When you're first starting out, whether it's when you first start working, or move into your own place, is usually also when you have to start thinking about how to handle all the new paperwork that comes with it. Bills, rental agreements, car rego, insurance, medical records, it can all pile up quite quickly and so it's a good idea to set up a personal filing system.
Alot of bills etc come via email these days, and don't worry I'll talk more about that next week, but there is still plenty of paper that gets sent or handed to us in day to day life that can clutter up our home if we don't keep it organised.
Families and small business can use a good old filing cabinet but if you're just starting out that's total overkill. Here are some ideas for setting up a basic, compact filing system for just one person.
When I first started out I used a cardboard portable expanding file. It was hard to store, half of the sections didn't apply (how often are we really going to file under Q, X or Z!), it got even harder to handle as it started to bulge with papers and was just plain ugly. Filing's boring enough but I would put off pulling this thing out as long as possible until I may as well not have HAD a filing system! These products have improved alot and you can get sturdier plastic ones with tabs you can personalise but I'm not a fan of these anymore.
An alternative is a basic Lever Arch folder and a pack of dividers. These come in lots of varieties, from cheap, to coloured, to fancy designer cloth covered folders. You could even decorate your own. Then it's just a matter of putting in your dividers, labelling them with the categories that work for you and put your paperwork in! These folders can then easily stand on a bookshelf or in an easy access cupboard. If you don't want to mess around with a hole punch every time you file something, just put a plastic sleeve into each section and file into that.
Don't forget to clean out your filing system every so often of the documents you don't need any more to stop your system from getting too bulky. Once a year is all you need, and there are just some things that you know you'll never need again if you haven't needed them after 12 months. If you're really not keen on getting rid of the older paperwork, you can set up an archive box to stash away on a high shelf for just-in-case. This will keep your current filing system fresh and easy to find what you're looking for.
Of course these are just a few ideas, there are plenty of other ways you can set up your filing. Stay tuned next week when I'll go into ways you can set up your digital filing. Be sure to like us on Facebook so you get the updates!