How do you file household paperwork?(8 Posts)
Filing cabinets are ugly and I have no space for one. I am drowning in paper. How do you organize all the household papers eg receipts and warranties, important documents and certificates, medical etc. stuff you don't need to access regularly but can't throw away.
We keep three years of paperwork in a box file, one file for each year. We don't bother keeping it in order just chuck it in, then one file for important docs and one to do file. The box files are in different colours and sit in one of the cubes in our kallax unit.
A plastic box with hanging file dividers - sorry for long link
I found have found most effective paperwork organisation menthod is the one I have implemented.
Absolutely anything that can have the paper statements turned off and put to online, do.
Anything that can even remotely be binned/shredded/recycled is.
People say keep your financial records for up to 6years - any paper bills are pretty much gone after being paid. Keep it for what? Is the company going to change the cost of the bill?
Of course the extremely important paperwork, tax and wage slips, medical, birth and marriage documents. Employment contracts and the like, but that takes up ones small filing box.
Any bank statements, bills etc can nearly always be viewed online, and if not, copies can be ordered from the company, yes they may charge, but a lot better than lugging pathetic around.
I have 3 accordion files that I keep all my paperwork in as well as a fireproof box.
Fireproof box: All important documents like DD and my birth certificates, passports, medical paperwork, marriage/divorce paperwork, my will, any insurance documents, our cats' microchip paperwork etc (and a couple of USB sticks with digital copies of all documents, plus one with family pictures/memories as they take up a negligible amount of space in the box)
Accordian file 1: all warranties/manuals/receipts for any large appliances/electricals with one pocket per large item and two pockets for any smaller items (one for small kitchen appliances, the other for non-kitchen items)
Accordian file 2: All important paperwork - sorted and each individual category is filed in each pocket eg medical/dental/optical/Cats (I actually have a file for each of them with their various paperwork)
Accordian file 3: this is the one I use day to day. If I get any paperwork that I need to keep - whether it's the boiler safety certificate, a bill I need to pay, a letter from DD's school with all the important term dates, a copy of my glasses prescription or a new mobile phone contract - I will put it into this file. Every Sunday I set aside an hour (either when DD is tidying her room/packing her stuff before her week at her dad's or after dinner on my "child free" weeks) and I sit down with this file, my phone, diary, wall calendar and weekly whiteboard planner to go through and action every piece of paper. Whether that means it gets filed to be kept long term, an appointment gets put into my diary or important dates get written on to the calendar, this file gets emptied every week. It is a godsend because it is a catchall for all those bits of paper you need, can't deal with the second you get them but don't want to lose, and emptying it is a regular part of my weekly admin time - along with updating the whiteboard with the week's schedule - that means I don't feel guilty shoving stuff in there as I know I'm not ignoring it, I'm just putting it away until I have the time to deal with it properly.
I put them in organisers like these
Marking sections as bank, credit card, motoring, etc. I start a new organiser each year. The old ones ... ahem, they're dumped somewhere in the box room.
You say you're drowning in paper....what letters/statements are you getting?
Other than payslips there is really no need to keep anything; most statements whether it be for banking or household bills can be got online. So if you haven't already done so, switch to paperless and shred everything you currently have
I echo what previous poster has said....why drowning in paper? There is very little that you need to keep on paper except the essentials. I do all my banking online for instance, and do not have paper statements for credit cards, bank or savings accounts as these can all be looked at online. I have standing orders going into them/out of them for payments which makes life easier; all my bills are also paid by standing order/direct debit so I know what is going out or coming in and I don't need to monitor it except check online regularly.
For filing the important things, I have 5 files - these are just plastic wallets. One is for the car...tax, MOT, insurance, car payment agreement, that type of thing. The 2nd is for personal documents - here I save old GCSE certificates, job contract papers, training certificates. When the children were at home their things were in here too - birth certificates, my marriage cert....but it's emptier now everyone has left home!
I guess you would keep your passports in this folder too but I actually carry my passport round with me in my handbag as I often need it for ID.
A 3rd folder is for finances - tax codes, payslips, any credit agreements and so forth. Each month I throw in my payslip but every year I go through the file and 'cleanse' it of old papers...I never keep payslips more than a year, there's no point. Really no need to have 6 year's worth...although I've been in my job for several years now....I guess if you were chnging jobs a lot you would want to keep the records for longer in case there were tax implications that needed sorting out.
In this folder you would also want mortgage papers or renting agreements....
A 4th folder is for medical stuff...as I'm older I have a medical condition which requires some test results etc. Here are NHS cards, the old notes from when I had my babies (sentimental value!!) and medical notes from the chidlren etc. If you had a family still at home all the family's medical stuff would be in here too.
The final folder has guarantees and applicance notes. I know it sounds odd, but each time I buy something I keep the little booklet of instructions (especially electrical goods) so that i know where to find it if anything goes wrong. Here I also keep waranties, furniture guarantees or washing machine instructions. However, I don't keep receipts for everything I've bought - no need - just big items.
These days the folders aren't very large but they were much bigger when I had a whole family to track. We never had any pets but I guess if you had animals - cats/dogs, horses, you would want another folder for them to track costs and vet's bills or innoculations...
But it shouldn't be very complicated, such files take an A4 space in the corner of one cupboard.....
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