Archive Your Files With Ease

What shape is your filing system in? Are your filing drawers stuffed so full that it’s nearly impossible to get another piece of paper into — or out of — them? Once a year, you should take time to review your files and purge as much as possible, leaving room for next year’s papers.

1. Determine what to keep. As you sort through papers, ask yourself, “When will I really need this again?” “Can it be easily recreated or retrieved elsewhere?” Don’t hang onto things unless you have a really good reason! Be ruthless — remember, 80% of the things you file will never get referred to again!

2. Keep records retention guidelines in mind. Your accountant, attorney, or professional organizer can tell you which documents you should keep for legal purposes.

3. Keep only day-to-day paperwork at your fingertips. For rarely-used files that must be kept, archive them in an out-of-the-way area, such as a closet, basement, or off-site storage facility.

4. Some things can be immediately tossed. Instruction manuals for products you no longer own, old research materials, previous drafts of letters, out-of-date magazines and articles, and receipts for items past their return date can be discarded.

5. Stash important documents in a safety deposit box. It is imperative that you stock your safety deposit box or home safe with the following papers: adoption and citizenship papers; passports; birth, death, and marriage certificates; deeds; divorce decrees; insurance policy papers; lease agreements and loan documents; mortgage papers; personal property appraisals (jewelry, collectibles); Social Security cards; stock and bond certificates; vehicle titles; copies of wills; and powers of attorney papers. And don’t forget to LOCK your home safe. It is NOT fireproof unless the lock is engaged.

 

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School's Out! Let's get organized!

     So the time is finally here. School's out!!  For some parents this time can be more bitter than sweet.  We have all been there. The last few days the papers start trickling in and then BAM, their entire school desk is unloaded on your kitchen counters spilling over into their bedrooms and then the stress starts mounting.  If you have more than one child like me, that means several desks of paper!  Not the stress free way that you thought summer would begin!

     Here are a few tips to get the paperwork under control quickly. First, keep the pile contained to one area.  Talk with your children and help them decide what is really important.  (I know at first they will say everything! Ha!) Help them choose their BEST art work, writing piece, report cards, photos, and any other important awards etc.  Grab a garbage bag and discard the rest.  Have them VERY involved in the process so no resentment is caused!

      Next, have them help you file it.  I picked these handy filing containers up at Aldi of all places!  They are the perfect size for handling the small amount of filing that is left.  Label the tabs and outside of their box.  My kids get so excited that they file everything on their own now.  They also love looking back in their containers at their "organized" school work from past years.  This one single container should be a perfect size through HS.  Remember you are keeping their BEST work!  Don't delay!  Get this task done and feel the stress melt away!