Posts Tagged ‘organizing tips’

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!



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January is New Year’s Resolution time!  January also happens to be National Get Organized Month, which makes 2013 the perfect time to make your organized home a reality!  You might also need a little extra room for those new Christmas items.  JCL has a few favorite reminders to achieve your goals without getting overwhelmed and quitting early.  One room at a time.  You might be super excited about clearing your entire house of clutter in one whirlwind day, but its likely you will end up overwhelmed!  Finish one room before starting on the next.  This will ensure you complete each project and also give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue on.Act like you’re moving.  As you sift through your belongings to decide what to keep, pretend you’re moving out of your house!  Ask yourself if you would bother keeping three sets of cheese knives or eight sets of black dress pants.  Sell or donate the excess!

Identify your “Prime Real Estate”.  Whatever room you’re dealing with (closet, garage, office, etc.) determine your “prime real estate,” ie. the drawer closest to the sink, or the most accessible area in your closet.  Be vigilant about what you allow in those areas of the room in order to organize successfully and strategically.  For example, your evening gowns most likely do not belong in “prime real estate”–move them to the “burbs”!

Keep it simple.  If walking through the Container Store feels like you’ve reached your own personal Mecca, we understand!  But be wary of fancy label sets and excessive storage solutions.  If you need something so elaborate as to remodel one side of your bedroom to fit a fancy wall of shelving units, it is likely you need to pare down the excess, not store it all.  Not only will you save money on shelves, but you can sell the extra and have some cash left over!

Stick to these guidelines and watch your resolution come to fruition!  Happy Organizing!

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