When organizing a home office or household command center, it’s important to have a very organized filing system. Papers and important documents need to be organized in such a way that every family member can use it.
Unfortunately, most file systems only make sense to the person who does the filing. That, my friends, is not smart!
As yourself this question: Will my spouse, my children, or other family members know where to find important documents in my absence?
If the answer is yes, then you are good to go!
If the answer is no, then let me tell you about a filing system that has completely revolutionized the way I organize papers.
The Freedom Filer
In the past, I struggled knowing where to file almost every single piece of paper that came into my house.
If a document could be filed in 2 or more categories, I never knew which one to choose. I would inevitably choose one category the first time that type of paper needed to be filed and I would chose the other category the next time. I never seemed to choose the same file folder twice.
File folder names can make or break a filing system.
Trying to figure out the perfect file name had me constantly tweaking my personal filing system. When I needed to retrieve a document, I wasn’t sure where to look since I couldn’t remember the exact name of the file or which category I used.
At the start of each new year I wasn’t sure if I should make new folders or just co-mingle with the previous year. I was completely overwhelmed when dealing with paperwork and almost gave up.
That is, until I found the Freedom Filer.
Not to be too dramatic but the Freedom Filer seriously changed my life when it comes to household and business paperwork.
- The Freedom Filer has an “Active” area and a “Resource” area. The active area holds documents you need to keep during the current year like monthly documents, bills and receipts, W2, 1099, and other tax documents. The resource area organized documents you need to keep but don’t retrieve often. You know, marriage and birth certificates, wills and trusts, insurance information, home records, auto records, education records, family history, tax documents from previous years, and just about anything else you can think of.
- The Active and Resource categories are broken down into every conceivable subject. There are the obvious file categories. But there are also folders for random things like “ideas” for all those things you eventually want to do, and “coupons” for those monthly fliers you get in the mail.
- The monthly and tax categories have 2 sets of labels…one for odd years and one for even years. Think about how brilliant this is for the transition period between the January 1 and April 15 tax season. After taxes are submitted there’s even a place to file documents for a decade…or forever if you’re more comfortable with that.
- An easy to use instruction guide is included to walk you through the process of setting up your files. This is extremely helpful!
- A reference section is included to help you figure out where to put a document in case you forget or are deciding between 2 folders.
- There are 5 reference cards available that can be used by you (or anyone else in your absence) to figure out where important documents are located.
- Freedom Filer sends monthly and yearly email reminders so you rotate and purge files regularly.
See the Freedom Filer in action here:
Being a do-it-yourself, frugal kind of gal, I tried my hardest not to spend the $30-$40 needed for these labels. I used my precious time trying to find out the categories and labels in this system so I could replicate it instead of actually getting organized. I should have just bought Freedom Filer to begin with and moved on with my life!
Again, if you have a system that works for you, then definitely keep using it!! But if you’re looking for a super easy way to get your papers organized once and for all, then I can’t recommend the FreedomFiler enough. It really is the easiest way I’ve found to keep business, personal, or random paperwork organized.
You can read about my complete home office remodel here.
Affiliate links included.