Organizing Your Life In 5 Easy Steps – Day 4 Of A Five Day Tutorialon January 21, 2013 at 4:30 am
Hello and welcome back! I hope everyone had a great weekend and got a chance to get your Bill Pay Station in order. Now let’s get to movin’ on! In Step 1 I mentioned a special filing system that was introduced to me by my mom. This is probably the single most important step in this home organization series, and it is has completely changed my home organization and my life! Here it is!
STEP 4: Filing Organization System
The following is a filing system, or better, a system for the safe-keeping (and easy access) of all of your family’s most important documents, as well as a few mementos =)
Here’s what you will need:
- 1-2 boxes of multi-colored hanging files (The great thing about having multi-colored hanging files is you can organize and categorize in two ways: by color and by tab placement)
- Some type of filing cabinet (or even one of these cute portable filing boxes from Office Depot would do! Cute & budget friendly too!)
Here’s an example of how you will organize and categorize your folders (Please bear with me, I know this seems like a lot, but I promise it’s worth every last bit of it!):
1. First Section – Green Folders. This is your “financial” section. (Green like money, clever right?)
- Tab Placement 1: Bank Statements (this is if you’re like us and haven’t gone completely “green” just yet…we’ll get there I promise!)
- Tab Placement 2: Paystubs or income statements
- Tab Placement 3: Paid Recurring bills (these are your utility bills such as gas, electric, phone bills, cable/internet bills, etc)
- Tab Placement 4: Paid Debt Bills (these are credit card statements, loan statements and any other debt related statements
2. Second Section – Blue Section. This is your “vehicle” section.
- Tab Placement 1: Insurance information (One file folder for each different type of vehicle insurance: i.e. automobile, motorcycle, boat, etc)
- Tab Placement 2: Vehicle information (Create one file folder for each separately registered vehicle you own and keep all registration information and other important documents filed safely here)
3. Third Section – Yellow Section. This is your “personal” section.
- Tab Placement 1: Family member one (This is my husband’s section. I created 4 different files for each of us: medical, dental, school and personal. The personal file is for the miscellaneous items, such as certificates and other important personal documents)
- Tab Placement 2: Family member two (This is my section. There are only two of us now, so this is where our family member folders end, but you would do the same for each family member in your household)
- Tab Placement 3: Animals (We have 3 furry babies, so each of them has their own folder for vaccination records and any other documentation like flea treatments, grooming, etc)
4. Fourth Section – Orange Section. This is your “home” section.
- Tab Placement 1: Home Documents (Whether you rent or buy, this file will include any rental agreements or any of your transaction documents after buying a home)
- Tab Placement 2: Home Insurance (Either Homeowner’s Insurance or Renter’s Insurance information)
- Tab Placement 3: Owner’s Manuals (These are important owner’s manuals and manufacturer’s info for major and/or important -aka expensive- appliances)
5. Fifth Section – Red Section. This is your “mementos” section.
- Tab Placement 1: Ticket stubs (If you’re like me and are sentimental about things like this)
- Tab Placement 2: Thank you cards, invites, etc (They’re just too cute to throw away, but their clutter is an easy stress aggravation)
- Tab Placement 3: Event notes (As I had mentioned in the About Me section of this blog, my family is a bunch of party animals, and one of the other great tips that I learned from my mom was to keep track of everything when it comes to planning and preparing for a party or event, like hosting Thanksgiving. How much green bean casserole did you make? Was it too much? Not enough? Take notes after each event so next time you remember!)
- Tab Placement 4: Christmas (Every year before I begin my Christmas shopping I make a list – and check it twice – sorry I couldn’t resist – but the list contains all of those that I am buying for along with what I am buying them. I save these just for reference, because knowing my forgetful nature I’d buy grandma the same slippers two years in a row! I also have a file for my Christmas card list. Did somebody new send us a card this year? Did we make new friends that I’d like to send a card to next year? You get the idea)
- Tab Placement 5: Motivation, Inspiration, Interesting Articles & Funnies (Every once in a while my dad will find a really inspirational or motivational article and he makes copies for each my brother, sisters and I. I love these articles and I always make sure to save ‘em! My mom also likes to do this, but she’ll cut out comic strips or interesting newspaper articles for each of us. I like to save those too!)
Whew! You made it all the way through! As you can see, this might take a little work to set up, but once you do, you will forever be clutter free of paperwork, way less stressed, and not to mention, everyone will think you are super smart and organized!
Thanks again for reading through, I hope you feel like you’re one step closer to organizing your life! Just one more step to go! Get started and I’ll see you back here in one week! Thanks again!
<3 Lulubell Elaine
In case you missed Steps 1 thru 3, check them out here:
Step 1 -
Step 2 -
Step 3 -