There are many great filing systems on the market. The thing I have learned when creating a home filing systems for clients, is that it must make sense to them. A particular system might offer more benefits than another, but ultimately the one used must be manageable long after the organizer has gone. Some things that I find helpful are:
– Use hanging files.
– Only use file folders if there is a sub-category in a hanging file, this will cut down on the bulk considerably.
– Name your file with confidence knowing you will be able to find it again in a year.
– Use names on files by type rather than company. Such as phone rather than Shaw or Telus.
– Keep names of files generic. Use ‘Even Tax Year’ and ‘Odd Tax Year’ rather than the year itself. Archive older files.
– Prefix like categories: Rather than have the gas bill under ‘G’ and the phone bill under ‘P’, group them together by naming them ‘Utility-Gas’ and ‘Utility-phone’. Group family health records together by naming them ‘Health-then the family members name’
– Keep an active desk top file with no more than 6-10 categories. This is the place you will visit daily and/or weekly. Files might include categories such as: bills to pay, needs attention, to do, asap. Keep one file for each child for school and activity related things.
Like a home there should be flow in your filing system. Every six months or at least once a year, go through each file and purge the no longer needed papers. Create space for more current documents and avoid creating a system too jammed with paper to use.