How many times have you searched your house for that elusive birth certificate or passport or marriage certificate? The one that you placed in a ‘secure place’ so you never forget where it is. Months later, on the rare occasion that you actually need the document, you can’t remember where you placed it.
Maybe it’s time to invest some time and money on a good home filing system. It sounds like a big job, yes, but in the long run you’ll be able to manage your important documents much easier.
Here are some handy tips to start you off.
Invest in a filing cabinet – There are so many filing cabinets available these days and they are not expensive. Go through sites like Gumtree or eBay for some good-looking second hand filing cabinets. Gone are the days when they all looked like tin boxes. Get one with a lock if you’re concerned that your little ones will be able to open it.
Have a system in place – Label your folders well. Use bright colours, big clear letters or colourful sticky notes. Whatever works for you. Separate them into different categories – car, mortgage, school stuff (for kid 1, kid 2, kid 3 etc), electricity, internet, mobile phone hubby, mobile phone wifey, vet, doctor and so on and so forth. New documents always go on the front of the folder.
Separate the crucial ones – There are documents that you need to keep separate. These are usually the ones that are more important than the daily pile you deal with. Consider investing in a safe to lock your super important documents in like passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, land deeds, last will and testament, documents for your secret stash in the Cayman Islands etc. Whatever it is, a safe would be, well, the safest place for it. Places like City Safes have all your security requirements covered. If you’re on a tight budget, you can get a reconditioned safe at City Safes. It will protect your documents and it’s not too bad in the pocket.
Go digital – Everything is digital these days including bills. Some companies even charge up to $2 if you ask them to send you paper bills. Try to go digital in all the bills to lessen the paper waste. Better for you, better for the environment.
Clean up every couple of years – Every three years or so, clean up your filing cabinet and discard the ones that are not relevant anymore. This will keep your files updated and be less cluttered. When getting rid of your old personal documents, make sure you shred them before you get rid of them. Don’t recycle documents with personal information.
Teach everyone – It’s better to do this whole organising thing when everyone is part of it. There’s no point in you going through the effort when everyone else in the house just dumps whatever they have in the filing cabinet. This will also be a good time to teach the young ones how to organise, that way they learn this skill for life.
What are your organising tips for documents at home?
Her Collective partnered with City Safes on this article.