You've finished your taxes, cleared out last year's financial documents -- this is a great time to organize FILES! Do you have old paperwork stashed away that is obsolete, out of date, and hasn't been touched in ages? Do you let papers pile up rather than deal with filing them -- either because you don't KNOW where they should go or you're afraid you'll never find them again? And what about your filing system -- can you put your hands on any piece of paper in 30 seconds or less? This month, try applying some of these easy paper MANAGEMENT techniques to your own file drawer -- and watch the stacks and piles disappear!
Take a look at some of the documents you've got hidden away in your drawers. Ask yourself two questions about each item -- "What's the worst thing that would happen if you got rid of it?" and "Could you REPLACE it again if you needed it in the future?"
What kind of file SYSTEM are you using? Try a categorical system -- one where you group files all belonging to the same category (health insurance, auto insurance, renter's insurance) together under one big heading ("insurance") in your drawer.
COLOR-CODING can make both filing and retrieval easier. As you set up categories, assign each grouping a different color. Then use colored folders or labels to indicate which files belong in that category -- green for finances, red for insurance, etc.
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