Whether you’re preparing for tax season or feeling the need to spring clean, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the hordes of paperwork we accumulate throughout our daily lives. Even in the digital age, it’s important to keep a paper trail of key documents, records, and receipts.
However, what to keep, how long to keep it for, and how to organize a home filing system may deter many from even getting started. Fear not, Tidy Titan Cleaners has the solution for you:
Step 1: Collect all the paperwork.
Consider the depth of your project and the time you will have to work. Gather as much paperwork as you wish to consolidate. You don’t want to begin organizing and then have to stop midway to only give up in the end. Budget your time wisely.
Step 2: Sort the paperwork into categories.
Once your paperwork is gathered, sort each item according to the categories below:
- Loans/Promissory Notes
- Tax Records
- Family Records
- Medical Records
- Birth Certificates/Social Security Cards
- Marriage/Divorce Licenses
- Custody/Adoption Papers
Step 3: Digitize the kept paperwork.
Now that you’re surrounded by sorted piles of important papers, it’s time to digitize those documents. Having a digital copy allows you to access documents any time from anywhere without the fear of losing, forgetting, or damaging them. To do this you will need access to a scanner and a subscription to a cloud service like DropBox, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, and more. The cloud services allow you to create and label folders to store your scanned documents.
Step 4: Store the kept paperwork in a safe or secured cabinet.
For those documents that must be kept or are irreplaceable, it’s recommended to store them in a safe with a lock and key. To maintain your organization skills, try the Honeywell Fire and Waterproof Filing Safe Box Chest with Wheel Cart. They offer a 7-year limited warranty with a Lifetime After-Fire Replacement Guarantee. Not only will you be able to set up a filing system in the safe, but you’ll also be able to store other precious items and treasures.
Step 5: Shred discarded documents.
It’s equally as important to handle discarded documents as it is those that are being kept. Don’t simply throw those papers into the recycling bin – shred them! If you have a shredder, make sure to read your product manual to see how long the machine can run before it gets too hot and how many pages it can shred at once. If you don’t have a shredder, then try the Bonsaii 60-Minute Heavy-Duty Micro-Cut Paper Shredder. It has a 60-minute continuous running time and eats credit cards, staples, clips, and more.
There are many ways to prevent document overload. DMAchoice is a service that removes your address from the direct mailing lists marketers use to send you advertisements. This is at least a third of your clutter gone. The Personalized Mail Organizer allows you to sort your mail as you come in the house rather than letting it pile up in the corner. Perhaps the best home filing system idea is the Mobile Command Center. In its simplicity, you’re able to maintain a structured filing system that is personalized to meet all your needs. With these ideas and more, you’ll never have to worry about document overload again.