An easy-to-follow filing system makes it easier to find what you need and, come tax time, provides records without a stressful weekend of digging through papers.
STEP 1: Getting Started
Sort documents into logical groups, then start digitizing the documents from one of the groups (something like a vehicle, your home, or former tax returns). Once you finish up that group, move on to the next.
STEP 2: Digitize Everything
Free up space at home and reduce clutter/confusion. Unless you are required to keep a physical copy of a document, shred it securely after recording it.
STEP 3: Develop an Electronic Folder System
Make it easy to navigate your documents by getting in the habit of digitizing and immediately filing items electronically as you receive them in the future.
STEP 4: Switch to Digital First (Where You Can)
Wherever possible, opt out of paper statements or invoices. Many places provide you with the option of receiving statements via email or a secure portal in digital form. Some items aren’t digital yet, so find a safe place for them.