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Does anyone have advice on how to organize and maintain a filing cabinet? I haven't cleaned mine in four years. I can't seem to keep it organized. Any hints?”

7 replies so far...

  • You sound like me.... I have a 4 drawer filing cabinet downstairs and at first I was saving everything by month, zip lock bags labeled worked good. Then I decided that wasn't the best solution because I'd need to recall what month an event happened so I could pull that zip lock bag so then I changed it to a zip lock bag for 2006 Nicor, 2006 ComEd, 2006 CitiBank etc... hold on to them for "x" amount of years then shred when appropriate. Tax returns are always separate w/associated documents. Household repairs and receipt for water heaters, plumbers etc again a zip lock bag for 2006, 2007 etc...

    I keep putting off cleaning my 4 drawer.... Good luck

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mary Jane on 17th February 2008

  • Paper Tiger is a great software!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Shelleen McHale on 10th February 2008

  • We have two filing spots, a two-drawer cabinet in the basement that my husband maintains, and two desk-top hanging files that I maintain. Mine are my business things: one for receipts, and one for contracts, invoices, and correspondance. In the basement go the larger household things: warranties, mortgage and property taxes. After I do my taxes each year, I move that year's folders into banker's boxes in which I keep my tax stuff for seven years. And then I get to THROW IT OUT.

    I love that part. Heh.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MaryP on 28th January 2008

  • Oh, so that's the other thing I do -- we only keep things in the actual filing cabinet for 3 years -- after that I put them in a large clear box I got at Target. They go in there in their respective folders so we can find them later if we have to. I hate clutter so I hate keeping things for a long time, but I think to be safe, 7 years is a good idea. (Oh, and instead of whiting out labels -- buy cheap labels at the store, this is faster.)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 27th January 2008

  • The bigger folder idea is great. Good idea. I just need to white out the old labels and start again, maybe. Do I really have to save things for 7-10 years? Isn't five good enough? *LOL*

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Dana on 27th January 2008

  • OK, I'd love to agree with Nataly, not just because it seems like the right thing to do so I can stay on this site ;), but because I've tried it. It's hard to figure out what files go in what catagory then in what order...For our house it works best to just stick to alphabetical. Each bank account, investment, kid, pet, the house, credit cards, car, etc., etc, all have a file. We even keep a file at the very beginning of FILE ME which consists of things that go in a file but hasn't been figured out yet. THey may be waiting for the final print out or invoice or whatnot and we got through that file all the time to keep everything on track.

    Oh, and I must clarify that I'm happy to just ignore the file cabinet in terms of putting things in it. DH is super anal and great about filing. And I always need to access the stuff so I appreciate his analocity.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mandy Nelson - Dandysound on 27th January 2008

  • I'm not really an expert, but what I do is create categories -- banking, house, medical, taxes, etc -- and those are the main, hanging folders. I put them in sort of alphabetical order and then put individual files in folders, based on category. So for example, our tax files for 2007 go into a folder, which then goes into the big Taxes hanging folder (I hope that makes sense.)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 27th January 2008