Culling and organising paperwork(18 Posts)
Has anyone got any helpful tips for sorting and then organising the endless paperwork of family life?!
I want to get rid of as much as I can, with the aim of it all being managed and found easily.
I've got unopened mail (bank/card statements), which I've (mostly) now dealt with, shredded a ton of stuff, but I'd like to end my chaotic systems once and for all.
Please tell me what works for you!
We scan all our important documents and save them in our online account (iCloud, Dropbox, google). It works a treat and i can always find documents when i need it. You need to be displined with it and ideally password protect the documents.
I use a system that I read about on here a few years ago. One of these boxes - www.staples.co.uk/storage-boxes/cbs/200005191.html?price=incvat&cm_mmc=SEM_PLA-_-google-_-serp-pla&mcode=SEM_PLA-google-serp-pla&gclid=CJ3Mwpu_mdQCFYoQ0wod-MQAHQ&gclsrc=aw.ds
and a stack of A4 envelopes labelled pension, water, council tax etc.
Most stuff doesn't need to be filed but just findable. I chuck it all in a box file and start a new one each year. Not filing has made a big difference.
Go paperless where you can too.
I have 3 of those folders with 40 plastic wallets in them. I put everything relating to each different thing in a separate wallet. So all bank statements income, one for each account etc. Then when each wallet is 3 years old, shred the lot and reuse the folder. For pension stuff, a folder just for that as I don't want that shredded.
Thanks everyone! I've got rid of loads more. Yey me!
How long should I keep bank/c.card statements for?
I'm using Evernote. Cloud based, small monthly payment & very happy so far
I do all my banking online and haven't received paper statements for about 2 years....would i need copies if i am taking out a mortgage?.....Would i need them for anything else?
You shouldn't need them to get a mortgage, printed off copies should be fine
I use Evernote & Scannable. Scannable is on my phone, I use it to scan into Evernote. As someone else said the important thing is that to be able to find it later, and Evernote is easily searchable.
So paper comes into the house, gets scanned in with Scannable, automatically saved into Evernote, and the paper gets shredded. I can set a reminder with Evernote. So e.g. school sent home info about school concert 6 weeks in advance. I scanned it in, set an alarm on it for 2 days before the concert, then didn't worry about it until it popped up in my email inbox 2 days before the concert.
I am desperate for a system. ALTERNATIVE - could you explain a bit more?
I keep everything in pdf on my computer. Every month I download all the statements onto my computer into files labeled by subject and then subdivided by year. I don't delete anything as the process of culling takes too much time and sometimes (like when getting divorced) it's handy to have 10 year old bank statements (to prove that the house deposit came from my bank account).
For the hard copy stuff (which gets less and less every year, I put them into magazine files separated by subject: Credit Card Statements, House Bills (mortgage, insurance, maintenance), Taxes, Bank Statements etc. Every year when I'm doing my taxes (in USA so they are calendar year based unlike uk), I put all the year's statements into a large envelope (Nice solid plasticky free ones from FedEx or UPS or USPS (us version of royal mail) and label it with a large marker with the year and contents and then stuff all the envelopes for the year in one box (moved from cardboard to plastic a few years ago) and label the box and put it into the garage (here in Los Angeles, no one uses garages for cars). To repeat above: I don't throw anything out as the process of culling takes too much time and sometimes it's handy to have old statements.
If you have a system and are religious about sticking to it, it doesn't take much time and is well worth it in the end.
Especially for the pdf files....when you need stuff (like when applying for a mortgage), it's at your fingertips.
All my bank/creditcard statements are online, if I need one I would print it out, for some forms of ID you do need original copies of bank statements which the bank will send you if you request.
All our utilities are online and all our payslips, so I just make sure we have a copy of the P60, pensions are online also so very little paperwork there.
We keep anything to do with shares, and that is all just shoved in a box file with any tax stuff like P60s, P111D etc.
House stuff is in another box, which is stuff like double glazing, building control etc, mortgage.
Another box is birth certificates etc, stuff relating to family, like Wills, late DMs house sale, mainly the keep forever stuff in there.
I have managed to keep our paperwork down to 3 box files mainly by having most stuff online, before this we had a large overflowing filing cabinet full of stuff
I buy those plastic envelope files and label with the year. I keep it in the kitchen and as things arrive I put them straight in there. I only fill one or two each year so it's easy to look through if you need anything. At the end of the year I put the envelope in the filing cabinet. Before I did this I had piles of paper everywhere!
Everything is scanned (including cards and handwritten letters) using a Scansnap portable scanner & saved in Google Drive in our family account. I do this about once a month & shred afterwards.
We have a single lever arch folder with birth & marriage certs, degree transcripts, P60s (originals are useful) and anything else that needs to be provided in original format - very few documents in total.
Having documents readily accessible via Google Drive is so useful. I pull things up on my phone fairly often at work & away from home.
I brought a sleek two drawer filing cabinet a few months ago. No exaggeration, best thing I ever did. I had piles of paperwork all over the house. Some really important documents that I could never lay my hands on without tearing the house apart. I spent a very enjoyable Saturday getting it all organised
Thanks so much everyone! Love the scanning/pdf idea. I want to be as paper free as possible.
My downfall is things like the children's birthday/christening cards and drawings etc why do I feel the need to keep it?!!
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