appointments on my mobile phone and put these in promptly which is good as I have a large number of family and friends I stay in touch with.


I have a shopping list which I use for my husband to go shopping and put items on it when I remember them.


I have a notebook on the fridge to note down numbers or information.

Products I use

These systems work well for our family.

  • Officeworks
  • Kikki.K
  • Newsagent
  • Phoenix Trading

yellow divider

Budget Organiser

Paperwork in the office can easily become a mess and get lost. Use the Bill Organiser to keep all your bills and receipts together in one place so you won’t forget to pay your bills.

instant download – PURCHASE HERE.

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Eleanor June 12, 2015 - 9:11 PM

a,so, seeing that most bills comes with BPAY, I also have set up alerts in my bank account. When those bills are issued, it appears in my bank account and an email is sent as a reminder to pay the bill when I am ready to do it. It automatically marks as paid when I go in and use the links in the online account. No more missed bills. :-). More and more bills also comes electronically now so there has been a less need to get any of those bills in the mail and more online so the inbox is now sorted into various categories depending on the household needs, e.g. Childcare weekly statements, after school care monthly statements, electricity/gas quarterly bills… Gets confusing with the different periods so they are all marked as flagged as a follow up and unflagged when paid.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 15, 2015 - 9:02 AM

Love your system Eleanor! Sounds like it works great for you.:)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella June 13, 2015 - 9:26 AM

Helpful post Annette! Kat I’d love to read how your get on top of your inbox (perhaps you have and I have missed it) because my inbox is out of control!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 15, 2015 - 9:04 AM

Oh Lorraine i know exactly how you feel, it sometimes feels so hard to keep on top of my emails. I did do a posta while back which is quite helpful:https://theorganisedhousewife.com.au/organising/office/how-to-organise-your-email-for-greater-productivity-and-peace-of-mind/


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