Organizing your Paperwork
Paperwork seems to be an overwhelming problem for most people, as they struggle deciding what documents need to be kept and then coming up with a sensible filing solution that works for them. Of all the systems that I have put into place over the years, this is by far the most popular system.
- You will firstly need to gather all your documents throughout the home and place all like papers together.
- Then refer to the BBB (Better Business Bureau) PDF to view the time period to hang onto all of these documents. This is by far the most reliable resource to use, for tax purposes etc. http://www.bbb.org…/mis…/Records%20Retention%20Schedule.pdf
- Start to toss and shred the documents that fall outside of this recommended time period.
- Now group like piles of documents together to form subdivisions of a category.
- Then assign each category a different color.
- Each subdivision within that category receives its own folder and label, while still having the same color as the rest of the category. e.g.:
- Insurance (Blue folders) Can be sub divided into — auto, home, life, disability, and medical.
- Financial (Green folders) Can be sub-divided into — bank accounts, credit accounts, mortgage statements, and investments.
- Property (Yellow folders) Can be sub-divided into — receipts for home improvements, furnishings and valuables, product manuals and receipts, automotive purchases and repair receipts.
- Medical records (red folders) – Every family member has a folder.
- Veterinary records (Lilac folders) – Every animal has a folder.
- Now create a laminated code card to be attached to the outside of the filing cabinet.
- This card will be a quick color reference for you every time you need to find a particular folder.
Remember that this process of sorting through your paperwork and putting in a functional system, is not going to happen over night. You may have years of unsorted documents that require filing. The important thing to know is, that it is never too late to implement such a system making it easier to maintain in the future.
- Posted in: General Organizational Tips