The new year is a time for resolutions and fresh starts. One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to get organized, and paper management is one of the biggest challenges people face.

How do you know what to keep? What to throw away? How do you organize everything so that it’s easy to find and use? Here are some tips on how to manage your paperwork effectively!

Decide What You Need to Keep

The first step in organizing paperwork is deciding what to throw out and what to keep. Fortunately, there are clear guidelines to follow.

Here’s how long to keep specific information:

  • Forever: Birth and death certificates, marriage and divorce decrees, social security cards, and military discharge records
  • Seven years: Anything related to your tax filings
  • Over a year: Keep loan documents until the loan is paid, keep the title of a car and its maintenance records until you sell it, and keep your investment purchase confirmations until you sell the investments.
  • Only what’s current: When it comes to bank statements and bills, you only need your current month’s information.

You should also hold on to insurance paperwork — keep your current policy papers safe and shred the previous ones. You should always have your current proof of car insurance with you in your vehicle. When it’s time to update your policy, be sure and compare star ratings to ensure you are getting the best rate. Freeway Insurance reviews have consistently high star ratings for helping customers find affordable home and car insurance, so you might consider giving them a call.

Consider Going Digital

Going digital with your documents is a great way to declutter your home and keep track of important paperwork. You can easily scan or even take a photograph of the document to save it as an image, which can then be stored in digital files.

This will also help you save space since it takes up less room than traditional paper filing. It may take some time to get started, but soon enough, you’ll find that organizing your documents becomes much simpler with this method. Plus, since it’s digital, you never have to worry about losing or damaging them if something unexpected happens. 

Tips: Ensure these important digital files are stored in the cloud as well as on your computer. In some cases, you  need to have the original document, so make sure before shredding.

Create a Filing System

Finding the right way to organize your paperwork can be challenging. Everyone’s needs and filing habits are different, so it’s important to find a system that works for you. Maybe you want to create folders based on subject, or perhaps you’d rather file according to dates.

If you decide to store files digitally, the advantage is that you do not have to worry about fire or theft. You also have more freedom in naming files, making it easier to find and get the documents you need.

However you approach your filing system, ensure that future paperwork that comes into your home is filed right away, so things don’t get overwhelming!

Enjoy Your New Organization System

Now that you have your paperwork organized, it will be so much easier to find what you need quickly and easily. No more wasted time searching through endless piles!

If you ever feel like you’re drowning in paper again, remember these tips and get back on track quickly.