Organizing - Organizing Ideas

How to: Create a home filing system

Get organized at home with our list of filing categories that'll keep all your paperwork in order.

Setting up a home filing system takes time initially, but imagine the time you'll save knowing where important papers are when you need them. We've put together a list of headings and subheadings that you might find useful. The information in brackets is just an example of the type of info you might file there. But filing systems are personal things – they reflect your interests and needs. So, for instance, if you're a big traveller, having one file folder for travel may not be enough. You may have separate files for different regions of the world, for instance. The point is to keep things organized under the main headings Personal, Phone Numbers, Financial and Legal, and Home.

Travel (maps, destinations, hotels, frequent flyer state-ments)
Home (recipes, decorating, gardening, organizing, party planning)
Family (parenting articles, sports teams)
Health (one for each member of the family)
School report cards
Children's sports teams

Phone numbers and address subcategories:
Business (home maintenance contacts, work references)
Personal (master list, emergency contacts list)

Financial and legal subcategories:
Tax returns (current year, immediate past year, all other years);
Important Certificates: (birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates)
Mortgage agreements or leases
Insurance policies
Car records
Educational records
Medical records (see below)
Power of attorney
Bank statements (each account gets a separate file)
Credit card accounts (one file for each)
Utility company bills
Investment records
Loan agreements
Pay stubs

Home subcategories:.
Warranties and appliance manuals. TIP: write the serial and model numbers on the front of the manual before you file.
Receipts for major purchases of furniture and appliances
Receipts for household repairs
Take-out menus

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This article is featured on 2013: Your most organized year ever

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