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Posted in How-to on May 22, 2021
Madison Rogers

Born and raised in Houston Madison is a content writer who loves traveling. She has lived in different states and is always eager to share her knowledge with others.

How to Organize Important Documents at Home – Keep Your Paperwork in Check

According to the latest research, around 8% of all documents get lost in houses or offices. Learning how to organize important documents at home will save you a lot of nerves because you certainly do not want to spend another minute searching for an essential piece of paper or just a simple receipt because you want to return a shirt that doesn’t fit. In this article, we’ll show you how to organize important papers and help you do it like a professional.

Where to Start When Filing Your Records?

Things could get more stressful if you are planning on hiring and using long-distance moving services, and you suddenly realize that you have no idea where to look for the relevant documentation in your house.

No matter the reasons to move, whether you decide you’re moving for love or want to live on your own, every relocation involves searching all over the house for that one paper. If only you could have everything in one place and know exactly where to look for the special file you require. That’s why you’ll have to dedicate some of your free time to start organizing.

A drawer full of records
Having all the records in one place is the best way to keep them organized.

How to Organize Important Documents at Home: First Gather Everything in a Pile

If you are moving cross-country or are just sick of having piles of paperwork all over the place, it is the right moment to start planning how to organize documents. The most important thing to know before even beginning is that this is not a process that can be done in a few minutes. Just like creating a long-distance moving checklist, this is something that needs a good plan, as well.

You decided to have everything in order and are now thinking about where to start. The best method is decluttering. Start checking room by room and don’t forget drawers in the bathroom and kitchen. To be more practical and efficient, gather everything in one big pile and begin dividing papers into categories. That way, it will be easier later to store them. It won’t be as easy as packing shoes, but it is manageable. Plan in advance, and with moving hacks and some packing tips, your stress-free move will come true.

Separate All Paperwork You Have at Home

If you got a job in a new city and are now preparing for the tedious process of packing your bathroom items and all other tasks you have to do, don’t forget to declutter and divide your files as well. No matter how tedious this could be, it is crucial to check each document separately and establish that each one is up to date. You can throw away the ones that aren’t. You might think this step isn’t necessary, but make sure you don’t get rid of something that you might need later.

Health records and passports are the most common ones we leave, not even checking if they are up to date. If you have pets, check their insurances and health records, as well.

A folder with records
Separate each paper to a corresponding folder.

How to Store Important Documents at Home – Divide Papers into Different Categories

The essential step in this process is to know how to store your paperwork. When you have done this, you’ll be able to find any file you desire in your house in just a second instead of looking for it for hours. The golden rule is to make visible the place where they will be and to have them protected and safe.

Once you choose where to store it all, it is essential to create categories that will ease the accessibility and visibility of the folders and files. Let’s look at some of the most common categories you could create:

  • Daily use – in this category, you should put everything you use on an almost daily basis in your household, like bills, recipes, or coupons.
  • Active – here you can store all the things you can move to the discard category and toss later. For example, grocery lists, reminders, and appointments should be in this group.
  • Inactive – in this pile, you can store records that you use just a few times in a year: birth and school certificates, mortgage, health insurance, along with others.
  • Discard – a category that is vital and will help you get rid of unnecessary stuff and stay organized. Here you can put all those promotional leaflets, brochures, and such.
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Where to Store Important Documents

If you are wondering where the best place for your personal and other papers is, it depends on how much free space you have in your apartment or house. So, if you’re asking yourself what you need to rent an apartment, you might want to think about a place for the essential records, as well. This could seem like too many things to pay attention to, but once you decide it is time to have everything in order, you’ll be thankful for doing all these things before and after the move. So, a task on your new apartment checklist should be to designate a space or storage for your paperwork, as well.

You can put them wherever you want as long as they are all together in one place but separated into different folders for better management and accessibility.

A pile of records
Have everything in one place for better organization

Toss Everything That’s Not up to Date

No matter if you are planning on moving to another state alone or with your family, it is vital to decide what to keep when moving for a successful relocation. The same goes for organizing important documents. When you get rid of everything you don’t use or that doesn’t make sense having in the house, it will be a lot easier to find an accessible place for all the files.

The best method for doing this task most efficiently is to check the big pile of records you collected earlier by decluttering. If the brochures, promotional materials, catalogs, and similar stuff don’t have any purpose, discard them. You can shred them or get them recycled. This is an awesome way to take care of the environment because all the stuff that doesn’t contain any personal data can be recycled. However, for the ones that have any personal information, it is essential to get them shredded because you surely don’t want your information to end up in the hands of a stranger. Watch the video below with the best ways to destroy important documents:

YouTube video

The Materials You’ll Need for Storing Your Paperwork the Right Way

If you are creating a moving to-do list, don’t forget to add, besides boxes and packing supplies, the materials you’ll work with for storing your paperwork. You might think that this doesn’t require special care and supplies, but you are wrong. Keeping them in the best condition is essential, so here are supplies you’ll need:

  • Plastic bin – if you are looking for something that is waterproof and will last long, then plastic bins are the solution for your problems. They can be very handy if you’re planning to keep your files on the ground. That way, they’ll be protected from any damage.
  • Regular box – regular boxes are the cheapest supply you can take, and if you are moving on a budget, you can check online at FreeCycle for free boxes. If they are not in such good shape, you can always reinforce them with some extra tape.
  • Filing cabinet – your home office is missing something, and you can’t figure out what it is? The filing cabinet is a great solution for your room and your mail.
  • File folders – if you moved recently and you are looking for small apartment ideas, hanging folders are the perfect solution.
  • Markers – mark each box or tray with the names of the files that are in them. This is the most effective way to always know where a file you need is.
  • Sticky notes – using different color stickers can also be a very useful method of distinguishing the boxes.
A filing cabinet with records
Ensure your records are safely stored.

Thinking of Going Online – Do It and Save Some Space

This is a digital era, and having all of your papers – or most of them – online is reasonable. However, not only will you not have to worry about losing a single piece of paper, but you’ll save a lot of space too. This is a time-consuming process, but once you have it all in digital form, you can forget all the mess and stress when finding that one bill you’ve been looking for for days.

One Account for Everything Will Keep You Sane

You are done with packing pot and pans, and now you have to figure out how to baby-proof the house. Imagine, in the middle of all that, having to lose another day or two for sorting and arranging your mail as well. This is why you should have only one account for everything, and you can easily reorganize your cloud the way you see fit.

Another good reason for going paperless is saving the environment. The fewer newspapers and ads you’re holding in your hands, the less they’ll end up in nature and the streets.

Inbox on the smartphone
Filing most of your records online will help you have more space in your apartment.

How to Keep Important Documents Organized

It is essential to keep everything in order once you’ve decluttered and categorized everything. It is not as difficult as packing fragile items for the move, but knowing some tricks could be useful. The first and crucial step is to put a label on plastic bins, boxes, folders, or wherever you’ll put your records. Make it visible and clear so you don’t spend too much time figuring out what is in that specific folder. A different color marker is an excellent idea so you can know exactly which color is for bills, for example.

File and Organize Papers Right Away

Imagine you’ve just finished packing glasses for relocation, and you have to get that one mail that arrived yesterday, and you can’t find it. It is because you didn’t put it in its place right away. This is an essential step if you want to keep your documentation organized. After you are done with any mail, make sure you put them in the right category you made before. You can watch a video below on how to keep your records organized:

A shelf with different colored folders
Put everything in the place right away

Ready to Arrange Your Records?

If you are planning a move to another city with your family, find a reliable cross-country moving company with all the packing services and at least basic moving insurance, so that you won’t have to deal with the exhausting task of packing plates for a move. That way, you’ll have more time for organizing and filing your records. You can also check if the long-distance movers near you provide a storage service, which can come in handy if you are moving for the first time for all of those items you haven’t found a place for yet. Lastly, check if there is a safe auto transport service if you own a car. Let the professionals take care of your relocation while you enjoy having all of your records neatly organized.

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