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The start of a new year is a great time to organize all those bills, receipts, manuals, etc. that are taking up space in your home. There are a number of articles out there that tell you how long you should keep certain tax receipts, bank statements, etc. Frankly, it’s a bit confusing and hard to keep up with. Instead I’ve created an easy home file organization system that allows you to not worry about each individual thing.
Easy Home File Organization System
These easy to follow steps will have your home files organized in not time at all.
- Hanging file folders
- File cabinet
- File boxes (4)
Let’s walk through how I have my home files set up. First, I have two large file cabinets in my home office. The right file cabinet has home files, warranties and manuals in the top drawer; random electronic things in the bottom drawer.
The left file cabinet has personal files & current year files in the top drawer; last year’s files and random folders in the bottom drawer.
Using the two file drawers and four file boxes you can store the current year’s files and 5 years worth of old files. Last year’s files are easily accessible. The file boxes are stored in the attic.
Changing of the Files
Each January I go through the “changing of the files”.
I actually enjoy the annual process. First, go through the manual files and throw out anything you no longer have. Then, the file box with the oldest files gets brought down from the attic and emptied. It’s like a little glimpse into our past. It’s always nice to see how far we’ve come with managing our finances since we discovered Dave Ramsey.
I usually take the contents of the files and put them in a trash bag, which I take to Office Depot for shredding. It only costs about $0.99/pound. I reuse the file folders. Last year’s files in the bottom file drawer get moved into the now empty file box. Take a folded sheet of paper and create a label by writing the year then taping it on the inside. That box then gets put back in the attic.
Lastly, move the past year’s files in the top drawer to the bottom drawer. Use the recycled file folders in the top drawer.
That’s it done. No need to worry about files again until next year!