Home Filing Systems

this is a close up image of various file folders of personal bills.

Setting up a home filing system might take an initial outlay of time, but you will be able to find necessary paperwork much more quickly afterwards. Every home needs a place to hold and file paperwork. It should ideally be at least two file drawers in size, or an equivalent based on the storage solution you choose. You can choose a file cabinet that looks like one you’d find in an office, or one which looks more like nice pieces of furniture.

The most useful systems have the following three key elements:

  • An action file
  • A basic file
  • A classic file

An action file is a tabletop file used for daily, short-term filing chores. It can hold:

  • Bills for payment
  • Correspondence
  • Other papers that require response

It can also provide short-term storage for paperwork and other information that must be filed.

Basic files are a household’s working file system. They should hold the following:

  • Medical insurance records
  • Credit card statements
  • Rent receipts
  • Bank statements

These files can be kept in a file cart, cabinet or desk drawer. Use your basic files for routine activities such as paying bills, tax files, medical information and home maintenance.

Classic files are for papers that need to be stored for the long term. Most families save the following in a classic file:

  • Copies of income tax returns
  • Cancelled checks
  • Real estate documents
  • Receipts
  • Insurance policies
  • Automobile documents
  • Warranties
  • Credit card statements

File cabinets or records boxes are the best way to protect these items for long-term storage. It is also a good idea to store original documents such as insurance policies, legal documents or tax records in secure facilities such as safe deposit boxes.

A household filing system is a place to store papers against the time we’ll need them again. Set up properly, it will allow users to find documents easily, and locate important papers as needed in the future.

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