Set Up a Household Filing System

A household filing system is a place to store papers against the time we'll need them again. Set up properly, a household filing system will allow users to find documents easily, and maintain and retrieve important papers in the future.

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Decorative Filing Boxes DK - House Works © 2010 Dorling Kindersley LimitedSmart storage. Away with boring beige and olive drab! Paperwork files and storage containers can be decorative as well as organized. Look for new colors and design options.

Efficient paper management can be as easy as 1, 2, 3. Simply incorporate the following three key elements into your household filing system:

1. An Action File
A tabletop file used for daily, short-term filing chores. Use your Action File to hold bills for payment, to set aside correspondence and other papers that require response, and to provide short-term storage paperwork and other information that must be filed.

2. Basic Files
These are a household's working file system. Kept in a file cart, cabinet or desk drawer, your basic files should hold medical insurance records, credit card statements, rent receipts and bank statements. Use your basic files for routine activities such as paying bills, tax files, medical information and home maintenance.

3. Classic Files
Archive files used for papers that need to be stored for the long term. What files belong in classic files? Most families save copies of income tax returns, cancelled checks, real estate documents and receipts, insurance policies, automobile documents and warranties and credit card statements. Use file cabinets or records boxes to protect these items for long-term storage. Note: original documents such as insurance policies, legal documents or tax records should be stored in secure facilities such as safe deposit boxes.

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Excerpted from Houseworks, by Cynthia Townley Ewer

Text Copyright © 2006, 2010, Cynthia Townley Ewer, extracts from Houseworks, reproduced with permission from Dorling Kindersley Limited

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