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Help needed with household admin

19 replies

Pennies · 17/01/2007 13:37

Our files are in a complete disarray and I want to start from scratch with all the admin for the house and kids.

Anyone got any tips for best way to file stuff - how do you keep everything (bills, instructions, guarantees, money stuff, kids info, schools info, health etc etc) organised?

OP posts:
MrsBadger · 17/01/2007 13:38

we have a filing cabinet with suspension files in - anything smaller just doesn't hack it.

Cappuccino · 17/01/2007 13:40

I have a little filing cabinet that dh once got from an old office

these are good too

especially if you can get one that isn't A-Z, but has different sections you can label yourself

have a look through the stuff you have and work out what you have most of, you could put that in a lever arch or something

Pennies · 17/01/2007 13:48

Ahh Cappucino I've been looking for ones like those - all the ones I could find were pre-labelled with really "useful" things that I'd never use. thanks for that.

OP posts:
Pennies · 17/01/2007 13:48

MrsBadget was hoping to avoid a filing cabinet - unless I could find one that looks OK but they all seem so officey.

OP posts:
TisMeMellowma · 17/01/2007 13:50

That looks good, I am going to get one this weekend, start sorting out my paperwork

Judy1234 · 17/01/2007 13:58

Filing cabinet. Files in alphabetical order - Bank, Car, Insurance, Water Rates etc
Other big thing is do it EVERY DAY. Then you have no back log. A dull few minutes rather than hanging over you as a big job.

Judy1234 · 17/01/2007 13:59

Looks - yes they are awful. My worst one is in the garage. My office at home has nice wooden fitted ones though so it looks like a wall of mahogany and brass. Tolerable to look at.

TisMeMellowma · 17/01/2007 13:59

Why am I not surprised in the slightest by your post xenia

Cappuccino · 17/01/2007 14:00

if you're really full of spare time you can paint filing cabinets with Hammerite

in a wide selection of wonderful colours

jellybellie · 17/01/2007 14:01

And remember to have a regular clear out so you don't hoard loads of useless bits of paper that are now irrelevant.

Also, we keep a file in our kitchen that has all the instructions/guarantees for washing machine/electrical equipment etc so they are all in one place - it only cost about a fiver and has loads of clear sleeves inside it to put things in (I also use one for recipes etc that I've saved from various sources.

Use a notice board to pin more urgent things on or things you need to remember.

DimpledThighs · 17/01/2007 14:14

To give you an idea of catergories I have:

social security
important stuff (marrigae cert, degree cert)
credit card
school (not everything just propectus etc.)
health (red book, docs letters)

that's all I can think of.

Best thing to do is start it - don't worry too much about the catergories, but have lots of spare files at the back and then if something comes that does belong anywhere start a new one.

MrsBadger · 17/01/2007 14:53

you're restrained DimpledThighs!
I have seperate compartments for each bill: gas, electric, water, council tax, BT, mobile, building & contents insurance, car insurance, car tax, tv licence etc

Judy1234 · 17/01/2007 14:54

I just have a thing about trying to keep on top of it. My sister is always complaining about being really behind, years behind with filing etc It's hard to keep up with it but you save time by keeping on top of it.

QPootle · 18/01/2007 09:58

I've been using lever arch files and plain, cheap dividers for years now. If you start with a couple of lever arch, and loads are on sale right now, then you can do your own categories and expand as and when you need to. Shouldn't cost you more than £6-£8 I reckon. For things like guarantees and the Car etc, I have plain carboard folders and go through it every so often to chuck things that are no longer relevant. Also have a very small folder in a partic draw for "Important things" so driving licence, passports, birth certificates, savings book, red books etc.

Because I've been doing it for so many years and have to keep records as self employed blah, I have separate Lever arches now for:
My Banking (includes savings, current, Credit card etc), DH Banking, Tax, My Work (invoices, receipts, mobile phone bill etc as I'm freelance), Utilities (separated into Gas, Electric, Phone, Water, Council Tax blah) and DS general file. Before I get into filing and sorting, which I probably do every three months, I have very cheap plastic folders with same labels on so I can just stuff things in on a daily basis. Then I hole punch everything and file in date order blah blah. If there's a crisis in the meantime you can find the last three months in a smallish folder and before that it's all date ordered.

Sounds very dull, and I am deeply, deeply anal about all these kinds of things, but if you ever have a dispute with a company, move house, want to change utilities or whatever, you can work out where you are and what you spend/owe, really really quickly. Has saved my arse a million times. We keep all the files in a cupboard, hidden away!

Does this all make me really sad?

Nellycake · 18/01/2007 10:17

QP - a woman after my own heart!! I wish my DH would read your post - he thinks I'm anal about our admin stuff but in the long run, it just saves time.

QPootle · 18/01/2007 10:21

Ah Nelly - so good to know I'm not alone! Now how shall I file your response ....

Judy1234 · 18/01/2007 14:55

Yes, all tidiness saves times as I try to tell the teenagers. You know where things are so you don't waste time looking so I file every day when the post comes and deal with things right away however tedious. AIm to have an empty filing tray every day.

QPootle · 20/01/2007 20:17

Xenia - Now I'm really in awe of that. I'd love to be like you!

dizzydo · 22/01/2007 14:59

I am nowhere near as organised as some of you but I do have several plastic A4 "Display" books, which basically look like a book but instead of paper pages have plastic pages so you can insert papers two per page IFYSWIM. I have one for important docs, such as driving licence etc., one for household, one for school, and a current one where I file away the incoming post before I deal with it. Having it displayed like that means things do not get stuck together and you can find them reasonably easily. (by the way I get them in the Pound Shop).

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