6 Simple Ways to Finally Get your Receipts Organized

Real Talk: I’m a pretty organized person. I’m not perfect or obsessive about organizing but I can confidently say that if you were to stop by my house unexpectedly, it would look pretty close to the photos you see here on the blog… maybe without the fresh flowers all the time or the bed made on days when we leave for work extra early. Clutter around my house stresses me out (I wish it didn’t but it does) and opening a closet, drawer or cabinet to find clutter has the same effect. If I open a drawer and it looks disorganized or cluttered, I’ll take a few minutes right then and there to purge and organize and instantly feel more fulfilled. Believe it or not I actually like organizing!Built In boxes organization family room

Some of my students have a hard time keeping their binder, locker or backpacks organized and I actually love sitting down with them to “get organized”. Labeling, color coding, and sorting all bring me happiness. <— you should see my students’ faces when I tell them that I would love to help them get organized! ha!

The Problemhow-to-organize-receipts_-3

But as much as I love being organized, I just can’t get a handle on keeping my receipts organized and it has driven me crazy for YEARS. Now that it’s January, I’ve decided to finally tackle my receipts and figure out a system that will help me keep them organized and more importantly, accounted for.

As I did some Pinterest research on this, I found some really easy and creative options and decided to share a variety of ideas. Here are 6 easy ideas for us receipt hoarders to find a way that helps us get organized once for all! And the best part? They’re all super easy and very affordable!

1. Hidden In the Closet

This is actually the one component of my receipt organizing that currently works for me. This method is specifically for clothing and is perfect for those clothes you think you’re going to wear but don’t end up loving. Here’s how it works….receipt_organization-clothes-2

When I check-out at a clothing store and the cashier asks if I want the receipt with me or in my bag, I always choose to keep it in the bag (less clutter in the purse/wallet!). When I get home I  hang up the item in my closet and immediately staple or paper clip the receipt onto the item’s tag.

receipt_organization-clothesIf I don’t end up wearing the item or when I get home and don’t love the fit/color/style anymore, I always know where the receipt is to return it. All I do then is throw it in a bag and bring it back, and honestly I don’t detach the receipt until I’m in line at the store.

This method has really worked for me, but the only problem is that it doesn’t account for receipts for the items you do end up keeping/wearing. What should I do with the receipt of the large ticket items after I wear them, especially in case I find an imperfection after I wear it? Here’s where the remaining 5 ideas come in.

2. Monthly Organizing Planhow-to-organize-receipts_

I saw this monthly organizer at Target (in the office supply section) and thought this $7 item could be the answer to all my receipt problem. I labeled the 12 tabs in this pouch by month and plan to place each receipt into the right pocket based on the month I bought each item.

how-to-organize-receipts_-2However, I like the idea of separating the receipts based on categories (i.e. blog expenses, clothing, home, family, personal, etc.) too. We’ll see what works out, but I bought this pocket pouch for my purse and I’m loving the idea to pair it with #6 from this list.

3. Digitally Organize

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Image and tutorial via Simplify Days

This next option was fascinating to me because I would LOVE to get rid of as much paper as possible if I could. Unfortunately I know myself too well and know that converting hard copies of receipts and storing them electronically is not something I will stick to for the long haul. I did want to include this option into the round-up though because I know other people are amazing with technology and may love this method of organizing.

If you are one of those people, make sure to check out this post because it offers a step-by-step tutorial on how to use an app on your phone to transition all of your hard copy receipts into electronic files. This tutorial also dives into details on how to keep these electronic files organized, which is a super important step in going digital. If anyone else does this, I would love to hear more about it! With all of the blog expense receipts Casey and I save, having digital copies would be amazing… especially come tax season!

4. Eliminate Counter Top Clutter

Image and tutorial via Organizing Home Life

This next idea is not a permanent home for receipts or important docs, but it’s a great “holding place” for this clutter until you have time to address it. Since we live in a small house, there is not a ton of room in the front of our home to “hide” paperwork that is coming in from work, the mail, or the store. And our weekdays are usually pretty crazy with work and late nights blogging. I love this cabinet command center to immediately hide all of the annoying paperwork until we have time later in the week to organize/file it. Even though we have limited space, we definitely have a cabinet door available to tackle something like this so it’s on my radar to possibly tackle. Does anyone have one of these hidden gems? I would love to hear your tips before tackling my own.

5. In a Jar

Image via Ryan Benyi for AllYou.com

This project is SO easy but pretty darn genius! I love this option especially for people who describe themselves as disorganized. This is a great way to corral those receipts and keep them around but doesn’t require a ton of time to create or maintain. All you need is a large canister to drop in important receipts. For extra credit you can add a piece of   on the front as a label. The glass jar can be displayed (especially if it’s not glass and you can’t see through it) or added to a cabinet or closet. It’s super low maintenance but does what it has to do — collects receipts all in one place!

6. DIY Envelope Collectionhow-to-organize-receipts_-4

This is an idea I threw together using items I had around the house. It’s pretty much like my Target accordion organizer (#2 above) but it didn’t cost me anything and can easily be personalized. I used a ring (leftover from this Christmas Card project), a stack of envelopes, and a hole punch to create a DIY Receipt Ring. I love this because it allows you to add or subtract categories and it’s easier to manipulate because you can detach one of the envelopes if you need to.

how-to-organize-receipts_-5Since Casey’s husband takes care of all of the DIY Playbook’s finances, I usually TRY to save all my receipts and give them my pile monthly. In this system, I can make a blog expense envelope and easily take it off and give it to him when I see him. Then I can just add another envelope to the ring for the next month. I also love this because I can add an envelope for Coupons and easily take that off the ring when I head out to go shopping. Easy enough, right?how-to-organize-receipts

Any über organized receipt collectors tuning in? I want to hear ALL of your tips! I’m determined to make 2017 the year I finally get my receipt collections organized and I would love your help.

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  • Erin

    i rarely save receipts, or really let me say most of my receipts are usually from the grocery store and/or target. if i have other receipts, I do keep them in a pile until I know for sure i’m keeping the item. Otherwise, i just make sure to keep an eye on my credit card purchases.

    • We feel ya, Erin! We really only hold onto every receipt for blog purchases so we keep everything in order when it comes to filing taxes. Piles of receipts are never fun!

  • Summer Hogan

    Love all of these ideas! I still haven’t found the perfect system so I might try the envelops or just the jar lol! Thanks for the tips!

    • Happy to help Summer! Hope your year is off to a great start 🙂

  • I love that idea Linda! We too shop at the same stores all the time, so that’s a great idea.

    And THANK YOU for the sweet words about the blog! We’re so happy you enjoy our content.

  • Anne Weber-Falk

    When you are shopping for clothes you can ask for gift receipts for the items. This way you can put that item’s own receipt on the tag and be able to file the original receipt where it needs to be.

    • OMG.. I LOVE this idea, thank you Anne! What a genius idea, I would have never thought of this quick tip!! Thank you!!!

    • Anne Weber-Falk

      You’re welcome.?

  • Nicole

    Well I don’t think I’m quite as organized as you are Bridget, but I also do the envelope system. I typically keep three envelopes in my purse: one for gifts, one for apparel and other items I buy myself that have a high return likelihood, and the third for groceries and other low return item receipts. At the end of each month I take them out of my purse and put them in a shoebox with the dates on them. I tried pretty organizing envelopes but ultimately they just made me crazy! Good luck with your endeavor! Love the articles. P.S. I just ordered my first pair of Zella workout pants. Thanks for the tip!

    • I’m trying to get organized but who knows it will last. I LOVE your idea and may need to add it to my list of things to try… thank you!! I especially love the shoebox at the end of the month. It’s easy yet super effective and sounds like a great way to re-use items we all have around the house!! Thanks Nicole =)

  • Ohhh…receipts organizing…this is something, as a former accountant, I am a little obsessive about. I keep a small storage box in my desk that my husband and I use as a dump spot for receipts and the few bills that come in the mail. Once a week I go through them and enter them in my Money program (highly recommend using some program to keep track of everything you spend!) and then file according to card used in a filing cabinet. When we buy something online I print a PDF of the confirmation to my desktop and enter those once a week too. I have a recurring task on my phone to clean out the file cabinet and digital files once a month and I delete/shred most receipts (besides tax related ones, large purchases, etc.). I usually don’t bother keeping for possible returns since most stores can look up the receipts using the card paid (I do this ALL. THE. TIME. at Target). I know what we spend, the paper doesn’t overtake our house, and I’ve never had a problem returning! Good luck figuring out the perfect system for you!

    • Diana….WOW! You are a receipt genius! What a system you have in place. We are in awe of you! Love some of the tips you shared…thank you so much!