best way to store documents

Now you see it...

Now you don't - just how good document storage should be: organised, secure, hidden!  

Want to be super organised too?  Here are my top storage system tips.

Having moved from house with a separate study with tons of storage to a house with this storage(above) a big sort out of our filing was a real necessity.  
Using these file n' store suspension crates (see below) all our paperwork  is more secure and organised than ever before.

The trick is to buy one crate and a whole heap of suspension files and just start.  
File like items with like and keep going.  So all house bills together, all medical together, important documents together.  You can shift things around later on and add crates as you need them.

I find it most useful to group sets of similar items, like household bills (see below right) with the label tabs one behind each other.  I know everything in the same row is related which makes it far easier to find what you are looking for.  It is also easy to add another tab in the same category.

I have different crates for:

  • taxes
  • household which includes: expenses, household and phone contracts, & important documents such as birth certificates, passports 
  • warranties & user manuals (these add up to a lot of paper) + iphone boxes
  • precious objects that need storage and aren't displayed

Within each crate my categories work something like this:

  • household expenses: water, power, gas
  • medical: reports, vaccination & insurance
  • cars: a folder for each car containing purchase documents, annual registrations & insurance
  • house hold insurance
  • mobile contracts
  • passports

Keep a folder marked "unfiled" for all the bills and correspondence you haven't paid or filed yet.  This stops your desk or kitchen counter from accumulating piles of envelopes and papers.  When you are ready you can go straight to your "unfiled" section and deal with it easily.  You are less likely to lose something important or miss a payment.

Within one crate I also have a smaller box file (something like this) which contains our passports, birth certificates, wills ect.  If I have time to grab just one thing in a fire I know everything really important and hard to replace is in this folder.

The best thing about the crates is that they are secure, documents are unlikely to fall out and get lost, and they will stay dry.  They fit in an ordinary cupboard space and stack which makes them easy to store safely and out of sight.

For us as renters currently this means that come moving day I will know exactly where all the important stuff is.   

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