Organized Paper Receipts

Oct 26

Over the years I’ve encountered many challenges to getting that paper monster organized. I’m gonna go out on a generalized limb here to say this particular topic – paper – tends to be one of the bigger organization challenges for most of the population.

Personally, I’ve tried lots of paper organizing systems – especially when it comes to receipts. I’m inching my way toward going digital and know at some point I’ll find a way to get used to it…and one that works with my personal habits. But in the meantime, I found a solution that works very easily and hope it may be the answer for you, as well!

My recent attempts led me to this containment…

It’s just a clear shoe-box sized container from Container Store. When a receipt was worth keeping, it was tossed into the box and the lid popped back on…

It was working ok, but the annoyance was digging through the entire stack to find the one receipt I was looking for. This is one of those little things, much like the cords I organized last weekend, that was wearing me down.

For my simple solution, I started by separating the receipts into store categories. In a few cases, it made sense to keep various store receipts together under one main heading…such as “home”.

Where there is paper, there is a cat…

The items needed for the job:

Previously mentioned shoe-box sized container

A paper cutter

Thick card stock – 8.5 x 11″

Label maker

I trimmed the long side of an 8 1/2 x 11″ paper a bit so it would fit inside the bin. You’ll see a visual of this below. Once all the papers were trimmed, I made a label for each receipt section and placed it in the upper left corner of the paper…

Then folded the paper to create a pocket…you’ll see here I didn’t make the fold perfectly even. It’s off-set for a reason…

Here’s another example…the label goes on the upper left corner…

Fold to make a pocket and pop in your receipts…

The reason it’s for the off-set fold can be seen in this glorious end result…

Love this!

When looking for a receipt now, all that’s required is pulling out that one pocket, finding it and putting the pocket away…


If you don’t have your paper receipts organized, maybe this will work for you!

Happy paper organizing!!

comments +

  1. jonie says:

    I have a small box to keep my all receipts when I return from the store. I then enter all my receipts manually into my excel spreadsheet weekly, then I used envelope (per month) to store all my recorded receipts. This way when I need to find a particular receipt, I just need to go to my excel and "find" and I am able to retrieve the receipt pretty fast. Also before entering into my excel spreadsheet, if anything needs to return, I'll just put the receipt into the plastic bag where the items needs to be returned.

    BTW, may I know where do you buy your label supply? I got mine from Amazon and it was pretty expensive thus I usually used it sparingly.


    • hi jonie!

      thank you so much for the comment and sharing with us how you organize your receipts. sounds great!

      i don't use my label maker too often so i haven't had to buy tape re-fills more than a couple times a year. when i buy them, i pick them up at target in a 2-pack and try to get them when they are on sale.

      good idea to check amazon for the tape re-fills.

      thank you for coming by,
      sam 🙂

  2. Hilary Cook says:

    This may be a little off topic, but I noticed in the last picture that you had a binder that says "Mother's Day Cards". Do you have a blog entry about how you organize those things too? Cards are so bulky and they really drive me crazy when I want to keep them.

    Back to your topic, I too have major problems with paper being my biggest organization issue and my cats love it too. So I really enjoyed this entry on receipts. Lots of times I go searching everywhere for them because I have a bad habit of taking them out of my purse when they pile up and then setting them down somewhere.

    Also, your cord organization last post (I think)was a stroke of genius!I shared it with my husband and I think we should definately do this for ourselves.

  3. This is a great idea Sam! I have a small accordian file that I use and separate receipts into categories. So far, it seems to be working – as long as I file the receipts that is! 🙂 I usually save receipts for a month or so, then I clean the file out and shred what I don't need. Long-term receipts – stuff like electronics, household appliances, etc.; I'm working to get organized with my owners manuals.

    • hi there!

      thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment! you are so sweet!

      am glad you like my idea, but i like yours too. and i love your project to connect the receipts to manuals, etc. smart smart!

      thank you again for coming by!

      all the best,
      sam 🙂

  4. Love this idea. I have OCD too. I organize everything. However. This is one topic that makes me want to run the other way. I am so glad you posted this. I am going to get right on it tonight. I am actually excited to do this. Thanks.
    Have a great weekend!

    • Hi Cathy, my friend!

      Haha!!! A girl right after my own heart – OCD and into organizing everything. Would are good buds already! -)

      I know – the cord issue made me want to run away too – but I found the strength somewhere and dug in. And I can say being on the other end of the issue feels much better. It was a looming problem for so long and now it just feels good to know the next time we need a cord, it will be oh so easy to locate it. 🙂

      Do it now!!!! 🙂

      Thank you again and have a wonderful weekend,
      Sam 🙂

    • Ok, mommy is really tired!!!! I meant to make this comment about receipts and not cords.

      Time for bed!!! Haha!!!

  5. maybutterfly says:

    That looks great, mine just get put into a folder and eventually sorted for either keeping or shredding….I really like that idea though and so doable with things you have at home, no special things. Thanks for that

    • Hi there!

      I've done the folder organizing too. I really think I tried every way of organizing these little papers but this time it might work!! 🙂 I had to find a receipt today and it was super easy – yahoo!!!

      You are welcome for the inspiration and you'll have to come back to let me know if you did it and if its working for you :-)!


  6. Becki says:

    What a great way to store receipts! We usually stab the receipts onto a pointy thing (don't remember what it's called!) and then what a mess to go through and find a receipt and try to put them back on the pointy thing! LOL! Love your organization tips!

    • Hi Becki!

      Thank you so much for coming by and leaving such a sweet comment! I appreciate it very much!

      Oh, I've seen those pointy organizers before too. That would totally become a weapon in this house with 2 young boys – haha!!! 🙂

      I really hope this idea will help you out – come back to let me know how it's working for you if you try to start a similar system in your home!

      All the best,
      Sam 🙂

  7. Love it Sam… Might have to use your idea. I store my receipts in a folder with plastic pockets at the monent

    • Hi there!!

      Thank you so much for coming by and leaving a comment! I love my readers!!

      Would love it if you used the idea – I love to inspire my readers to try new simple ways to stay organized. You don't need anything fancy either. 🙂 I'm all about keeping it simple and using what I can find around the house – or recycling old items 🙂

      All the best to you!!
      Sam 🙂

  8. I have to ask what are the reasons you would keep the receipts? and how long do you keep them for?
    I keep receipts only if I do not remove a tag from an item, but once the tag has been removed I shred the receipts. I am just curious I like the format that you used

    • Hey there!!

      Still have not been able to figure out why your comments are going to my spam box. ???

      Hope you're doing well! 🙂

      I keep receipts for many reasons but here are a few…

      1. Target will not take anything back without a receipt. I don't use their debit or credit cards so I can't go that route. And I have tried without any luck to return items without a receipt. It's such a hassle. Don't know why?!

      2. For major purchases – electronics, furniture, big ticket toy items, etc. Most of our electronics come from best buy (or apple) and I have a hard time there if I don't have a receipt too.

      3. I have rarely ever returned something without a receipt. The first thing they generally say is "do you have a receipt?".

      4. I don't keep random receipts for items like the grocery store, haircuts, gas, etc. however there was this one time at the market – omg – the deli rang up my turkey under a different number on their scale. I didn't notice it because my niece was with me and we were shopping for holiday food. My bill seemed larger than I planned on, but didn't think anything of it until I got home and was unloading my groceries. I happened to see the package of turkey and it said $90 (!!!!) on the label! I almost fell over. I kept my receipt and brought the turkey right back to the store to get my credit. My niece got a kick out of it, but I am so glad I was paying attention while putting away groceries. In that case you bet the store asked to see my receipt before refunding me almost $80. 🙂

      There are many reasons to keep receipts, but also many reasons to toss. It's just what you want to keep and if the stores you frequent require a receipt with return.

      Hope that helps!

  9. I have a folder with hundreds of receipts in it and I am totally going to do the above

  10. Laura says:

    That's a great idea. I have all mine in the filing cabinet and its getting totally messy in there.

  11. Nadia says:

    Sam, you have done it again, you are my hero 😀

  12. Oh, how I wish I was this organized. Very inspiring!
    I would LOVE for you to link this up at my Ginger Jamboree Link Party!!

  13. We are paying for a property monthly and I put all the receipts in a binder together with the corresponding documents

  14. This is a great idea. I throw all my receipts in a basket and let it pile up all month long. I'm one of those people who buys something and then takes a few days to decide if I want it or not. So I return a lot of things and need my receipts. Separating by store name would save me alot of time!
    Don't forget to photocopy receipts for big purchases, as receipts are notorious for fading quickly and becoming unreadable.

    • I'm the same way – bring stuff home and then decide if I want to keep it. Many companies still ask you for a receipt s I always err on the side of caution and keep them for a while.

      And thank you for your tip too!


  15. I love this so much! This is taking organization to the next level! Way to make even organizing receipts look fun!


  16. I wish I was as organized as you are.


  17. This!! This is what I've been looking for! In fact, I just dumped out my purse over the weekend to find a receipt so my husband could make some returns for me. I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out a way to keep them organized & accessible & this looks very do-able. Thank you!! Boy am I glad I stumbled onto your site. We've got packers coming in two weeks & though I've been working for a while, I've been trying to get all that last minute stuff good & organized before they come. We'll be staying with family for a few months in the interim before we actually move out of state, so it's not as easy as just packing it up & sorting it out in a few weeks on the other end. Glad to see someone else has made it through a similar situation! 🙂

  18. darine says:


    I am trying to find a way to file my receipts. Just wondering if you fiel them by month as well?

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