Tricks of the Trade: Organizing Papers

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As we move in an increasingly paperless direction, it can at times be difficult to figure out where to keep individual papers. So, I thought I’d share my tips for what to hold onto, what to get rid of, and how to store all those papers that collect in random parts of your home.

First things first, do a cleanse. Do you need that manual for the microwave you bought five years ago? Probs not. I like to hold onto boxes for big purchases for a few months and once the item proves it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, I get rid of it, along with the dozens of papers it came with. The only thing I hold onto is my receipt—and if you paid for it with a card, you don’t need to hold onto anything.

IMG_5472 IMG_5474  Now that you’ve done a nice cleanse, you should have a much lighter stack of paper with which to work. Let’s hope so anyway. What I like to do is group all my papers together by category and store them in folders. For instance, I have the following folders:

  • Medical: Where I house all of my medical documents, proof of insurance, etc.
  • Professional: Where I house past offer letters, contracts, and the like.
  • Bills: Here, I keep really big invoices as well as my rental agreement.
  • Finances: This folder holds important bank statements, financial goals, 401k information, and my checkbook.
  • Important documents: Where I keep some miscellaneous yet super important papers, such as my college transcript, birth certificate, etc.

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Once you’ve created and filled your folders, I’d recommend reviewing their contents every few months. You’d be surprised to find what you don’t need anymore each time you do so.

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