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How to simplify your filing in one easy step


& FILED IN Home Info


Filing is one of those jobs that most of us put off for a variety of reasons, but mostly because we make it too complicated and burdensome to do regularly. Today I want to take you through a really quick and easy way to set up your filing so that it becomes much less of a hassle for you – and so that you can get it done in a much simpler way.

How to simplify your filing with one easy trick (filing tip)

The issue that most of us have with our filing is that we over complicate it, and whenever something is complicated or difficult to use, it automatically puts us off doing it.

We try and avoid the stress of the task completely, and that’s when the piles start building.

What happens then is that you need to find a document and have to go through the “TO FILE” piles in their entirety to find what you need. Not ideal.

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It really doesn’t have to be this way, and if you start to simplify your filing it can make everything so much easier.

I wrote a post a while back on making things easy to put away.

This post talked about the fact that you are much more likely to spend time finding things when you need them rather than spend time putting things away after you need them, because the need has gone and there is no urgency left.

Filing is exactly the same, and understanding this is critical to being able to set up a system that can really work for you, and one that is really simple to use.

If you make your filing easier to put away than to get out, then you are on the right track!

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For an example – think about these two scenarios related to Car documents and see which you would prefer to use.

Scenario #1 –

A filing cabinet set up with the following folders – and a set for each car in the household:-

  • MOT certificate
  • Car Tax
  • Car Insurance
  • Car servicing
  • Car purchase info
  • Breakdown information

For two cars in a family, then you would have to have at least 12 files in the cabinet, taking up a lot of space and adding an extra step to filing documents away as you have to find the right documents for each file.


Scenario #2 –

One folder that has all car related information in it – labelled “CAR INFO”

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Scenario #1 has more specific folders, whereas Scenario #2 has one single general folder per category.

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Why general folders work well

Setting up scenario 2 would be a lot easier than scenario 1 – it would take up less space in the filing cabinet which could be used for the actual documents (one of the main issues with filing cabinets is that they run out of space too quickly), and having less files means you can file away one large group of documents at once rather than lots of smaller groups.

Overall – having more generalised files rather than specific ones can save time and energy when it comes to filing things away – which is usually where the sticking point comes in most homes.

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Why more specific folders work well

When it came to getting a document that was needed, then scenario 1 would of course take less time as you can scan and grab the exact file you need.

But as I said before, when you need something, you don’t mind spending an extra couple of minutes if necessary to find it.

I am saving time where I know I will be having to spend it, and balancing this with having to spend a little more time getting documents as and when needed.

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Which would you prefer?

I know that I would prefer to use scenario #2, as I am positive that I will have to spend time filing all those documents, but am not sure how often (if ever) I will have to get the documents back out again.

The other reason I prefer scenario #2 is that with a simpler filing system I am much more likely to actually get round to filing the documents away, and it will be a lot quicker to go through the “CAR” file to find what I want than it would be to rummage through the pile(s) of filing waiting to happen because I can’t face filing into a complicated system.

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This simple trick will help make filing things away so much quickly and easier - you'll never be left with lots of piles of filing again! Paperwork control and filing tricks and tipsSo – if you are stuck looking at your filing piles and wondering why they are building up – take a look at your filing system and see if it’s too complicated.

Making it simpler may be all you need to make the filing happen.

How do you file your documents? Do you find it hard and does your filing pile up? Please leave a comment below as I’d love to know…

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If you liked this article, you'll love theSE TOO:

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STEP ONE - Take the FREE quiz & find out how organised you are right now.

STEP TWO - I'll help show you what to do first to make the most impact the quickest - based on the quiz results...