Important documents are so important that when you need them, they are impossible to find…. With time, the number of documents can only grow, so it is better to find a way to store them all in one place. We suggest how to do it!
What do I actually store?
There’s a good chance that some of your paper pile is full of faded receipts, advertising brochures or ATM printouts from a few years ago. First consider which documents you can throw away and which you should keep and for how long
You can certainly get rid of informational and advertising materials that you have long since studied or that you have no intention of using at all. The same goes for receipts for equipment whose warranty period has expired. ATM printouts, on the other hand, are worth keeping until you receive your monthly bank statement.
Documents that should be kept at least for a while or those that are almost “forever” should be categorized by the length of time you may need them.
That is, all those documents that may come in handy at any point in our lives, such as
- birth, marriage, and death certificates,
- diplomas and certificates of education,
- medical records,
- notarial deeds, especially title deeds to a plot of land, house or apartment,
- pension certificates,
- employment certificates
These are documents that do not expire and we should take care of an appropriate place for them, which we can access at any time and in which they will not be destroyed.
Documents for at least several years
These are documents such as property contracts (in the case of rent), car and other expensive items that you will use for years, as well as contracts with providers of services that you currently use, such as the Internet, television, energy, telephone, insurance policies and documents from the Tax Office. It’s worth knowing that you should keep your PITs, bills and statements for 5 years. Receipts of payments such as rent, electricity, gas or utilities should be kept for 3 years. Most contracts can be kept until they expire.
Documents such as passports, medical cards and identification cards should be kept in a place where they are easy to reach.
How and where to store documents?
We have a lot of options to choose from. From traditional folders, through binders, to functional boxes. Let’s look through them one by one, so that we can find out which product will suit us best and which will work well with particular documents
File folders with compartments
Apart from traditional coloured folders with rubber bands or white folders with binding, the market offers us more and more practical products. We can reach for folders with compartments, otherwise known as accordion folders, which are perfect for various types of agreements – in such folders we can sort them by categories.
Another option are so-called suspension files, for which we do not necessarily have to buy a metal chest with drawers – it is enough to obtain a special container for suspension files or a box of appropriate size, on the edges of which we can hang such files.
It’s a proven and practical way to store papers but it’s best for documents related to a specific issue. For example all documents related to your car can be placed in one file, those related to your apartment – in another. In this way, it will be easier for us to find a particular document. It would be difficult to find, for example, the lease agreement of an apartment among the car insurance policies.
Boxes and organizers
A good way to store documents, especially the most important ones, for extra protection, are boxes or organizers. You shouldn’t, however, throw papers loose in them, because a mess can form and it will be difficult to find individual documents further on. Boxes and organizers are best used to place individual folders with already segregated documents, so that you can collect them all in one place and be able to put them on a shelf or in a cabinet.
In addition, it is a good idea to protect the most important documents with plastic sleeves to protect them from dirt or tears. It is best to have a separate cabinet or shelf for all important papers – this will be beneficial both in terms of protecting them and organizing them.