I file our household papers the same way I file the company books. Bills that are reacuring always have their own folder and are labeled accordingly ei. Phone, gas, power ect. Have a file at the back for misc. bills that you still need to keep but don't have a place for them. All the monthly bills are at the front of the filing cabinet and I have the income tax, paystubs, ROE's at the back(because they are important). Remember you always file with the newest bill at the front. If you don's have a filing cabinet you can always use an accordian file.
I use 3-ring binders for filing instead of file folders. It's too easy to take a folder out and forget to put it back! I have a binder for each of my 3 teenagers (for school information, driver's training, etc.) I also have one for insurance, pets, banking, automobiles, bill paying, and medical records. I use tabs to label sections within the binder; e.g., one tab for each car, etc. I have these binders on a shelf in the room where I pay the bills. I also have an accordion-type folder where I file the monthly paperwork after paying bills like gas, electric and cable, one month in each slot. There's a special slot for tax-related receipts so those are handy when tax-time comes around. I keep mortgage and car loan paperwork in the bill-paying binder.
Label your folders like the Yellow Pages: Insurance, Auto; Insurance, Home; Insurance, Medical; etc. that way all the insurance files are together, all the credit card statements, and utilities are filed by each other.
First of all, try to really determine what "important" is. I think all of us keep a lot more than we really need. For insurance papers (i.e. doctor visits and follow-up insurance statements) I have a folder for each person in the family. We don't go that often, but if there is a problem or discrepancy on a statement, I have each particular illness or check-up filed together. I always put the most recent in front. Of course, you want life insurance policies, credit card information, etc. easily accessible. You may want a folder that says "Credit Card Statements" and put all of them in there for a year and then if you really think you still need them, put them in a shoebox or other box to keep until you feel comfortable shredding them.
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