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Organizing important paperwork (home)
Old 01-12-2014, 06:02 AM
  #1

Right now, I have a guest room. The dresser in the guest room is where I put paid bills, bank statements, receipts (ones that are "important" or "school" anyhow), home/car repair stuff, medical stuff and all that. When one drawer gets full, I start on the next one. Some time at the start of the year (as in now), I go through it and throw out what can be, organize the rest in a few folders, and bring it all to my tax guy. (just in case he decides to itemize!)

I need a better system. I used to work in folders - but then, it was just me, no house and no real "stuff". I'm not sure I can do that again.

Does anyone have a method that works? An organizational tool that contains it all? Where does it go? (Spare bedroom might not be a spare room for all that much longer....) HELP!


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Old 01-12-2014, 07:17 AM
  #2

I use files. You could use a small file carry tote thing. I would get a 2 drawer file cabinet and start using it.

I have a file for bills and papers that need action. I have a file to be filed file (I used to actually file it every month.. Now I wait until tax time and then sort it all out and file it then). There is a separate file for medical bills and receipts, one for tax where I put anything that will be tax related (donation slips, property tax stuff).

At the end of the year I file it all. I put credit card statements in files by year, I throw the utility bills (I used to keep each year and throw the last year). I keep insurance documents but not statements. I keep financial statements from the end of every year so I have them when I need them for tax purposes.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:02 AM
  #3

I use a 2 drawer file cabinet. I'm not always the best about keeping it up to date and organized, but about twice a year I do a big filing session and clean out. Monthly bills live in a folder kept on the kitchen counter. Once they're paid, the bills are shredded.
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Electronic statements
Old 01-12-2014, 09:02 AM
  #4

Have been set up for my utility type bills and I think Im going to set that up for medical statements and any thing else that I have that offers it. That cuts down on a lot of paperwork.

I have a small plastic box filer that I use for the other stuff to put in files.
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:27 PM
  #5

I have a pretty oak 2-drawer file cabinet that I got at Costco for about $40. I use manila folders inside of hanging folders, labeled: utilities, bank, credit card, home insurance, car insurance, taxes, pet (vet stuff--each pet has its own file), medical (separated by doctor, dentist, eye), employment, products (for receipts, warranty information, and the little information booklets that come with appliances and things). There's more, but you get the idea. The utilities file I clean out monthly as the new ones arrive, credit card I purge at the end of the year, products I purge every few years ("I don't have that coffeemaker any more, throw that out."), the rest I pretty much keep. I always put the newest paperwork to the back so it's always organized chronologically.


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files
Old 01-12-2014, 06:44 PM
  #6

I have a filing cabinet with hanging folders . In our old house I kept it in the closet in the guest room/office (which then became the nursery). In this house, it's in the basement. Like other PPs mentioned, I have files for pretty much whatever papers I might get:

Electricity
Internet/Cable/Phone
My Doctor
DH's Doctor
DD's Doctor
Vision
Prescriptions
My work papers (contracts, etc)
My DH's work papers
Cell Phone
Past Taxes
Owner's Manuals
Random Papers I want to Save but Don't Know a Category For
Retirement
Credit Card statements
Bank Info
etc

When we moved, I switched a lot of things to online as possible. So we don't get any paper credit card statements or bank stuff. It's really cut down on the paper we receive.

I do file what we get immediately after it's dealt with. So once a phone bill is paid, I file it in the Phone file. For me, it's easier just to do it as it happens.

I'd be the type to toss the last statement after getting the new one. My DH likes to wait a bit longer, so we tend to wait a year before tossing old statements (or at least the ones that aren't electronic now).

Filing cabinets come in all sorts of sizes, and you can often get them cheap at Target or similar or find them used on Craigslist. They fit well in closets!
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