good method for filing?

good method for filing?

Joined: October 29th, 2005, 6:29 pm

February 28th, 2012, 12:55 am #1

Does someone have one?

My technique has been to gather what I feel is appropriate paperwork to keep for a year, then shove it in a box. I'm thinking I may need to alter this method after finding 2004-2008 with part of 2009 mixed in one box, well some in another box, and 2009-2010 stuff is in a box, more on the shelf, some on the computer and in the firesafe. I just spent the better part of two hours trying to sort it out and go through files on my computer to ultimately try to correct a tax mistake.

Do you keep years together? Or do you keep all of the same together? like in this case if I had been able to put my hands on my brokerage statements from 2007-present it would have been handy versus digging through each years pile.

And how long do you keep most documents? 7 years? I'm ready to start shredding some of it!
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Joined: October 28th, 2005, 10:05 am

February 28th, 2012, 1:23 am #2

At the start of a new year I write on a big envelope with that year, then I throw everything I think I will need in there, then when I go to do my taxes I bring that and then just file the envelope they give me back... I save 7 years and shred the rest.
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Joined: June 5th, 2006, 5:33 pm

February 28th, 2012, 1:28 am #3

Does someone have one?

My technique has been to gather what I feel is appropriate paperwork to keep for a year, then shove it in a box. I'm thinking I may need to alter this method after finding 2004-2008 with part of 2009 mixed in one box, well some in another box, and 2009-2010 stuff is in a box, more on the shelf, some on the computer and in the firesafe. I just spent the better part of two hours trying to sort it out and go through files on my computer to ultimately try to correct a tax mistake.

Do you keep years together? Or do you keep all of the same together? like in this case if I had been able to put my hands on my brokerage statements from 2007-present it would have been handy versus digging through each years pile.

And how long do you keep most documents? 7 years? I'm ready to start shredding some of it!
I put those plastic sheet protectors in them, the kind that the sheet slides into the pocket, and put stuff in order according to what form it goes on. Like W-2's are first, bank interest 2nd, etc.

Have I ever mentioned that I am anal?

------
The road to success is always under construction.
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Joined: October 29th, 2005, 6:29 pm

February 28th, 2012, 1:34 am #4

that sounds like a lot of effort! One year of my stuff wouldn't fit in a brad folder - each year is about 1-2 inches thick. I guess the majority of it is farm-estate related, so I could probably separate that out pretty easily and organize the rest. That's an idea...
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Joined: June 5th, 2006, 5:33 pm

February 28th, 2012, 1:42 am #5

Makes it so easy when it's time to take stuff to the accountant.

I don't put all the sales receipts in there though, I have a manilla envelope for those. I don't have that many receipts to keep up with though. I guess if I did, I'd write the total on the front of the envelope before putting the receipt in, and then I could just add the numbers at the end of the year.

------
The road to success is always under construction.
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Joined: May 24th, 2006, 7:54 pm

February 29th, 2012, 6:54 am #6

Does someone have one?

My technique has been to gather what I feel is appropriate paperwork to keep for a year, then shove it in a box. I'm thinking I may need to alter this method after finding 2004-2008 with part of 2009 mixed in one box, well some in another box, and 2009-2010 stuff is in a box, more on the shelf, some on the computer and in the firesafe. I just spent the better part of two hours trying to sort it out and go through files on my computer to ultimately try to correct a tax mistake.

Do you keep years together? Or do you keep all of the same together? like in this case if I had been able to put my hands on my brokerage statements from 2007-present it would have been handy versus digging through each years pile.

And how long do you keep most documents? 7 years? I'm ready to start shredding some of it!
I use an accordian file to keep paid bills in. I put electric in one slot, another has Visa bill, another has cell phone, etc. At the end of the year I take each group and lay them flat and staple them. Of course I am anal too so I have to put them in order; Jan-Dec. All my medical bills are together, even all my paystubs. Yes, I have a stapler that goes through a lot of paper.

I print out my Quicken files of cash/visa account and checks which are categorized by what area the money goes to, like grocery, christmas, et. This gets stapled too.

I put all my papers into a cardboard box and label it Taxes and the year. I don't really put it in any special order, it goes neatly in the box and on a shelf in the cellar. This way I can use the accordian file for the new year. I used to use plastic boxes with covers and a mouse still got in somehow and chewed on papers and pooped in one year. Never know there are THREE cats in this house!

I keep everything for 10 years because of my job.
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