Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Household Paperwork Organisation Made Easy
It's easy to get overwhelmed by piles of paperwork. Bills and official papers arrive through the letterbox, they get piled up on the kitchen counter or desk. You might make an attempt at filing them with box files or a filing cabinet, but unless the filing system is easily accessible and easy to operate, the papers are more likely to stay in a heap on the dining table, to be frantically searched for when required.
This system is easy and foolproof.
Set aside a lever-arch file and a large pack of punched poly-pockets.
Any piece of official documentation that comes into the house goes into the file. Each new subject gets a new poly-pocket, organised alphabetically. E.g. supermarket loyalty card paperwork, doctor surgery paperwork, pet insurance, car insurance, pension, premium bonds... literally anything.
Some items you'll only get one piece of paper per year (your membership renewal paperwork for the Youth Hostel Association for example), others will send you stacks of paper - your bank statements, credit card statements for example.
You might stretch to two or even three lever arch files, depending on how complicated your life is. Hubby organises most of the insurances and the bank statements and mortgages, and he has his own filing system. Mine takes up two lever arch files.
Every couple of months, go through one of your files and just discard and shred anything that's out of date (more than a year for some things, more than three or five years for financial items). If you move house it's very easy to just go through the file, one pocket at a time, and inform them of your change of address.
When mail arrives, deal with it if required, and then just file it in the appropriate poly-pocket, only one file required! I've been using this system successfully for several years now. It means that I can easily lay my hands on any important paperwork.
How do you organise your household paperwork?