Creating a Home Filing System sounds pretty simple but I hear and see so many people struggling with this task.
Home Filing System – what to keep, what to toss, how to set things up and the biggest task of all – maintaining your home filing system.
If you do not have a home filing system with everything in one place then you need to start by creating a list of all the items that you know or believe are needed for you and your family.
Here is a comprehensive list of examples that I use when working with my clients PLUS a few action tips to help you.
• Home Phone
• Property Taxes
• Auto Insurance
Optional: I only keep these records until the next bill arrives and I shred unless it can be deducted as a business expense.
• An action file is created and labelled: Bills to be paid. Once paid they are placed in a Paid Bills file. I file into the appropriate file or shred what is not necessary to keep.
Household Manuals & Warranties:
• Home Theatre System
• DVD Player
• Washer & Dryer
• Stove & Refrigerator
• Vacuum Cleaning System
• Carpet Cleaner
• Home Telephone
• Cell Phones
• All- in- One, Fax/scanner/printer
• iPads or Tablets
• iPods and other small electronic games and devices
(Place the book, the receipt(s), warranty, extended warranty, etc. all in an individual file folder labelled for each product)
Really like Simplicity? Place in a clear zip lock
so you can see the name of the item.
No Labelling Involved.
Just Place them in the Hanging folder i.e. Electronics
• Benefits Forms-i.e. dental, prescription, medical, etc.
• Driver’s Licenses
• Marriage License
• Divorce Decree
• Birth Certificates
• Death Certificates
• Social Insurance Number (S.I.N.)
• Miscellaneous Benefits Forms-i.e. dental, prescription, medical, etc.
• Registration fees
• Memberships in accredited or professional associations
Personal Tax Records:
• Tax Slips
• RSP contributions
• Canada Pension plan contributions
• Company Pension Plan
• Power of Attorney
• Property Taxes
• MPAC-property assessment
• Property Deed
• Mortgage Documents
• Home Sale/Purchase Agreements
• Rental Agreements
• Credit Card Agreements & associated PIN information
• Line of Credit Agreements
• Secured Lines of Credit Agreements
• Bank account(s) documents
• Life Insurance
• Registered Investments:
• RSP’s, GIC’s, Canada Savings Bonds
• Non-Registered Investments
Many of the items above like bills, warranties, etc. can be stored electronically. If you have this option for home and/or business I recommend it but back it up!
It saves you time, money and storage space
in your home or office and most often is
much easier and simpler to access.
There is no right or wrong way to setting up a home filing system. A system that works for you and your family allows you to find what you need when you need.
If you like you can follow the above example list using the titles as your tabs that can be attached to a hanging file folder and create a file folder for each category or even a combination of a few categories. And change the tabs and names of categories that make sense to you.
Now that you know what you need for your system, collect the items or call the necessary offices or experts to get the pertinent document(s) you need.
And finally, the last step: Maintaining your home filing system is simple. Each time you buy something new i.e. electronics or appliances replace the old manual, etc. with the new information.
Anytime you update your insurance, investments, etc. or receive an update replace the old information with the new, if it is no longer in affect.
Do this with all the items in your home filing system. And once a year purge your system. There are always things that get overlooked or you ran out of time to purge. It’s okay…when you run out of room this will be a reminder for you to purge.
I usually do this in January as I prepare for the tax man and set up my new business systems. I go through the home filing system at the same time and toss and shred all those items that are no longer needed.
If you want or need the items but you do not require easy access to them archive them to a storage area so you will have enough space and all your important documents at your finger tips.