People don’t think about the organization until they lose something fundamental. If you see papers all around and don’t know how to organize them, you need to do something about it.
In this guide, we’ll give you advice on how to organize all your documents. Plus, once you set up a system, you’ll be able to find anything in less than a minute and make your office look tidy.
Before you start, try to see what’s the best way to handle all your papers. Depending on the document type, you can use folders, file boxes or top-tab folders, or even several filing cabinets. Once you figure out what’s best for you and order everything, then you’re ready to start clearing out your table and shelves.
One of the best home office options is hanging files with a frame that you can place in a cabinet, drawer, or box to be accessible and in one place.
Locate All Your Documents
Locating all documents is a big step toward creating a new filing system. Start from your office drawers, shelves, office cabinets, and then look around your apartment. Check in the bedroom, around the kitchen counter, and your table.
Also, don’t forget to bring papers from the office and pile everything on a big table. Now, you can start sorting them out.
Protect Important Documents
Documents that you can’t easily replace, like your social security information, insurance policies, passports, and property deeds, should be stored in a safe place. Files are an excellent storing solution but getting a fireproof safe might also be a worthwhile investment.
However, the most secure system that protects the copies of all your documents 24/7 is contract management software. Using Contract Hound, you’ll have all your forms stored online and won’t have to worry even if something happens to all your papers.
Create Simple Filing System
A simple filing system will make you use it consistently. Of course, after a while, you can add new categories or create subcategories and customize it. The easiest way to start is to separate all your documents into six to ten categories. Here’s what we suggest:
- Home Records and Monthly Bills
- Warranties and Contracts
- Education Certificates
- Personal Documents.
Home Records and Monthly Bills
On one file, put all documents related to your assets like mortgage, property deeds, bank statements, and home investment receipts. If you’re paying property tax, it would be good to have all those documents in one place.
Once you have everything together, choose a big folder with several tabs and group all your documents in each folder. Later, you can label tabs to know precisely where your mortgage or electricity bills are.
Finance and Health
One of the hardest things for most people is to organize their finance papers and keep them all in one place. You’ll realize that once you gather all your bank statements, tax returns, and loan records, you’ll be able to get a bigger picture of your finance and potentially start saving. What’s more, you’ll be able to keep track of how much you’re earning and spending to see whether there’s room for investment or additional savings.
When it comes to health, you might not have that many papers, but the most important ones like a health insurance policy and doctors’ bills have to be there. You can dedicate one folder and name it “Health” to know where to place medical receipts, prescription lists, and medical benefits papers.
Education Certificates and Personal Documents
Certificates, diplomas, and other educational documents are essential for confirming your education, and you must keep them safe at all times. As you have one original, you should scan them or make a few copies, just in case.
Personal documents are pretty much anything related to your identity, Social security number, immunization record, passport, military service record, will, funeral plan, or marriage certificate.
Update Your Files Monthly
Once you’ve created a filing system, you have to keep adding bills in the right folders. When you pay all your bills each month, file all your documents regularly and check if anything is missing. After twelve months, you can go through all your files and purge everything that’s no longer necessary.
Keep Up with The Paperwork
If paperwork isn’t your thing and you despise organizing documents, one of the solutions could be to scan all your documents and have them on your hard drive or in the cloud.
In this guide, we’ve given you the basic principles of organizing and a filing system that works. Now it’s up to you to keep it neat.