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Setting up a filing system can feel overwhelming, but a little bit of time and effort can go a long way when you have a system that works and makes it easier to locate paperwork and important documents.
Set up a longer term filing system that works for you and will be easy to maintain going forward. This is where you’ll be keeping things like insurance information, tax returns, healthcare, etc. Use a filing cabinet or box and label your files as you set it up. Then set up a time weekly or monthly to quickly file paperwork.
MUSTS FOR A FILING SYSTEM
Once you have your filing system in place, you’re ready to set up categories and then subcategories:
My suggestion for categories is pretty straightforward – use a different color or tab position for hanging files for each category. Use this as a guide for your own organization of important documents. You might have more or less categories and files, this is merely a recommendation and starting point to help you come up with possible categories and subcategories.
- each month for the year
- banking accounts – separate file for each account
- credit card accounts – separate file for each account
- paystubs person (separate file for each account)
- one for deductions, donations and expenses
- tax returns current year, separate folder for each year
- one for each family member
- one for dental, prescriptions and vision
- paid medical bills
- insurance : one for accidents, auto, homeowners, life and personal articles
- home : one for address, improvements, landscaping, mortgage and warranties
- auto ; service and one for each car
- other relevant info
Once you’ve decided what you want to file, take the time to think through what you will really need – can anything be consolidated? Can you simplify any categories?
Create your file folders, label your tabs and put your important documents in your file folders. Adjust and rearrange if necessary and start using your filing system that works!
If you’re looking for a method to organize paper, you might like the Guide to Going Paper-Less.