Have you ever had that feeling of everything is out of control. The urgency to find a document quick and you don’t know where to begin looking? Looking everywhere even under the bed? It happened to me and at that moment I decided I need a home office filing system.
Creating a filing system that will work for you and to know where the important documents are is very important. Take special care with your official documents, it is not easy to replace.
There are a few different ways to implement a filing system. Some people prefer the strict official way to file, while others use a more informal way to keep their papers. The main objective is to have a system and most of all, know where your documents are.
It is a motivation killer and will soon lead to procrastination.
Home Office Filing System
There are 5 methods of filing:
A homemaker also take care of all the important documents and file it secure and safe. Have the files handy on a shelf close by and above all, create a time when to do the filing.
There is the alphabetical way or select the papers. Use the first letter of the name of the company and place it in the specific slot in a file.
Persons are filed by the first letter of their surname and then follows the name or initials.
The numeric way it to give the papers a number according to their importance to you and therefore, file the documents under that specific number. Secondly new files get the next numeric number, and thirdly, keep a list of the numbers with the name of a file in your index.
Name the groups of items you want to file together, and can relate to any subject. You use the names of events, projects, places, persons. At home it can be home maintenance, car maintenance, personal documents, valuables etc.
These files are organised according to the geographical location of an item, business, organisation or person. Under this method, the files are arranged either in alphabetical or numerical order, in other words, your choice.
This system will also work if you file your travelling info or if you have more than one property.
These documents are arranged by date, day and time. This order can be according to the date of payment and receipt, or date and time. Add the invoice with the most recent date, for example, in front of the previous items in the file.
The greatest secret is to label your files and documents correctly, and have the cross reference in place. As long as it is clearly marked, according to your system, and you know exactly where everything is filed.
A proper filing system gives a feeling of confidence. Without it life can feel chaotic, in other words, out of control .
A home filing system should be easy, practical and simplified in any way, to give peace of mind and a feeling of being in charge.
Find your System
Find a system that works for you and your lifestyle will take some trial and error until you get a system that works for you . There is no fixed method, my dear, as long as you understand how it works.
It is wise to scan all your paper documents and keep them in a safe file on your computer. Don’t only depend on your cuber friend, it is so easy to lose it all with the click of a button or a system breakdown, and similarly, during a power out.
Original documents are kept safe in a file on your shelf.
Have a specific time to keeping paperwork up to date. Make it an achievement, therefore, give yourself a reward after it is done.
Home Office Filing System
First things first
Stapler and staples and a little device to unpick the staples.
Small boxes to separate your papers in and mark the boxes.
A paper punch is needed to punch two holes in the side of a document for filing.
Scissors and sellotape.
Marking pens, writing pens and pencils, eraser, adhesive labels is always needed.
Stand up files with alphabetical separator inside.
Name the files clearly. Use the self-adhesive labels and mark your files and folders.
Sit down with a cup of tea and selecting the post, sort the papers by subject in different boxes and get rid of all the junk mail. Make it enjoyable.
Once that is done take one box at a time and select the documents, the oldest at the bottom by date.
Staple or use sellotape to stick the smaller receipts and papers to a normal sheet.
The normal exam pad, an A4, to use for jotting down info and stick small papers to, making it easier to file.
Plastic filing sleeves are very handy too.
Tidy the lot even, punch holes and place in the folder in clearly marked file.
When you are done with all the filing, make an index sheet in the front of each file. Stipulating what is in the file and where to find it, alphabetically or numeric. This will be your cross reference.
After the basic sorting and filing is done, it will be easy to maintain. Never let a week go by without filing everything.
Attend to the important papers as soon as possible and file immediately.
You can go through the rest of your post at leisure when you have time.
Home Office Filing System
Very little will change in these files, once it is done and in place your work here will me minimise.
The best is to do the manual filing first and then copy it to the digital files on your computer.
Different kinds of files you will need
Official documents are kept in this file in separate plastic sleeves.
Birth certificates, baptised certificates, other religious certificates
Marriage certificates, Marriage contract, Divorce papers
Educational certificates, school, college, University etc.
The will of your partner and your person will in separate files.
Estates that is complete. Keep it, you might need some information later.
Home Office Filing System
2. Validation Certificates
All the items of value should get validated and those certificates filed.
Pieces and receipts of jewellery, rings, watches, bracelets, earrings, pearls, diamond or golden pendants. It is wise to have validation certificates to proof the value.
Photographic equipment Cameras, lenses, tripods and secure bags.
Electronic equipment such as computers, laptop, hard drives, and other equipment.
Sound system and TV. Speakers, turntables, video equipment and control systems. TV, cables and CCTV equipment.
Wall Paintings, original paintings and limited edition prints, Persian carpets with the validation certificates.
Anything valuable, it can be a special historic book, art work, furniture piece, etc.
All should have validation certificates.
3. Banking Documentation
Bank address and contact numbers.
List your bank account numbers and names Cheque account, Savings, Credit card, etc.
Credit card info, original document you signed when you opened the account.
ATM card papers and pin numbers.
Internet login info, user ID and password, make use of a cryptic way to secure the numbers. You can use phone numbers and names to hide the codes.
Any Investments, name the institution with all the details.
4. Insurance policies.
Life policies, endowment policies
Short term insurance Name the institution, contact details of the person and dates of renewal. House insurance with all details of what is insured and what not. Is it insured for fire, theft, breakage etc for instance geysers, computers, TV, electronics .
Cars, motorbikes and caravans are normally insured. There are sometimes safety requirements from the company who insured your goods. Age of drivers and lockup garages, safety systems with sirens for vehicles etc. Make sure to apply to all requirements, otherwise they will not compensate you if something happens.
Read all the fine print, and make notes of what and how everything is insured and what not, what is excluded. Make sure there will be no surprises when something bad happens.
Pet Insurance and registration papers. It is good if you can afford it to have pet insurance to cover the costly veterinarian accounts when your pet gets sick or has an accident.
List the policy number and all the details.
Paperwork if you have adopted a pet and their vaccination records.
File the insurance certificates.
Keep the number and address of the nearest veterinarian on file.
5. Personal Medical Insurance
Name the institution and address with all contact details for different departments.
Membership number and what scheme you have joined, and records of payments
Medical records, X-rays, DVD of scans, prescriptions, etc.
Make a list and keep a record of all sicknesses and operations of all family members. The doctor will need a history of your health.
6. Tax man
Mark the dates when the return should be handed in.
Tax registration forms and contact numbers. All returns and correspondence, keep record of your tax number.
Internet login info, user ID and password and your email address listed with them.
if there is a bookkeeper list the name, address and contact info .
File all correspondence and phone call dates with the Tax man and the Bookkeeper.
7. Registration Papers
Original registration documents of cars, motorbikes, caravans and trailers.
License receipts and road worthy docs.
When you want to sell a car or bike you will need these original registration papers. Costly to replace if you lose it.
Once you have done these files very little changes and stays as it is, until you sell it or buy a new item.
Passports, Visas and health immunity certificates.
Record of all travels and trips, local and international.
Make a note of the expiry date and time to renew before expiring.
9. Higher Purchases.
All items purchased on credit, contracts and documents for household goods should be kept safe.
List the due dates of completion of payments.
Keep the contract and all the receipts of payments in date order of all those on higher-purchase. Keep it updated every month, very important.
If there is a query from the company, and it does happen, you will be prepared with all your evidence. Twice we had the experience that a company questioned the payments, and luckily we had the proof to show.
Home Office Filing System
Create a new folder on your desktop to keep all in. You can create as many sub files as you need.
Open the same files you have opened in your manual and paper files which will be standing on your shelf, give them the same topic names.
Use your paper file documents to scan and transfer the information, one by one into your digital files.
This is not necessary for non-official documents, this is the paperwork of things you want to keep track of.
Keep the names and labels of both systems the same, making cross-reference easy to find what you are looking for.
All these documents are very hard to replace, as a matter of fact, if you lose them, it will cost you dearly.
Now that is it for your filing system. I know it seems a lot, but see how close you can get.
Find your system, secure all your valuable documents, and keep track of expenditures.
Until next time, be safe.