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Author: LoopinFool One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 37142  
Subject: Re: Paper organization and taxes Date: 4/2/2002 12:11 AM
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<If you have time, would you share how you file your papers? I don't suffer from "clutter" so much as I use my floor to sort papers and leave them there for weeks on end (e.g. I am LAZY).... Do you use portable files or archival file boxes? How do you label your categories, etc.? >

I did the same as the previous post, but a 2 drawer file (extra wide drawers so it holds what 4 drawers do but still is short) and one file per account in hanging files so if I remove the manila file folder I know where to return it.
But we still had tons of mail and stuff that didn't have a home. This year I took many magazine holders (the cardboard foldable kind, now they come in marble colors not just wood grain or gray) and have one per magazine, one for all the professional catalogs, one for continuing education opportunities, one for various mail that I don't want to throw out now but will receive an update later, etc. That way I have my piles, they're just upright and look neater on the shelf and not the floor and the counter and...

For taxes we finally found a system that works for us..."colored file pockets" that expand up to 3.5 inches. These can hold all the related papers etc and it's easy to go to the year we're curious about. We put these on the same shelves as the magazine holders, I guess they'd fit in the file drawers too come to think of it.

As far as how often to file...whatever works for you. I cleared a space to hold about a weeks worth of mail where I read the mail so when this fills up I file it right away theoretically.
Most of what I need for Quicken is on the easy to find filed credit card statement, in our checkbook registers or in our expandable pocket for cash receipts. After years of throwing all receipts into a plastic bag and digging through ALL of them to return something...we now use a 3 expandable-pockets system. One for cash receipts, one for non-returnables (just get them out of the way), and one for returnables. I'm too much of a packrack yet to just throw out the non-returnables. I think now that we've had this system for a year it will be easier to get rid of the receipts we'll never need again...someday.

Best of luck to you! These systems seem to evolve as you discover what YOU need and what works for you.
LoopinFools wife
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