Filing all those papers

Are you tired of trying to figure out what to do with all those papers? I know lots of moms out there who are trying to keep up with all the paperwork that comes in the door. Whether it comes from the mail or the kiddos school – it’s a lot of papers! So, where do you put them all? I was always taught growing up that you should keep monthly bills for a year, banking statements or papers for 3 years, and taxes for 7 years. That’s a lot of papers to keep!

This may not work for all, but here’s my system. I have a file drawer that I have labeled with the months of the year small business. Whatever bills I get for the month of November, I will put in the November file folder. Whatever bills I got for October, I put in the October folder. Pretty simple. Then when next November rolls around I will pull out all the papers in the folder, glance through them quickly to make sure there’s not a really important one I want to hang on to, then throw the rest through the shredder. I have used this method for the last 2 years and absolutely love it! It is so much simpler than trying to file all the bills by their name into individual folders! All I have is 12 folders, plus one for pay stubs and tax related items, one for banking information, and then one for health insurance and the car! With my banking information, I use Quicken. So I back that up at the beginning of January for the previous year and I download all my statements for the previous year. Then, I burn it onto a disk and file it in my fireproof box. My taxes, I throw all the information that I used to file into a manila folder (sometimes 2), write the year on the outside of the folder, and throw it into a tote. When I file my taxes each year I take out the oldest one and shred it.

I encourage you to find a simple system that works for you. We have enough to do without spending our entire day trying to file papers into 50 million different folders. I used to be OCD about filing stuff, but it took too much time. This system allows me to keep the things I feel I need to and do it in a timely manner! What’s your method? What works for you?

P.S. – this is not everything I keep. I also keep kids school papers and receipts for big item purchases, but I’ll give those details another day!.