- Name the file folder with the first thing that comes to mind; no matter what it is or how silly it is. This will be the first thing that will come to mind when looking for it again.
- Color-coding can be a lot more work than it is worth. Don’t color code unless you are skilled at working a filing system.
- Know what paperwork you need to keep and for how long. Often times you are filing items that can be tossed.
- Putting files in alphabetical order is often the easiest way to search for files later.
- If you share the filing duties with someone else in the home/office, be sure to have a conversation on what works for each of you. This will help you from fighting both yourselves and the system.
- Your filing folders/system should all be in one spot, whether that is the office, kitchen, garage, or wherever you have the space to work in. As long as you have one central spot to file and locate all of your paperwork.
- Purging is the most important part of keeping a filing system working. At the end of the year, quickly go through each file and toss/shred anything that is no longer needed, outdated or unnecessary. This will free up room for the next year’s paperwork. Pull out anything tax related and put it in a box labeled with that tax year.
- Having your filing system looking nice will help you to file. Use a label maker whenever possible to make the file tabs easiest to read. Use the same type file folders and line your tabs on one side for easier viewing.
- Remember to be consistent with your filing. Set a time each week or each month to file… no matter what. If you let the pile grow too large you will not want to tackle it and your paperwork will become a disaster.
If you struggle with paperwork you NEED to see our previous article:
The Ultimate Paper Organizing Guide– where we include tons of tips and even videos.
(click here to read)
If you need help getting organized, we have resources to help you get started.