Ah, the dreaded paper chase.
Paperwork. Yes, the race is on at home, too.
But you can win the marathon if you're armed with the latest paper-training techniques. No coach required.
New Year? New Files! As a general rule, get a jump on the paper chase by beginning new folders each year and archiving the past year's folders.
Here's how to organize paperwork at home so you can find what you need when you need it.
Here's how to organize paperwork in your home files:
Create a Household papers cheat sheet. This sheet can be on the computer or in a file. It's a guide to where important household documents can be found.
Car maintenance records. Use this to hold permits, 20,000-mile service receipts, etc.
Home maintenance records. With these records, you'll know the last time you serviced the air conditioner or had the heating vents vacuumed.
Home repairs file. This includes the names and numbers of repair people, contractors, window washers, etc.
Owner's manuals. This file includes directions and receipts for everything in your home, from the coffeemaker to the washing machine.
Organize your receipts and other essential documents in a way that makes them easy for you to grab when you're trying to, say, reconcile your daughter's orthodontic bills with the insurance coverage statements.
Here's a look at what to store and how to keep all the essential papers at your fingertips:
Babysitter file. Here's the place to keep notes and numbers on your favorite sitters, who's in high school, who's in college, their driver's license numbers if they're driving your kids anywhere, and other pertinent information.
Correspondence. Your cards and letters go here.
House sitter/petsitter file. Store recent bills, brochures, recommendations by friends, etc. here.
Medical and dental records. File these by family member.
Pet records. File these by pet, naturally.