Now that we’re in the getting-organised phase of the new year, there’s no better time to get the paperwork sorted. Kya deLongchamps offers some quick hack.
It's not the big, occasional disasters that drag us down in our daily domestic round, it’s the sly poke of time-wasting. Take, for instance, looking for things.
Now, here I have to rely on a US statistic, but I have no reason to believe that we Irish are any different, in essence. The average American spends 2.5 days a year looking for things (2017 Lost & Found Survey commissioned by Pixie — a device you can stick onto your stuff to find it with your phone — getpixie.com).
Objects with size and distinguishing form are one thing — but diaphanous white A4 paper has to be the curse of St Jude’s waking hours in heaven.
For most families, the old solution of a single large filing cabinet works perfectly, but only if you housekeep this area regularly, file systematically and move older paperwork out to accommodate the new.
Place a three-tier tray for that week’s new arrivals on the top of the cabinet or right beside it, and deal with it that week.
By Friday the tray should be empty. Super organisers may only need a single tray.
Only you can decide what suits your habits and situation, but at the very least, choose box files to sort the paper river into logical categories, once it has been sorted in your three-tier tray.
Box files: Good quality box files contain a large clip which holds the paperwork in place, and sitting up in book form on a shelf, they are space saving and neat in a matching set.
Three to four boxes, divided into Financial, Personal, Health, Home & Insurance are reasonable choices, but do what works for you. Obviously, sorting by date allows you to find pieces of information quickly, as needed. Hold files in place with vertical dividers on shelving or invest in a Fellowes R-Kive® banker’s box system into which you can slide four standard boxes. €18 from any good office supply outlet.
Filling Cabinet: A filing cabinet, micromanaged by drawer, is the next step up.
You can use boxes, hanging files or simple paper folders inside the cabinet, and locked, it’s a more protected environment for sensitive information in the event of disaster (bar flooding I’m afraid).
Argos do a good two-drawer black and silver cabinet, suited to 30 hanging files per drawer, plenty for most homeowners. It’s fully assembled and comes with two keys, €75 (€150 for the doubled up four drawer version). Stick a Fellowes I-Spire Series File Sorter on the top of the cabinet — job done.
File boxes: Argos also offer A4 metal file boxes too, complete with 24 suspension files, ID tabs, €26.99. Viking and Hunt Office have a vast selection of boxes and cabinets in terms of veneers and colours, by Bisley, Pierre Henry and Alco, viking.ie, huntoffice.ie.
My money’s on a tall vertical desk top/under desk filing unit with slender multi-drawers to file paper flat. These efficiently micro-manage useful categories of paperwork, allowing you to find what you need with just one pull out of one drawer. 10-15 drawer examples from €65.
For larger cabinets, consider if you might want to move the unit, and throw in a caster base (around €20 for a Bisley model).
Box files, small cabinets and chic flight-case styles of portable containers are not physically secured by weight, and in the event of a fire or break-in, your passport, personal and investment records are at risk.
Double combination locks can be carried off with the box and cracked later.
VITAL RECORDS TO STORE
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