The Four Ds
#2: Distribute
When cleaning the aforementioned closet, you separate your clothing into piles—things you want to keep, things you want to toss, and things you're not quite sure of. With paperwork, you do the same.

Take the statements or bills out of their envelopes. Open them to full size (unfolded they take up less room). Staple the pages of each month's statement together so they don't get lost.

If you find a bill that needs to be paid, write a check on the spot, put it in an envelope and stamp it so you don't have to deal with it again. Then immediately record the transaction in your checkbook register. Don't let the fact that you're spending time getting organized result in late fees on your credit card bills.

Then put the paperwork into the proper folders, oldest bills first, so that when you open a folder the newest statement is right on top.

Next: #3 Diminish
Reprinted from Make Money, Not Excuses by Jean Chatzky with permission from Crown Business, a division of Random House, Inc. Copyright © 2006 by Jean Chatzky.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.


Next Story