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Blog: The Simplified Home
February is Archive Your Files Month



What's the shape of your home filing system? Are your filing drawers stuffed so full that it's nearly impossible to get another piece of paper into or out of them? This is sure to create additional piles around your file cabinet(s) because its such an inconvenience to get the filing done.
Once a year, you should schedule time to review your files and purge as much as possible, leaving room for next year's papers. Consider these tips for maintaining a lean and accessible home filing system.
 
DETERMINE WHAT TO KEEP
As you sort through papers, ask yourself, "When will I really need this again?" "Can it be easily recreated or retrieved elsewhere?' Don't hang onto things unless you have a really good reason! Be ruthless remember, 80% of the things you file will need get referred to again!
 
KEEP RECORDS RETENTION GUIDELINES IN MIND 
Your accountant, attorney, or professional organizer can tell you which documents you should keep for legal and tax purposes. Think in terms of what you would need to have to support your tax return. If there is no tax implication for a piece of paper on a current or past tax return, there is likely no purpose to hold onto the paper. 
 
SOME PAPERS CAN BE IMMEDIATELY TOSSED
Instruction manuals for products you no longer own, old research materials, previous drafts of letters, out-of-date magazine and articles, and receipts for items past their return date can be discarded.
 
STASH IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS IN A SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX or HOME SAFE
It is imperative that you stock your safety deposit box or home safe with the following papers (originals):
  • adoption and citizenship papers
  • passports
  • birth, death, and marriage certificates
  • deeds
  • divorce decrees
  •  insurance policy papers
  • lease agreements and loan documents
  • mortgage papers
  • personal property appraisals (jewelry, collectibles)
  • Social Security cards
  • stock and bond certificates
  • vehicle titles
  • copies of wills and powers of attorney papers
And don't forget to LOCK your home safe each time you access it. Most home safe's are NOT fireproof if the lock is not engaged.
 
Setting up a home filing system can be a time-consuming chore, so I found a great ready-made filing system FILESOLUTIONS Home Filing System, that takes about an hour to set up, and it lasts a life-time. I'll soon do a detailed review of this product, but for now, here's more information about this essential ready-made filing system.

posted on: 2/8/2010 10:00:00 AM by Janet Nusbaum, The Organizing Genie
category: Homes


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The Simplified Home


by Janet Nusbaum, The Organizing Genie

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About Janet:

Janet Nusbaum creates calm out of chaos, and loves bringing serenity and order to overwhelmed households, cluttered offices, frazzled parents, and transitioning seniors and families. Janet, President of Simplified Spaces & The Simplified Home, is an Organizing Consultant, Senior Move Manager, Author and Speaker.

She is the author of "Mom, Can I Help Around the House?" A Simple, Step-by-Step System for Teaching Your Children Life-Long Skills for Pitching-In & Picking-up".

She is a proud member: National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) & National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD)

Visit our blog - www.TheOrganizingGenie.com, and sign-up to receive our special report "SHELF LIFE OF 75 COMMON HOUSEHOLD ITEMS. Use this report to decide what to keep and what to toss ... then TAKE ACTION!!

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