The digital age may have made it easier for most of us to transfer documents online, do online transactions even financial ones, and do online businesses such as setting up an online store, but we still cannot deny the fact that there will always be paper documents to deal with. After all, most transactions make use of paper documents, examples of which include account statements, insurance policies, vehicle records, tax forms, medical records and bills, utility bills, legal agreements and contracts, family and pet records and information, home maintenance documents and records, among others.
Because there are just so many paper documents to keep track of, manage, and even protect, it is important that you keep your paper documents organized. Organizing documents will not only make it very easy for you to look for a specific record and retrieve them, but it will also help you save some time and effort.
Prioritize and Sort Paper Documents
Organizing paper documents is really a very easy task to do, and the first step is to prioritize and sort. For this reason, place the paper documents that are very important to you and those that you most often need in one area, and in another those paper documents that are not that important. Once you have them in two piles, the next step is to sort them out. It is best that you categorize them and label each pile for easier organization, so one pile could have vehicle records, another insurance policies, a third bank and mortgage records, and so on. Just make sure though that you have arranged them by date, with the most recent paper document in front. This will make it easier for you to retrieve information.
One tip though; do not immediately look for the paper documents that you can get rid of as this complicates things more. Instead, you first need to determine which paper documents are very important and critical to you.
Storing Paper Documents
Once you have categorized and labeled your paper documents, the next step is to store them. You need to store each category in a plain manila folder and then label them accordingly. After placing them in their respective folders, you can then divide them further into broader categories, for example pets and home which will include all home maintenance records, insurance policies for each person, medical records of each family member, pet records, etc.; finance records which will include bank records, credit card records, pain and unpaid accounts; school records which will include important school papers, diplomas, certificates; and work and employment records which will include resumes and other work information and records.
One very important thing that many people forget to do when they are organizing and storing their paper documents is not making any copies of their records, especially the most important paper documents like insurance documents, bank records, legal records, etc. Making copies ensures that you will always have the important information, records, and data readily available to you, while keeping the original ones safe.
You can store your paper document copies at home and have the original ones stored in an appropriate and safe place like a bank’s vault. There are also trusted companies that offer to store them for you.