Anybody wanna come to my house for a scanning party?

I've put it off long enough, but I've got to do something about this mess (feel free to click on the photo for notes within Flickr).

organizational disaster

The above photo is all the mail from our sofa table as well as the various documents scattered around my area of the desk at home. It does not include a much more out-dated pile of crap that is not crucial but should really be filed somehow and is currently just collecting dust on top of our lateral file. Somewhere in the more recent pile of crap pictured above is the renewal notice for my car's registration that expires today.

I used to be on top of this stuff, but over the last year or so it's just gotten out of hand. I complained before about tracking payments once we had two home-related bills each month, but I've beaten those monsters back for the most part with a lot of auto bill pay features and renting the other house so that at least someone else is paying that electric, water and gas bill. But now I have a larger goal of removing the need for our lateral file before the baby is born and frankly, I terrified of the size of this task.

Don't throw me a baby shower, just please come to my house and scan all of my Anthem Explanation of Benefits forms for me so I don't keep tripping over them.

The goal is to remove the need for the lateral file, so we can use that space in the office for a pack-n-play and new loveseat or glider. We spend 90% of our time at home in this one room so I can only imagine the baby will be here too. And the lateral file, while attractive, is a monsterous beast full of junk that we never ever look at. The amount of items that we need to keep the originals for (birth certificates, passports, Rich's DD-214) can all fit in a fire box in the closet, and the rest can and should all just be scanned.

I got as far as buying this kick ass scanner in January as a bit of New Year's Resolution, but haven't actually done much with it. And I just know that if it's this much of a mess now, it will only get worse over the upcoming year.

So help me out, Internet. How to do deal with your mail when it comes in the house? How did you get rid of all the junk mail that goes straight from the mail box to the recycling bin? Do you actually keep all your medical receipts organized in some file drawer? (If so, I hate you just a little.) Can you put your hands on your pets' rabies certificates? Do you pay your water bill on time or just send them $100 every few weeks to maintain the ability to flush the toilets and shower like some people I know (*cough*) have been doing? Where do you keep your hunter's talent tree so you'll know how to spend points once you level? (Ok, that last one is a little specific, but I hate looking it up each time online so I just keep the printout under my keyboard.)

We're drowning in paper!