Think about this scenario: An important file is needed from your table immediately. You know you set it someplace, but now when you need it most, you are unable to remember exactly where. The clock is ticking and you are frantically shuffling through files and folders. To make matters worse, your table looks as if an avalanche has swept over it. Is this frustration something you can relate to? How long precisely does it take you to search through your files to find an important document?
Review the filing system you use in your home. What method do you use to file your bills, mail, receipts, and other documents? Do you know what papers to shred, toss, and to keep? A cluttered desk means spending more time, effort, and energy looking for something, but having a simple and organized home filing system can keep you from the trouble.
You know you have a good home filing system when that system meets your needs and grows to adjust to changing needs. It should assign a place for everything such as mail, bank statements, bills, receipts, advertising flyers, and so on. A home filing system should end the struggle to find papers. Find a specific space in your home – like a cabinet or a drawer – to organize paperwork in you home filing system.
Folders are perfect to use in your home filing system. They will allow you to categorize all your papers. All financial and business related documents such as receipts, tax returns, bank statements, etc., can be placed in a folder. Other categories can be used for other documents. For example, documents that are personal like birth certificates and medical information should get their own category and folder.
Another suggestion would be to place a document in the top folder that serves as a “map” to guide you to where you placed your files. This will help you be more efficient by allowing you to know exactly where a document is in the folder as opposed to looking through the whole folder of documents. Most importantly, keep your filing system simple. Use categories that are broad enough so that you are not using a folder for only one document – otherwise instead of searching through hundreds of documents you will just end up looking through hundreds of folders.
Label everything in your home filing system. This is most helpful to spare you from groping your way through the chaos. You may remember what you put in the folders now, but tomorrow, you will forget. Once you get the hang of a home filing system, you can easily access files.
Heidi is a professional organizer, creator of The Fast-Filing Method home filing system, & publisher of Life Made Simple e-Magazine. Heidi energizes her readers’ lives by teaching effective organizational systems to help you accomplish more & GAIN peace of mind! Visit ClearSimpleLiving.com to get a complimentary subscription AND a FREE Home Organization Kit.