“Selfie-Discipline” #8: File Paperwork

Today we start our second week of “Selfie-Disciplines,” and will be shifting focus to habits to perform weekly.

In spite of the onslaught of the digital age, most of us still have at least some paperwork to deal with. The tendency is to pile it up, but this just creates an intimidating future project. Instead, put all “keep” paperwork in a folder labeled “TO FILE,” and then set aside ten minutes each week to empty the folder and file it all away.

There are at least three types of paper files that are worth establishing.

  • Active files, for things such as current bank statements, medical paperwork, household bills, and investment statements. These should be within easy reach, such as in a file drawer you can reach from your desk chair.
  • Reference files, for paperwork you consult periodically, such as “idea” files, surveys, and academic records. These can be stored in a less convenient space, such as a box in the closet or drawer across the room.
  • Permanent files, for the paper you need to keep, such as tax returns & backup, car titles, legal documents, and insurance policies. These can be stored remotely, such as in a spare room, attic or dry basement.

If you don’t have any filing set up yet, establishing files is your first step. If this feels intimidating, consider hiring a professional organizer to help to you get a system in place. Once files are set up, the actual filing is a quick and easy weekly job.

Do you let paper pile up? How often do you file paperwork?