The urgency to find a document quickly and you don’t know where to begin looking? Have you ever had that feeling, that everything is out of control? Looking everywhere even under the bed? It happened to me on time, and that was the moment I decided, I need a home office filing system.
Creating a filing system that will work, and knowing where the important documents are. Take special care with your official documents, it is not easy to replace.
There are a few different ways to implement a filing system. Have a system that works for you and most of all, know where your documents are filed.
It is a motivation killer not knowing where the papers are. Take care of the documents as they arrive. If you don’t do it every day, it will lead to procrastination.
Home Office Filing System
There are five different methods of filing:
A homemaker also takes care of all the important documents and files them secure and safe. Have the files handy on a shelf close by and above all, create a time when to do the filing.
There is an alphabetical way or select the papers. Use the first letter of the name of the company and place it in the specific slot in a file.
Persons are filed by the first letter of their surname and then follow the name or initials.
The numeric way is to give the papers a number according to their importance to you and therefore, file the documents under that specific number. Secondly, new files get the next numeric number, and thirdly, keep a list of the numbers with the name of a file in your index.
Name the groups of items you want to file together, and can relate to any subject. You use the names of events, projects, places, and persons. At home, it can be home maintenance, car maintenance, personal documents, valuables etc.
These files are organised according to the geographical location of an item, business, organisation or person. Under this method, the files are arranged either in alphabetical or numerical order, in other words, your choice.
This system will also work if you file your travelling info or if you have more than one property.
These documents are arranged by date, day and time. This order can be according to the date of payment and receipt, or date and time. Add the invoice with the most recent data, for example, in front of the previous items in the file.
The greatest secret is to label your files and documents correctly, and have the cross-reference in place. As long as it is marked, according to your system, and you know exactly where everything is filed.
A proper filing system gives a feeling of confidence. Without it, life can feel chaotic, in other words, out of control.
A home filing system should be easy, practical and simplified in any way, to give peace of mind and a feeling of being in charge.
Find your System
Finding a system that works for you and your lifestyle, will take some trial and error until you get a system that works for you. There is no fixed method, my dear, as long as you understand how it works.
Don’t only depend on your cuber friend to do your filing, it is so easy to lose it all with the click of a button or a system breakdown, and similarly, during a power out. Good idea to scan and print the documents to keep in a file on the shelf.
Original documents are kept safe in a file on your shelf.
Have a specific time to keep paperwork up to date. Make it an achievement, therefore, reward yourself after it is done.
Home Office Filing System
What is needed
Stapler and staples and a little device to unpick the staples.
Small boxes to separate your papers in and mark the boxes.
A paper punch is needed to punch two holes in the side of a document for filing.
Scissors and sellotape.
Marking pens, writing pens and pencils, erasers, and adhesive labels are always needed.
Stand up files with an alphabetical separator inside.
Name the files. Use the self-adhesive labels and mark your files and folders.
Sit down with a cup of tea and select the post, sort the papers by subject in different boxes and get rid of all the junk mail. Make it enjoyable.
Once that is done take one box at a time and select the documents, the oldest at the bottom by date.
Staple or use sellotape to stick the smaller receipts and papers to a normal sheet.
The normal exam pad, an A4, to use for jotting down info and sticking small papers to, making it easier to file.
Plastic filing sleeves are very handy too.
Tidy the lot even, punch holes and place it in the folder in a marked file.
When you are done with all the filing, make an index sheet in the front of each file. Stipulating what is in the file and where to find it, alphabetically or numeric. This will be your cross-reference.
After the basic sorting and filing are done, it will be easy to maintain. Never let a week go by without filing everything.
Attend to the important papers as soon as possible and file them immediately.
You can go through the rest of your posts at leisure when you have time.
Home Office Filing System
Very little will change in these files, once it is done and in place, your work here will be minimised.
The best is to do the manual filing first and then copy it to the digital files on your computer.
Different kinds of files there are, but you might only need some of them now, my dear. Later on, you will need some more, and so your filling system will expand.
Have the following documents in files for quick and easy inspection.
Official documents are kept in this file in a separate plastic sleeve.
Birth certificates, baptised certificates, other religious certificates
Marriage certificates, Marriage contracts, Divorce papers
Educational certificates, school, college, university etc.
The will of your partner and your person will be in separate files.
Estates that are complete. Keep it in a file, you might need some information later.
Home Office Filing System
2. Validation Certificates
Keep receipts of jewellery, rings, watches, bracelets, earrings, pearls, diamonds or golden pendants. It is wise to have validation certificates to prove the value.
Photographic equipment Cameras, lenses, tripods and secure bags.
Electronic equipment such as computers, laptops, hard drives, and other equipment.
Sound system and TV. Speakers, turntables, video equipment and control systems. TV, cables and CCTV equipment.
Wall Paintings, original paintings and limited edition prints, and Persian carpets with the validation certificates.
Anything valuable can be a special historic book, artwork, furniture piece, etc.
All should have validation certificates.
3. Banking Documentation
Bank address and contact numbers.
List your bank account numbers and names Cheque account, Savings, Credit card, etc.
Credit card info. Do you have the original document you signed when you opened the account?
ATM card papers and PINs.
Internet login info, user ID and password, make use of a cryptic way to secure the numbers. You can use phone numbers and names to hide the codes.
For any Investments, name the institution with all the details.
4. Insurance policies.
Life policies, endowment policies
Short term insurance Name the institution, contact details of the person and dates of renewal. It is wise to select the important costly items to ensure, for instance, the geysers, computers, laptops, phones, theft and fridges. Select what is important to you.
Sometimes there are safety requirements from the company that insure your cars and motorbikes. Age of drivers and lockup garages, alarm systems with sirens for vehicles etc.
Make sure to apply to all requirements, otherwise, they will not compensate you if something happens. Read the policy from top to bottom.
File all pet insurance and registration papers.
List the policy number and where it is insured.
Paperwork if you have adopted a pet.
All vaccination records.
Keep the number and address of the nearest veterinarian on file.
6. Personal Medical Insurance
Name the institution and address with all contact details for different departments.
Membership number and what scheme you have joined, and records of payments
Medical records, X-rays, DVDs of scans, prescriptions, etc.
Make a list and keep a record of all sicknesses and operations of all family members. The doctor will need a history of your health.
Find a reputable honest Insurance broker with a good reputation. Ask friends who they can recommend and why?
Mark the return dates and make sure to be ready.
Tax registration forms and contact numbers. For all returns and correspondence, keep a record of your tax number.
Keep internet login info, user ID and password and your email address list handy.
if there is a bookkeeper list the name, address and contact info.
File all correspondence and phone call dates with the Taxman and the Bookkeeper.
8. Registration Papers
Original registration documents of cars, motorbikes, caravans and trailers.
License receipts and roadworthy docs.
Keep the original registration papers safe, because it is costly to replace if you lose it.
Passports, Visas and health immunity certificates.
Record of all travels and trips, local and international, it is good reverence for your next trip.
Keep a record of dates to renew the passports.
10. Higher Purchases.
All items purchased on credit, contracts and documents for household goods should be kept safe.
List the due dates of completion of payments.
Keep the contract and all the receipts of payments in date order of all those on higher-purchase. Keep it updated every month, very important.
Have all your evidence and records of payments in your file. Twice we had the experience that a company questioned the payments, and luckily we kept the proof to show.
Home Office Filing System
Create a new folder on your desktop to keep it all in. You can create as many sub-files as you need.
Open the same files you have opened in your manual and paper files that will be standing on your shelf, give them the same topic names.
Use your paper file documents to scan and transfer the information, one by one into your digital files.
This is not necessary for non-official documents, this is the paperwork of things you want to keep track of.
Keep the names and labels of both systems the same, making cross-reference easy to find what you are looking for.
All these documents are very hard to replace if you lose them, it will cost you dearly.
Find your system, secure all your valuable documents, and keep track of expenditures, my dear.
Until next time.