Paper declutter challenge: receipts

Today we are tackling receipts.  Not the most interesting of subjects but they do tend to get out of hand if you are a receipt keeper.  Most shops still give you receipts although quite a few now ask whether you want them.  I usually ask for the receipt ‘just in case’ particularly if it is clothing or anything else I might need to return.  But then the receipts end up in various places such as the study upstairs, my Mum admin part of the kitchen or even stuffed in my handbag or purse.  But not from now on!

Receipt clutter

Firstly, get all your receipts together from all those hidey-holes, bags and pockets.  If you have loads of the, sort into months.


Then, and this is the only way to do this, check through them from the earliest month onwards.  Get rid of any receipts for items you aren’t going to consider returning or that are past the date you could return the items. I find shredding them therapeutic. Receipts for stuff like kitchen gadgets are best stapled to the instruction booklet so that you can find them easily when needed.  If you get bored do this for 15 minutes at a time.  Use a timer and turn it into a race against time – you have to get your fun where you can!


Once you get nearer to the current month, you should hold on to any receipts for bank and credit card statements that you haven’t received yet.  As we all check our statements and corresponding receipts, don’t we? Cough, cough.


NB If you are self-employed, you need to keep business receipts for 5 years after the 31 January submission deadline of the relevant tax year.  Check out for further information and examples;  if you run a business, you have to keep them for at least 6 years from the end of the last company financial year they relate to with a few exceptions. Again have all the info.


Once you have gone through all your receipts, sort the remaining ones which should be about a month’s worth, divide those into the relevant credit card or bank statement and keep each pile together with a rubber band or paper clip.  Then put in an envelope in a safe place.  Once the relevant statement has arrived, check through the receipts and discard those not needed.  Da da.  Receipts sorted.


Do this regularly and you will never have receipt overload again!



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