Today let's tackle that old filing cabinet (or whatever filing system you're using.
Is it hard to insert new papers into it due to overcrowding? Is it hard to find what you're looking for?
Time for an overhaul and here's how:
Cleaning your filing system
Let's de-clutter our filing system:
1. Get a Shredder
First things first, get a good shredder that can really cut up your old bills and any confidential information on paper. One that can handle multiple sheets is great!
2. Start shredding old documents
Start throwing out old outdated papers. Here's a list of how you know it's outdated:
3. Organize the files
Start organizing the files into groups and importance. You could buy different color files to represent different areas such as - family related (health, school, insurance, memberships), Housing information - mortgage/rent loan information, insurance, payments, car insurance, taxes, etc.), Utilities, Bills, Tax information, and so on. In my filing cabinet I put the bills and statements that occur the most at the top and front and the less important or least needed go on the bottom.
4. Create a binder of information
If you're a mom, you're quite familiar with the annual school year bundle of paperwork to fill out. Instead get a binder and have a section for each family member and fill out information on each person - contact info, doctor address and phone numbers, emergency contacts and everything else the school, doctor's office and any other official needs. Instead of scrambling to pull out individual files (or looking up numbers online) it's all in one convenient place to flip through.
Include a section of other important information - insurance policy numbers and company contact numbers, employer contacts, and any other important contact numbers.
5. Have a "catch all" file
I mentioned in my productivity post that I have a file holder on my desk for the incoming mail. One of the files is for "to file". Then once in a while take that file and file it away in your filing cabinet properly.
If you don't want to go that route, you can simply keep an empty file folder in the front of your filing cabinet as a catch all and label it "Needs a Home" and when you have a free moment, take that and file everything properly.
Hopefully, you're filing system looks a lot thinner and more manageable which saves you time and energy.
Do you have any other filing ideas to use?