Today, I would like to write about our paperwork and about how I organized it.
Throughout the years, I have tried different systems for organizing all of our paperwork. Some of them worked well, others not so much.
One thing I learned from filing things in binders, in hanging file folders, in regular file folders in magazine holders, and lastly by jamming all of our new mail in a box is the following:
I hate to whole-punch stuff. I am not sure why. But if a punch is involved, my files are going to sit there for a while waiting to be put away.
I also don´t like binders too much, as once they start to fill up, they become heavy and impractical to use.
With our move to the new apartment came a whole new bunch of bills and papers that needed to be organized and put away. Since my 2 binders were stuffed to the rim and not working for me, I temporarily placed everything new in a box. There was a little problem though: Each time I needed to review something or find information in there, I had to go through the entire thing waisting time searching.
So looking over my freshly-made list of projects, I decided to tackle the paperwork and bills next.
Here is what I started with:
- A bunch of letters stuffed into a box
- A bunch of large envelopes with insurance policies and the like
- 2 big binders full of our documents
And here are the steps of thought I went through:
1. I really thought about the different systems I had used previously and which types had worked best for me (meaning paperwork was filed on time and my husband could find things easily).
2. Next I decided on either hanging file folders or something similar.
3. After that, I thought about all the different types of documents we use and the number of folders we would need.
4. Then I researched prices and found these:
5. Lastly, I went about organizing all of our paperwork again, purging were possible and creating categories with sub-files. I placed household bills in one color of folders, investment and retirement account info in another color of folders, and so on. In the end, I had about 6 or 7 different categories with differing numbers of sub-folders.
6. For now, I placed these folders in the same box as I previously used for the loose bills right onto our desk in the living-room. Once I tackle the whole living-room storage situation in a few weeks or months, I will remove them from plain sight.
What I like about these folders:
- They fit a lot of differently-sized paper
- Each bill, account or household member has its own folder
- Folders can be transported easily if needed
- When filing new paperwork I can just get out the ones I need
- No whole-punching required
- I can add to this collection or re-arrange it very easily
So what do you think? I hope this system gives you an idea on how to file your own paperwork more effectively.