Storing documents
How to keep your documents and paper correspondence in order. A few basic principles.
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Literally, from the first day of life, everyone begins to gradually acquire documents. Fortunately, many important issues are now solved online and there is less and less paper in life, but while paper documents are still in use, it is worth thinking about how to store them properly.
First step: sorting
To start with, get all (really all!) documents and put them together in one big pile. When you get all the paperwork around the house in one place, don't be surprised, chances are, there will be lots of them! Your first task is to sort through that pile of papers, getting rid of the unnecessary and saving the necessary.

The first step is to go through all the papers, arranging them in three piles:

  1. Discard
  2. Scan and store on your computer
  3. Keep in paper form

The first step is simple; documents that have outlived their useful life go in the trash.

I know people who prefer to keep every piece of paper, including cash receipts and certificates, but there is one significant disadvantage to this. One day, the document archive will grow to such a size, that you will spend too much time searching for the document you really need.

Many people think fearfully, “what if this might come in handy someday?” let's face it, sales receipts for appliances that have long outlived their useful life or a contract with a dentist you haven't gone to in a long time, can safely go in the trash.

Many financial, legal, and other documents have clear retention periods. I suggest checking with specialized websites, such as Keep in mind that retention periods can change, so look for information for the current year, another option is to find out the retention period from the organization that issued the document.

The second step; discard of documents that are unlikely to be useful to you in paper form.

This could include documents for paid loans, old documents for the tax or insurance company, and so on. The best way is to scan or take a picture of them, put them in a folder and store them on a removable drive or in the cloud.

The third step is valuable documents that are needed all the time or just need to be kept in paper form.

For example, passports, valid contracts, house and car documents, marriage certificates, birth certificates, testaments, and so on. Let's talk about how to store them next.
Second step: storage
There are three things to keep in mind when depositing documents:

  • Every adult living at home should be able to easily and quickly find what they need at any given time.
  • Children should not have access to documents.
  • The most valuable documents should be stored, so that if an emergency occurs, they can be found quickly.
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All documents to be stored are better to immediately be divided into groups.

  • Housing Documents
  • Documents for taxes and other finances
  • Medical certificates, cards, appointments
  • Diplomas, certificates, and other education documents
  • Passports, birth, marriage certificates
  • Bank documents (loan and other contracts, receipts, etc.)

And then, follow this same principle.

When you see how many groups of documents you have, it will become clear how and where to store them. I advise you to buy the same number of folders, this is an ideal way to sort your documents and keep them safe and sound for a long time. Folders can be signed and stored on top shelves in the work area, in a container or basket, or in a separate drawer in the closet.
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Here are a few principles of document storage:

  • The best way to store papers and documents is vertically. I really like the stylish magazine stands that can be found in almost every home improvement store in the “storage” department. IKEA, for example, has several options to suit all tastes. There's a definite plus in vertical storage — any document can be quickly found, retrieved, and returned to its place without disturbing the order.

  • Valuable paper documents are better hidden from a stranger's eye, folders with valuable documents can be put in a nice basket and placed on the top shelf of a cabinet or shelf unit.

  • Documents that are needed regularly are better kept within easy reach, on a shelf in the work area, on an organizer board, or a desk drawer.

There are many ways to store documents safely and beautifully. When choosing yours, keep in mind systematical, reliability, and convenience and please — don't forget to revise and throw away the excess at least once a year.

Your Clea.
Your personal clean-up coach
Clea N.