Although we live in a digital world and online era, there are still some important records in paper form that you’ll just have to be aware of where they are stored. For this reason, we decided to present you with the best ways on how to organize important documents at home, and always have in mind where you can find them.
Organizing all the important files at the house will help you always find them quickly
What Documents Are Considered Important
Important records are referred to as all the papers you have to keep “just in case.” However, throughout the years, they have a tendency to piling up if you don’t manage them in the right manner. And for that reason, you should rein them in on time.
In case your important files are all over the place, lying on your dining table or cluttering your working desk, and you feel overwhelmed while persistently procrastinating to start decluttering and archiving them, then keep reading. Here is a list of all the important records you could possibly store and how to do it.
Sorting the documentation is the first step in organizing them properly
If you are searching for new ways to store important documents, you are at the right place! The best way to store all your vital records is to keep them in the same place, divided into sections. This could be easily attained using legal accordions whose structure allows to separate all the documentation into different folders easily. Since they are so significant, you should definitely find a safe place to store them. A safe box or a waterproof and fire-resistant bag or a box should be enough to make it safe.
Here is how you can categorize your legal accordion with the most significant records.
This folder should contain all the records associated with your personal issues, so make sure to put in here all the documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificate, divorce certificate, custody and adoption papers, immigration paperwork, citizenship, and all other related documentation.
Another label within the accordion may be associated with car records, maintenance records, insurance policies, loans or leasing details, or any other important detail you think is important to include. Also, having all this information stored in one place will be of the utmost importance in cases when you have to re-register your vehicle due to relocation, or the long-distance moving company that will transport your car across the country asks you for needed car-related documentation.
Home and Property Associated Paperwork
Property-associated records such as reports on the property deeds, mortgage, property tax information, house insurance policies, house improvement projects, and receipts, even the appliance manuals and warranties, should be definitely classified within a separate folder in accordion.
This will also be a great place to store your arms licenses if you own a firearm and easily keep track of any changes that are needed. Having this license within your essential records will also make you feel more confident when relocating to another state and having to move a gun safe.
Of course, there is no doubt you should always have those documents with you, meaning you should keep them forever.
Financial and Bank Account Records
Financial records are another significant piece you should take care of. Especially when it comes to tax details and documentation you are obligated to keep for seven years. In this period of time, the IRS could demand an audit, and you will definitely want to have all the information and documentation with you. For that reason, storing financial records is more important than you could possibly imagine. Don’t forget to include the following in a financial folder:
- Tax returns,
- Tax deduction records,
- Loan records,
- Credit card statements,
- Bank statements,
- Pay stubs,
- Canceled checks,
- Disability or unemployment records,
- Retirement and pension plan records,
- Investment statements.
Also, don’t forget that keeping track of things such as mortgage statements or even insurance policies is tremendously important and the best way to organize important papers. Moreover, even when you finish paying your obligations, you should take care of associated paperwork for at least ten years.
File All Medical Records
Keeping your medical documentation sorted out is always a good idea. Another legal accordion may help you file them and arrange them all in one place:
- Health insurance policies,
- Social security cards,
- Life insurance policies,
- Pediatrician records,
- ID certifications,
- Doctor bills,
- Prescription lists.
Whether those pieces of documentation belong to you or your children, you should keep them in perfect order and always be aware of the place where they are stored. This is an especially important issue in case you will be moving with kids when you will be obliged to transfer all their medical records to a new health care provider. Also, you should have in mind that you’re advised by the Federal Trade Commission of keeping your paid (and undisputed) medical bills for at least one year. Knowing this thing can help you get rid of all other unnecessary paperwork and successfully declutter your house.
Separate Mail and Utility Bills
One of the best ways to avoid cluttered mailboxes is checking them every day and sorting out the mail you received right away. Whether you will receive an important notice, promotional material, or event invitation, you should try to keep everything in order. This includes utility bills as well. The best way of tracking everything regularly is to create a small “mail center,” a place or a folder where you can put all the notices you get and classify them into categories:
- Timely action – ones that require your action in terms of paying a tax by a certain date, or electricity bill, or any other utility bill.
- Utility bills should be divided into categories such as gas, electricity, garbage disposal, telephone, and internet provider. After you take the bill from the timely action section and pay it, you can store it in an appropriate pile and keep it until the next month, or a maximum of a year.
- Major financial records, such as tax returns or any other payment you make to the government. This category is of utmost importance because you need to keep those types of records permanently, and for that reason you really have to file them properly.
Filing the bills and other financial records in this way will be very useful in case you run a home-based office and decide to move a business to another state.
Arrange all of your family medical and insurance records, so you'll always know where they are
The Right Way to Organize Sentimental Papers
Remember all those love letters, greeting and birthday cards, newspaper articles you want to keep, airplane or museum tickets? Those memories can bring some really nice feelings and take you back to those wonderful moments. However, the majority of people usually keep all those things very unorganized.
The best way to start sorting all of your important sentimental things is by forming a box where you will store and put all the items that have sentimental meaning to you or your family members. The next step is to categorize them in envelopes or portfolios and label them. You can organize them by topics, such as birthdays, travels, family photo inventory, personal achievements, or any other category which comes to your mind. This box can also contain things such as a baby documents organizer where you can store all the pregnancy reports and other associated memories such as “first baby step” or baby memory book.
These boxes can also contain some small important pieces that remind you of something or someone. Of course, don’t forget to be especially careful with delicate ones, and be sure to explore the best ways for packaging fragile items. Besides, we are pretty convinced that this sentimental box should find its place on your college packing list since it could really be helpful in fighting relocation depression and even ease adjusting to a new country after moving.
Sentimental records are equally important as the vital ones
Where To Store Important Documents
The way of organizing your documentation will depend on the space you live in. In case you’re moving to a smaller home, the storage of your important records won’t look the same. Smaller homes require smart use of space, which in many cases takes multi-purposeful characteristics. For these types of homes, it would be best to use some new built-in solutions that don’t require additional space or making a small working area with a desk, drawers, smaller filing cabinets, or wall files. Although space can be challenging, there is still always a way how to store important documents at home.
And here is a list of some additional equipment for storage that could help you get perfectly organized.
- Expense tracker – these several stacked sections that you can keep on the table will help you to easier sort out things like mail, bills, and all other stuff that needs to be taken care of regularly.
- Tray dividers are essential for getting all the drawers organized. With them, you can easily split sections and adapt them to your needs, making everything clearly visible.
- The legal accordion is another useful supply for storing your paperwork. It is a compact folder that can be easily stored in a drawer, shelf, or even box. The best part of this folder is that you can divide it into multiple sections and keep everything in one place.
- Wall files are a great solution if you’re lacking space and still want to get your paperwork organized. Placing it near your desk will allow you easier tracking of what is happening with your bills, mail, or anything else you have to resolve on a regular basis.
- Different-sized boxes that can be either plain or decorative are another good solution for storing your important pieces of paper. They are perfect for all those who prefer minimalistic and clear spaces without any item that could possibly disturb the order.
- Plastic bins can be very useful for sorting out the mail you receive, whether it is a receipt, notice catalog, or coupon. It would be great to put three different bins labeled as “recycle,” “trash,” and “shred” and put all those received things into the right bin. These recycling bins can be especially useful in case you want to donate unwanted items in the form of paper to some recycling center and support environmentally friendly organizations.
Legal accordions are a great way to set up your paperwork until the warranty expires, you sell that TV, or move out of your house
How To Organize Important Documents at Home For Packing
In case you are relocating, don’t forget to put all those boxes, portfolios, and other document storages on a household inventory list because they are some kind of moving essentials. You certainly wouldn’t like to forget any of them. Furthermore, organizing important documents will help you to deal with moving stress easier and pack everything properly. Although cross-country moving services may assist you in packing the majority of your belongings, this is something you must deal with alone.
And if you’re about to hire cross country movers, having all these pieces of documentation stored in one place will certainly help you to move efficiently. It will also facilitate organizing the whole process of changing your address when you move to a new state much easier, and which is one of the first things to do after moving if you already haven’t finished it.
Make sure that all sorted records are properly labeled
How To Organize Documents in the Best Way – Begin with Decluttering
Another great way to organize your documentation at home for packing is decluttering. Like with any other stuff you prepare for relocation, you have to get rid of all the unnecessary stuff first. This means taking out all the documentation you have and starting to sort it out into categories. Although the cross-country moving company you choose for relocation may provide you with a range of different packing services, decluttering is something that you have to do by yourself. If you need any additional piece of advice on how to properly declutter your household, then research moving hacks and all tips for packing quickly that will give you some new ideas on how to do it and reduce the anxiety about moving out.
The first category should be associated with things you will definitely need to keep. The second category should cover the records you can recycle. After you make this basic division, it is the moment for a next step that implies a new classification of personal, financial, medical, or sentimental records. Once you are done with the categorization, you will be ready to get organized.
However, when decluttering, you should be aware of another important thing, and that is the period of time you should keep the records in. You will definitely want to avoid any issues with the IRS or other similar institutions. No one wants to end up in a situation when you don’t have a chance to prove them wrong, only because you have thrown away the significant piece of paper. That’s why you should check in through all the regulations and follow the prescribed actions.
Need Additional Piece of Advice on How to Declutter Your Documentation?
Decluttering is the very first step of bringing any space in order, and if you need additional pieces of advice on how to do it properly, whether you only want to clear the space or you’re up to long-distance moving and ensure it’ll be as stress-free as possible, check this useful video below.
Are You Ready for Organizing all Important Records
Now you are provided with all the potential ways of how to keep important documents organized, it is about the right time to choose what is the most suitable way for you. Start researching how to organize important papers, and start sorting out the documentation. You will not only tidy up the place by securing there is nothing else left to disturb the order, but you will also always know where your records are and take any action if there is a need for it.