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Paycheck Chronicles

Keeping Record & Filing Straight

I'm curious, folks, how you organize and move your financial records and important papers.  I'm not sure my current system is right, and I'd love to hear what you do.

Over the years, my filing system has evolved from file folders, to an accordion file, to a mixture of each, then back to file folders.  They have all been adequate, but nothing has been great.  I think that the problem is that some files only need space for a few pieces of paper, and other files require sub-files and stacks of documents.

Right now, I'm working on a file folder/binder hybrid:  smaller stuff goes in the file folder, more complicated things (like taxes) get binders (with color coded tabs and printed out labels, I am an office supply geek.).  I love binders but they are not the right tool for everything.  I also have a box for receipts.  In theory, they get sorted through and filed in a small coupon-type file envelope but really they just usually stay in the box.

Then we reached the move, and I couldn't decide what needed to go with me and what could be packed in our household goods.  Because we were not driving, I couldn't just throw my file box in the car like I usually would.  I ended up taking a separate suitcase with our most recent tax documents and important documents like birth certificates and passports.  I had my mother-in-law take all the documents relating to our houses, like deeds and mortgage releases, home to be kept safe at her house.

I'm curious what methods y'all use to store your papers, what you hand-carry and what you let be packed, and how you deal with papers and moving.  As I sit here facing my suitcase o' papers, I think that there has got to be a better way.

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