Functional Filing System

My goal for myself this year being; To go through everything we have and bring it to order’. Tackling the paper issues in January makes the most sense to me as I want to have all of last year collected, filed away, and ready for tax preparation before I start adding 2022′s info. I have used a couple of different methods for collecting papers over the years. Do any of these methods sound like you? In a file cabinet with each topic listed on the tabs? The ever-popular pile it’s the method? Or the ‘I am way too busy to put this away now, I’ll set it here & deal with it later’ method? Maybe you have a combination of these paper issues going on. Currently, I do. But I’m determined to make it stop.

Finding the best way to handle your paper issues is through trial and error. I’ve had plenty of errors working, so now I need to address my problem areas and find my solutions.
I am taking some of my favorite bloggers’ advice. A few offered the idea to make your file cabinet tabs listed by months, not topic.

I know why I’ve been doing this by topic for the last 5+ years because of our business. Entering our information into Quick books was easier when I had all the heating bills together. Instead of going through 12 months looking for all the heating bills.

Filing in this manner has already freed up so much time. I needed the file cabinet (or my plastic filing tote) to be easily accessible. So I can go straight from the once opened mail to filing it.

Step 2
I didn’t want the files I just took out from my file tote to get put into a box, or a pile. What I did want was an orderly solution. Our budget is on freeze or holds just like the weather here in Michigan, so I could only use items I had on hand. I decided to hole punch each topic and put them in a 3 ring-binder. I made my dividers out of a piece of 8.5 x 11 card stock cut in half lengthways, then hole punched also. I wrote with a marker showing each topic.
However, this binder which is fabric coated is only temporary for now. Because I want to add to the outside of the binder, a list of contents being held for the year & display 2021 on the binder spine.

These two steps have given me such relief. I am so happy and feel so proud of myself for the job well done.
If you haven’t already found your style of conquering the paper issues in your home, please try this, and please let me know what works for you.

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