I've been sick so got behind, so have decided to do weeks 12 and 13 in one post. They are highly related so it makes sense. Week 12 is about creating a personal tax organiser system and receipts and week 13 is to organise files in your home. The filing I have been sorting out for a few weeks. It is a job that takes a very long time, but at the end of the day you don't have much to show for it! My current filing system leaves a little to be desired. Generally I would spend about a day going through the files, purging and reorganising. Every time I say to myself I'm NEVER going to let it get to that stage again - but what do you know, of course I do. Here is the look of my filing cabinet a few weeks ago.
All the filing is stored in a green basked - just waiting for someone (who am I kidding - me) to file it away! I think a lot of my procrastination at filing was the set up of my filing cabinet. Sure I had files for the main areas, e.g banking, bills, car, work related, superannuation, insurance and so on. In the bottom shelf I had files from A-Z. This was confusing, as sometimes I would file something under a different letter (e.g. our holiday club would sometimes go under L - for Laguna Holiday Club, or A for Allamanda Vacation club or H for holiday club). I could never find things when I needed them, and it found it hard to file.
During this challenge I've had a huge purge - gone through all the files on top and rearranged my filing cabinet. I've separated out the big ticket files - e.g.car now has a folder for each car, insurance now has a folder for each policy, superannuation has a folder for Nigel and a folder for myself, banking has a folder for each account and so on. The bills I've decided can be in a annual folder. I've kept all bills from 2011 and they are in one folder - then there is a new folder for 2012 (I didn't feel the need to sort them into months as per the challenge).
I've now got a separate folder for tax documents and receipts. For some reason I didn't think of doing this and always struggled at tax time. Luckily for me in Australia we don't do our taxes until after the financial year June 30 - so I've still got a little time to sort it out - but I think it will be easier this year- and definitely easier next year as I use the new folder for the whole year.
I've made a separate folder for each of us in the family to put personal things related to us - it's a bit of a miscellaneous for each individual.
I got rid of the A-Z system, and instead put things under major headings- I haven't found a piece of paper that doesn't have a grouping yet - but have decided if I find something I don't know how to file then either a) I don't really need it, or b) I will make a miscellaneous file!
I've made a folder for all receipts (day to day things - I have a separate folder for big ticket items to store with their warranties). I've labelled plastic sleeves with the dates of the receipts which go from 23-22nd of each month - as that's when my credit card statement goes from, e.g. 23rd March until 22nd April. I've asked hubby to put every receipt into the correct sleeve so I can check against credit card statement each month.
I'm feeling happier about the setup - and hope to either file each piece of paper as it comes, or at least weekly during my bill paying time. I should never see a pile of files like the first picture again.
This is what it looks like now (and A LOT cleaner inside too).