“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?

8 thoughts on ““Selfie-Discipline” #8: File Paperwork”

  1. This is my weakest link so far in your series. Last year I paid my granddaughter to help me and let it pile up again once tax season was over. I’m happy to have your reminder.

    1. This is one of those tasks that few people love, but it does make you feel good to know that your paperwork is in order. If it is worth keeping, we might as well be able to find what we need. Love that your granddaughter was able to help out – sounds like a good gig to me:)

    1. Having that “To File” folder or bin is great because you have a place to put the papers, and then when you have time to file, they are all sitting there ready to go. You’ve already filtered out all the junk, so the filing can go pretty quickly. Good for you having done it last week – it does feel great!

  2. I definitely could do better on this. I have ample file space and generally file things but the files get overloaded and I don’t get to cleaning them out. I also seem to have a lot of paperwork sitting on my desk that needs attention. Now that the holidays are over I am hope to get through that pile and take proper action. It is a never ending chore. I seem to have a lot of paper for s “paperless society”!

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