How To Create a Slick Filing System – Steps 8, 9 and 10


Step 8: Financials (And Other Current Paperwork)

This is the brilliant part!

You should have file folders for the previous three years’ worth of financial records already labeled and separated by year. Make three new hanging files and make the tabs Annual Archives 1, 2 and 3. Put the dated files from three years ago in #3, from two years ago in #2, and from last year in #1. Don’t date the hanging files.

Now we’ve reached the critical step that makes the whole filing system work for me. Remember the step-up/tiered file sorter that was listed in “What You’ll Need”? Time to put it to good use. Continue reading

How To Create a Slick Filing System – Steps 5, 6 and 7


Step 5: Make Manila File Folders

Now it’s time to start making folders and filing them. This process should be pretty obvious so I’m not going to go into great detail. DO use a label maker to mark the tabs if at all possible. Your hanging category files are already in place, so it’s a breeze to file your manila folders.

But do not file ANY monthly financial material from the current year (or anything else you save annually). My Financial hanging file has just two folders: Pension and Social Security, and these are for documentation, not monthly statements. If all your paperwork is monthly statements, you may not even need a Financial file. Continue reading

How To Create a Slick Filing System – Steps 3 and 4


Step 3: Sorting

Sort all the papers – on the floor, on a table, wherever works for you. If you already have them in folders, this will be easier, though you may wind up having to break down or purge the contents. But if you have a ton of loose paperwork, I recommend that you NOT try sorting all of it at once. Pull out and sort the simplest, most obvious categories first – Insurance (separate by type), Auto Records (separate purchase records from maintenance), Pet Records, etc. Set anything you aren’t sure where to file or that is complicated aside. Put Manuals in a separate area and ignore them for now.

Now here’s the first part of my slick system: Continue reading