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Filing System Simplified

Feel free to use this tip sheet / checklist as you tackle your own ""do-it-yourself"" organizing projects. If you would like to REPRINT or DISTRIBUTE this information, please click here for reprinting instructions.

Bank Accounts

  • Each checking account
  • Each savings account
  • Credit Reports
  • Safe Deposit Box


  • One file for each car
  • AAA/Car registrations


  • School, art and memorabilia

Credit Cards

  • Banks
  • Department Store

Going Through Mail

  • Sort mail immediately w/ trash close by
  • Throw out all junk mail and credit card offers immediately (rip up or shred).
  • Put all bills in the place where you pay them (throw out envelopes).
  • Place papers you need to file (without envelopes) in one bin or basket that is easily accessible. Use a pretty basket if you keep it out in the open
  • Place papers you need to file (without envelopes) in one bin or basket that is easily accessible. Use a pretty basket if you keep it out in the open
  • Throw out old catalogs when new ones come, keep in one place alphabetically
  • Keep invitations, things to take care of, calls to be made, etc. in one place by the phone, calendar, or on a bulletin board
  • Good rule of Thumb: If it has an impact on taxes, or something needed for legal, insurance or warranty purposes, then keep


  • Property Information
  • Mortgage
  • Home Equity Loan
  • Township Information
  • Inside/Outside Improvements
  • Decorating Ideas and Receipts


  • Life
  • Car
  • Fire

Maintenance Tips

  • Maintenance is key! Get into a routine of keeping your papers in check
  • Do your filing when the papers get as high as the bin or basket.
  • Find a comfy chair, pour your favorite drink, put in a good movie, and file


  • Current year expenses
  • Blank medical forms
  • File for each family member


  • Keep Small

Paper Organization Websites

  • FreedomFiler
  • Paper Tiger
  • Shoeboxed


  • Pet Information


  • Each company/annuity
  • Social Security

Small Business (keep separate from personal)

  • Bank Accounts
  • Credit Cards
  • Receipts
  • Taxes


  • Current Year
  • Last Year (keep all prior years in another location-7 years maximum)


  • Gas/Oil
  • Electric
  • All phones
  • Cable


  • Large Appliances
  • Large Electronics
  • Inside Misc
  • Small Appliances
  • Small Electronics
  • Outside Misc


Vali Heist is a Professional Organizer, the owner of The Clutter Crew for homeowners, and a Certified GO System Trainer for businesses. She also writes a monthly column for the Reading Eagle called 'Ask the Organizer' and has a radio program called 'Organize This!' on BoomerGenerationRadio.com.

Vali's bachelor's degree is in Business Administration from Shippensburg University and her Master's Degree is in Higher Education from Kutztown University. Vali has an extensive background of 24 years in Higher Education including training, administration, project management, writing, and editorial production.

Her passion has always been organization and how it relates to the simplification of work and personal life in order to enjoy both to the fullest. Her ultimate goal is to continue finding simple, easy to implement ideas that work in the real world and pass them on to her clients.

Member Of:

  • Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Greater Philadelphia Chapter of National Association of Professional Organizers
  • National Association of Professional Organizers

  • Would you like to reprint this tip sheet in your publication -- or distribute it to a wider audience? Click here for reprinting instructions.

    Click here if you would like to submit a tip sheet or checklist...

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