The Only $10 Desktop Filing System You’ll Ever Need
The amount of paper that comes into my house is mind-blowing. Not only do we get all the regular mail (bills, statements, letter that require some kind of action), but we also have Girl Scout stuff, PTO stuff, and notices from two different classrooms at two different schools. On top of that, we’re still helping my mother-in-law sort out her affairs since my father-in-law passed away, so there’s a ton of paperwork for that as well.
It’s impossible. How in the world can you keep it all straight when you’re getting more papers every time you turn around?
A new system had too be created. Previously, I had a 3-part-system: Received, processing, and file. It worked great when I didn’t have so much to juggle. Now it’s time for something a little more heavy-duty.
I created this system with a simple, desktop file. I picked up this one at Office Max, but you can get them just about anywhere: Target, WalMart or Amazon. Then I added some hanging file folders (sold in all the same places). I tried to think about the life cycle of the various papers that came into our home and decided to create files for the following:
* Received (it’s come into the house, but no action has been taken yet)
* To Scan
* To Pay
* To File
* To Call
* Follow Up
This has made a huge difference in how well I can stay on top of everything. I especially love the “Follow Up” file: this is for things that need the occasional call to check in on. It’s usually medical bills that are pending an insurance payment. They’re things that I need to take action on in a few weeks, but don’t need them cluttering my desk.
There is one downside to this system. If you are like me, things are out of sight, out of mind. I have to set aside time each week to go through it or else I’ll ignore the whole thing. Generally, I try to set aside time on Friday or Saturday to go through everything from the week.
What do you do to manage the papers that come into your home? I’d love to know what works for you!
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