Okay this is my least-favorite thing to organize because there's not much in the way of prettiness I can add to it, but, alas, my office space is overflowing into my kitchen
I'm gearing up for a major overhaul of my home office and I want to know... what type of organization/filing system do you use? What type of paperwork do you keep and for how long?
I want to move all of my bills over to electronic pay and I spent some time on the phone today asking to be taken off of credit card/department store mailing lists. Hopefully that will cut down on the pieces of paper constantly piling up.
Send me some inspiration!
Learning to... and with myby my side!
http://ultimatemoneyblog.com/record-retention-guidelines Here's a guideline I use for paperwork. I hate having to keep things!
I shred most bills that we get paper billed for. Most of ours are set up on electronic billing and we can print them if we ever need to.
J, mom to my baby girl born January 22, 2012!
I have a shelf full of 3 ring binders that I use for our paperwork. I have binder each for taxes, bills, investments, bank accounts, insurance, medical records, house/apartment paperwork, and then a few I can't remember. I use separators in the binders to divide them up, like in the bills binder, there's a section for Con Ed, cable, cell phones, etc. I keep our taxes forever, everything else I keep about 12 months worth.
I use the standard filing cabinet system with hanging files and folders. I pay nearly everything online and get online bank statements, so I don't have much paperwork to deal with.
Here's what I have in mine. The first one is the hanging file and then the items after the dash are folders inside. I also have them color-coded. Green for finances, red for vehicles, yellow for owners manuals, purple for household stuff. I'm definitely Type A...
- one folder for each of the past 7 years of income taxes
- personal property taxes
- real estate taxes
Income/Receipts (my husband needs to save this sort of stuff for tax time because of his work situation)
- one folder for paycheck stubs from each employer
- one folder for each bank account
- one folder for each investment account
Insurance (I only keep the current policy. When we get new policies, I shred the old ones and replace.)
- one folder for each vehicle
- one folder for my report and one for my husband. I get the free report for each of us every year and shred the old one.
Bills (These are odd bills that aren't paid monthly, like doctor visits for example.)
- Current Bills
- one folder per vehicle (these are things like service records, maintenance logs since we do our own oil changes and that sort of stuff)
- Household (kitchen appliances, etc.)
- Tools (my husband has a huge collection of tools, so his manuals get their own folder)
- Recipes To Try
- Recipes To File
- Restaurant Menus
And then each household member (including our dogs for vet/shot records) have their own hanging file for miscellaneous paperwork.
I probably save paperwork longer than I should. I keep owners manuals until we get rid of the item. I keep vehicle records, including loan paperwork, until we get rid of the vehicle, even if the loan is long paid. I save bank account paperwork until the account is closed. The paycheck stubs and receipts, I usually keep for 2-3 years in case we get audited. Here's another link with record retention guidelines: http://www.onlineorganizing.com/ExpertAdviceToolboxTips.asp?tipsheet=24
I said at the beginning of my post that I don't have much paperwork, but it sure does seem like a lot after I list it all out!