Important documents often come into our lives faster then we can manage. Finding the right filing system is crucial if you want to be organized. So, where do you start?
Go through all of your papers, documents and files. Determine what you need and throw away what should go in the trash. Next, group your documents, but avoid creating too many categories. Too many categories can get confusing and cause more problems. Here are a few sample categories: medical, vital, cars, home and bills. Next, assign different color folders to each group (green for bills, blue for vital etc). Now, you should have piles that are starting to make some sense. Take the files you use most often and keep them within arm’s reach (desk drawer or a small filing cabinet) so it’s easy to get a document when you need it and more importantly, it’s easy to put it back when you are done . Everything else you can file in cabinets further from you or even in a different room. Anything that’s not needed in the near future (records, tax documents), archive. These files can even be placed in a remote storage or a garage. Make sure the boxes are water/fire proof because we do not want our documents to get damaged.
Tip: do not make a “ miscellaneous” folder! We tend to put too many papers in a “miscellaneous” file and in no time you’ll have an unorganized folder and clutter on your hands again. A “working folder” is more appropriate, but make sure you go through it once a week and file the documents as needed.