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Paper Filing - give me an organised system!

(16 Posts)
ButterflySandwich Mon 10-Nov-14 07:05:48

For the past 15 years my idea of filing is this:

Open letter (or not if looks boring)
Chuck on the ever increasing pile in a corner, usually on the computer desk
When the pile is so that big everything slides off, reluctantly spend a couple of hours sorting through and filing into the filing cabinet
A lot of stuff that I don't know how to file (coupons, school letters, newsletters etc) end up back on the pile. Including "things to action" which are so tedious and boring I leave on the pile and never do.
Delight at discovering forgotten items
Since I pay by standing orders/direct debits, I don't have to cringe so much at unpaid bills
A couple of months later, start again!

I need an organised system!!!! Please!!!

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 10-Nov-14 07:13:47

Pocket dispay books, the ones with 30 plastic wallets in.

One for each year.

Each wallet has one area in, so all bank statements in one, all insurance for house in another, pension in another etc etc. keep in a reasonably accessible place so that you can put the mail straight in.

After 4 years, you can chuck the whole contents out - I shred it and put it on the compost heap - and reuse it.

Things to action or pay - put by the side of the computer so that you can action or pay them.

Vouchers, on the fridge under a magnet or, and here's the one i like, i bulldog clip them to the bags that we use for shopping. So that they are always there at the checkout.

If the mail is not needed, get rid immediately, straight into the recycle bin.

JoanHickson Mon 10-Nov-14 07:15:34

Set time aside, stop putting in a pile and file as you go.

StupidFlanders Mon 10-Nov-14 07:24:03

We have a ring binder with alphabetical dividers. As bills etc come in, they get holes punched and put at the front. When paid they get moved to their section and unless we need it for tax (rarely) the previous one is thrown out. We start fresh every financial year. My dh has his own business and all of our paper work fits in.
Old paid bills are almost never needed so don't bother keeping them.

ButterflySandwich Mon 10-Nov-14 07:35:16

Oo u like the idea of folders. Never thought of that before! Thank you! So do payslips/school letters etc go in as well? Everything?

buyryte Mon 10-Nov-14 07:43:01

I secure all school letters with a bulldog clip and hang to noticeboard after they've been actioned. Ones that need actioning go on the from of the fridge. I clear the bulldog clip of out of date items every few months. I'm rubbish with other post though and di the same as you OP.

ButterflySandwich Mon 10-Nov-14 07:43:39

Re coupons I mainly shop online. But I sometimes shop instore. I should clip them somewhere but my fridge is an inbuilt one so not magnetic.

StupidFlanders Mon 10-Nov-14 07:47:30

My payslips are electronic and retrievable so don't keep any hard copies, dh has invoices which are kept once payment received and some are electronic.

School notices are thrown out as soon as I've entered details in my phone.

I don't think I've received a social letter for years but would read and chuck (we are the opposite of hoarders!)

School work is scanned or photographed as it arrives (if I think it's good) and then chucked.

MrsGSR Mon 10-Nov-14 07:48:50

I thought you had to keep everything important for 6 years?

StupidFlanders Mon 10-Nov-14 08:02:11

Yes, everything we take to the accountant is kept but most tax deductions for us have an end of financial year statement. That's why we start a new folder each financial year. I only have a handful of tax deductible bills= less than 10 pieces of paper a year (although last time my accountant said she wouldn't worry too much as long as I could retrieve them some how if necessary).
Regular bills don't need to be kept.
I'd love to know if scanned documents would be allowed instead of hard copies. There's an app where you can take photos of deductible bills but....

ButterflySandwich Mon 10-Nov-14 08:18:35

On recommendation from another thread, I have been using the family life organised mum diary which is definately helping on a day to day basis as I update weekly my to do list. Sort of!

Yes how long do you need to keep things for?

PigletJohn Mon 10-Nov-14 12:20:12

At the very least, you need two separate piles

pile 1
stuff I have looked at that needs no action and will file one day

pile 2
stuff I have got to read and/or do something about

everything else goes in the bin.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 10-Nov-14 15:34:56

At work I have 3 files. Do, Doing and Done.

ButterflySandwich Tue 11-Nov-14 14:16:13

I bought 2 folders, some alphabetical dividers and sorted through my humongous pile of papers. My main folder is lovely and organised now. I keep looking in it feeling all proud of myself. And when post comes through the door it's easier now to file away. The to do folder is a bit messier, but isn't all work in progress? grin

Thank you!

hooker29 Tue 11-Nov-14 14:28:39

i spent 4.5 hours one day sorting out old bills and shredding them.I filled 3 black bags with shredded paper!I'm not letting it get that bad again!

SauvignonBlank Tue 11-Nov-14 16:29:59

I have a small extra purse for coupons and infrequently used loyalty cards, credit cards. Any coupons, loyalty vouchers go in there without cluttering up main purse. You have to remember to have a quick check through when you're shopping but it's easier to have them all in one place. I keep my boots card, nectar card in my main purse with my main credit and debit cards. Works for me !

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