Saturday, February 20, 2010

Filing With Catch All Folders

One of the problems I've always had with filing is that I want to keep everything. Always. I am afraid of getting rid of a paper I might need someday. But of course I never do. And if I did I would not be able to find it anyway because it's in a huge stack somewhere.

Periodically I would create a new filing system. And since every piece of paper needs to be in a file my systems got very complicated. And time consuming. I really didn't want to file stacks and stacks of paperwork every week. Some paperwork I needed to keep, but only for the short term. What do I do with all of that stuff?

When I started this project I got on the internet and started reading about filing systems. Maybe I could find one that works for me, right? Right! I mean, I can't be the only one with this dilemna.

I came across the Freedom Filer system. One piece of their system is a 24 month rotating file system. You take 24 file folders and label them with the months of the year. Since you have two years worth one set will be labeled "even year" and the other "odd year". This is where you are going to put all your monthly paid bills, receipts, and other odds and ends. Since we are in February 2010 right now, any paperwork I get I put in the February-even year file. When we get to March I will switch to the March-even year file. When February 2012 rolls around I will need to put that months' documents in the February-even year file. I will simply sort out the February 2010 file, shred most of it, and anything I really do need to keep I will file in a more permanent place. After two years it is much easier for me to throw my paperwork away.

I'm happy knowing I have any paper I could possibly need, it's all stored neatly away and I can find anything I might need in just a few minutes. I also added two folders labeled "Taxes-even year" and Taxes-odd year". This is where we put donation receipts, paid car taxes, w2's and any other documents we will need to do our taxes. No more combing through mountains of paperwork at tax time to find documentation for deductions.

I tucked all my files in a pretty basket and leave it out on the counter where papers used to pile up. It is so easy to use that my papers get popped into a folder rather than laid on the counter "just for now". We all know how dangerous that is.


  1. oh, i like that idea for the rotating files Amy! Thanks for sharing! On my blog and yours :)

  2. I also have the Freedom Filer, and I think it's brilliant! Once you discover it, you think...hey, I could've done that! But when you realize how much effort it would have taken, you realize you would have never followed through in the first place, especially not for less than $40. I like your idea of extracting only the files you use most to put in a more convenient place...may have to try that. Thanks!

  3. I never actually bought the Freedom Filer system. I took the information they have on their website and used it to create my own filing system. True, it took a little longer, but it was so worth it in the end!


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