I shared with you a bit about my everyday file system when I showed you my new family command center and again when I showed you how I organize school papers. I wanted to share a bit more about how I set this file system up and how I use it.
I bought a small file box from Target for $8 and used some leftover hanging file folders that I already had on hand. I found some colorful file folders in the $1 section at Target that worked perfectly for my needs so I bought 6 packs of them. One thing I learned early about Target’s $1 section- if you find it buy all you need at once because that stuff goes quick!
I made master files using the hanging folders for School, Medical, Household, Taxes, Receipts, and Reference as well as one file for each month of the year. Then I added my colorful file folders in each master file. Here’s a little break down of how I organized mine:
School: one file folder for each child
Household: maintenance folder (repairs or installations) and services folder (security system, pest control, lawn service, irrigation system service)
Receipts: clothing receipts folder, household receipts folder (decor, furniture, appliances, etc), Christmas receipts folder
Reference: coupons (store coupons such as Kohl’s or Old Navy), take-out menus, advertisements (tree service we might need, gutter cleaning service we’ll use in the fall, etc)
Taxes: deductions (medical receipts, donation receipts, etc), income (pay stubs, w-2’s, investments statements, etc)
Medical: forms (doctor’s office statements, prescription info sheets, dental visit sheets), insurance (statements from insurance, claim forms)
Everything has a place and if there is no place for it then I really don’t need to keep it. Seriously, it took me years to realize that! After those hanging files I added one hanging file folder for each month of the year. I use these monthly file folders to hold birthday cards, anniversary cards, congrats cards etc. I tend to buy cards ahead of time- for example, when the Valentine’s Day cards go on sale I grab up one for the next year. I buy birthday cards at the beginning of the year for every birthday throughout the year. Now I have a place to put them. I don’t fill them out or anything, I just put the card and envelope in the file for the month it will need to be sent. I also use the monthly files to hold papers that need to be filled out in the future- such as pre-K registration that doesn’t need to be turned in until January, or cheer forms that are due in December, and the swim team form that isn’t due until March. This way nothing gets lost. I check the corresponding file folder at the beginning of each month to see what needs to be done. Then I enter the info on my master calendar when I need to act on it- such as “turn in cheer forms” on the day they are due.
At the end of the year (or sooner if they get full) I can go through the folders, purge what we really don’t need to keep, and transfer the things we need into my master file box. The Everyday File Box makes it easy for me to just pop the paper in and forget about it instead of collecting a stack of papers that need to all be filed.
You can see all the posts in my 31 Day Series HERE. New posts are added daily.