Tips and Tricks to Organize your Important Documents

One of the areas that I have been focusing on this week in my organization spree this month is our family's important documents.  I don't know about you, but with a new home, bills, and medical documents, our house is constantly getting filled with documentation that is recommended we keep.  The problem is keeping it in a place and in a way that is organized and easily accessible.

I keep our documents in two areas of our home.  One is a binder that I keep everything that we would ever need in case we have to leave the house quickly.  I bought these plastic sleeves from Amazon where I am able to store documents without needing to worry about the three hole punching them.  This doesn't have to be something that you spend a lot of money on or have to work to make it pretty.  I kept mine fairly simple and it's sole purpose is that if we ever need to leave the house quickly, this is our 'grab and go' binder that will have all of the important documents for our family in once place.  The following are the sections that we store:

  1. Home - Insurance documents and contact information, Title, HUD
  2. Health Insurance Information - copies of cards
  3. Passports
  4. Birth Certificates
  5. Social Security Cards
  6. Marriage License
  7. Will
  8. Warranty Information - anything relating to the house, jewelry, electronics, appliances, etc.

The next area is in our office and it is where I keep our bills, tax documents, home documents, medical bills, and any other items that I feel we need to hold on to for at least a year.  I used to keep a file system for these documents but I found that most f the time, they would just end up on top of my desk for months waiting to be stored.  I wanted to find a way to help me take care of these items as they came into the house without having them pile up.  The best way that I have been able to tackle this is by getting this hanging file system from Home Goods.  I then got some pretty file folders from the Target dollar spot and labeled them with things that best suits our family:

  1. Bills To Pay - any bill that has not been paid goes in this folder.  My husband knows to put any bills here if he sorts the mail that day. I have made it a habit to make sure I check this folder weekly to make sure I don't miss a bill.  Once the bill is paid, it goes in the shredder if it is not a medical bill.
  2. Pay Stubs - My husband still receives paper pay stubs, so we make sure to keep at least a years worth of stubs in this folder.
  3. Medical - all of our medical bills go in this folder for the year.  We keep these till our taxes are completed the following year.
  4. Taxes - any documentation relating to our taxes to go here.  For example, W2's, tax forms, donation receipts, etc.
  5. House - any upgrades that we do to our home, warranties, bills, go in this folder.  If there is something that should be kept for longer, we will move it to our folder.

And that is basically all of the paperwork we keep on hand.  I have tried to limit the amount of paper we keep in the house because now a days the internet is our filing system and also storing all that paper takes a lot of room that we just do not have in our home. I can always log in to a specific account to get at least 10 years worth of documentation if I should ever need it. We have been following this system for a couple of years now and so far, we have been loving it.

How do you guys keep your documents organized?  Leave me a comment below!