By Storage Contributor Tom Lewis

Even though the world is trying to go paper less, it is important that you still keep tangible copies of some things and keep those things well organized. Each and every day we bring more and more paper into our homes whether we like it or not. Many documents like bills and receipts are necessary to hang on to for a multitude of reasons. Don’t be that guy who takes in a trash bag full of receipts to and audit—organize all of your important papers. Whether it be for tax purposes or proof for potential discrepancies, it is important to keep a current, and organized, filing system. There are many ways to organize your papers, so we’ll just share a few of our favorite tips with you.

First, consider using hanging files in a drawer or cabinet. Hanging files are incredibly convenient. It takes a matter of minutes to label the tops of folders.  Create folders for things like important government documents like birth certificates, marriage licenses, and even passports. Make a folder for each monthly bill you pay so you can store your statement. A folder for each family member should be set up to house important papers and documents. We even encourage you to make a folder for each pet that you have to keep their records straight.

If you don’t have the space for hanging files, consider using an accordion folder. Accordion folders also have labeled tabs to help you organize your papers. You can find folders with a variety of pocket numbers. There are ones with as few as five tabs to keep things stored under broad topics or you can have as many as twenty to even more intricately sort your documents.

You can also consider purchasing a specialized container for your documents. You can get something cheap and simple like a plastic storage container just to keep your things together and to prevent damage. Also, you could invest in a safe or a fire resistant box for added protection for your most important items. When using containers instead of hanging files in a desk or large filing cabinet, you get the bonus of mobility out of your storage solution.

Even though you have many things stored electronically, it is still advisable to keep a hard copy of your important things. Technology can be unpredictable. With that in mind, we suggest you print out important documents and statements and store them in a safe place. You never know when there might be an audit on your finances or you might have a discrepancy in a payment. Having a well organized filing system for your paperwork will make those tough moments in life a little bit easier.

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