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When it comes to locating an important family document, do you dig furiously through a disaster of haphazard files to get to it?  Do you wish you had an easier way to file your home’s documents without reinventing the wheel?  There is no way to tell you exactly how to create and organize files for your home, since your filing system will be unique to your family.  But there is a guide from Home Storage Solutions 101 to help you get started.Some typical home file categories to consider making files for include:

  • Medical file for each family member
  • Home maintenance file, with receipts of major expenditures
  • Real estate documents
  • Insurance policies (create a file for each one, and label each year’s policy separately, to know what years you were covered with what policies)
  • Automobile documents (separate file for each car)
  • Credit card documents (this is different than the file for credit card bills, and should contain the agreement, privacy policies, etc. that you get in the mail) (one file for each card)
  • Banking records (one file for each account at each bank)
  • Loan documents (one file for each loan)
  • Investment records (one file for each investment, 401(k), IRA, etc.
  • Vital documents (such as birth and marriage certificates, will, etc.)*
  • Personal home inventory (another copy should be kept outside the house too)
  • Tax documents (instructions for organizing these found in the personal home organizer and receipt organization challenge
  • Monthly bills and receipts (instructions for organizing these found in theorganize bills challenge
  • Warranties and manuals (more information on organizing warranties and manuals here)


* Vital documents may also be stored in a safe deposit box at a bank, instead, if you wish. Seriously consider this if you don’t, at least, have a fire resistant file cabinet or storage system for these papers.

Once you’ve created your file folders, go ahead and organize files for each of the categories, adding things as you go. Over the next couple of weeks sit down with a shredder and go through your papers, putting them into the correct files or shredding them if you no longer need them.  Don’t go too overboard trying to create the perfect system– avoid fancy printable labels you have to replicate every time you create a new file.  Just make friends with your Sharpie and that will be easier in the long run.

It will take a while, but a little at a time while listening to the radio or watching a movie on your computer will get the job done and then you’ll just have to deal with papers as they come in, not huge stacks ever again!

Tension

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