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Organizing a Home File in 10 Easy Steps

Organizing a Home File in 10 Steps The best rule to organizing a home file is to keep it simple. Let's face it - life is busy! You come home after a busy day, pick up the mail and bring it in the house. The mail for the most part ends up on the kitchen counter or table only to be looked at later along with other piles of paper you meant to get to.

That's why organzing a home file simply is so important. If it is simple you are able to implement and maintain it. Also, the average person does not need a complicated numbered file system when organizing a home file. The following are the 10 steps for organizing a home file - they are simple, easy to do, and are the basic steps when setting up a filing system.

Organizing a Home File in 10 Steps

  1. Divide and Conquer
  2. - This step is an inventory of sorts. You need to take out all of your current files (or piles) and divide them into categories. Some examples of the categories are: Financial, Insurance, Property, Furniture/Appliances, Employment, Certificates/Legal, Utilities, Medical, and Taxes. This is a simple list and is certainly not meant to be all inclusive. You may have more depending on your personal situation.

  3. Alphabetize your categories.
  4. It is the fastest way to locate a file. This becomes even more important if you have to start subcategories within a category as you add to your files.

  5. Date you documents.
  6. As you file each paper it is a good idea to write on the upper right hand corner the date of the document. This way when you are ready to purge your file you don't have to read small print to locate when the paper was originally filed.

  7. Keep it Simple.
  8. - Remember, don't make any new files unless you are sure it doesn't fit any of your current categories.

  9. Make a Master List.
  10. - When you are done make a master list of every category and what subcategories are inside. Keep the list at the front of your filing cabinet so that if others are involved in filing it can be used as a reference.

  11. Do not overstuff your folders.
  12. - Most standard file filders can hold 1 inch of papers comfortably. Any larger than that and you may want to make subcategories and break up the file.

  13. Schedule filing time.
  14. - Find a schedule to check your file pile. It can be daily or every other day whatever is comfortable for you. It is suggested that it is done at least weekly.

  15. Safety first.
  16. - Remember to keep your permanent records in a safe place. These are document that you would have difficulty replacing. A fire box or safe is recomended.

  17. Start with the present.
  18. - It is best when organizing a home file to tackle your current files first. Then if you have piles of paper to conquer you can go through a handful of papers daily or whatever schedule you can make time for. Then your file system will be in place and you just need to put the paper away in their corresponding file.

  19. Keep the 15 minute rule.
  20. - Most experts agree that spending 15 minutes at the end of the day can save you more time in the long run. Before you end your day take 15 minutes and clean up your desk, file, and look at the next day's agenda.

In the end you will be rewarded with a system that is easy to use and maintain.