The world gets more digital with each passing year — but even with electronic records, most still prefer to keep paper records of important documents just in case.
Still, organizing and storing paperwork is a hassle. You’ve got plenty of different kinds:
- Tax forms
- Financial documents
- Estate materials (like your will)
- Medical information
- Instruction manuals
And that’s just scratching the surface.
Without a good method of storing and organizing your paperwork, you might never be able to find what you need, when you need it.
To that end, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can organize your paperwork in 2021. Try one or more of these to cut the time and stress associated with digging for documents.
1. An Organizer Box
First, let’s start with one of the most obvious options — a box, like this file organizer from JSungo. Just label each of your file folders for different types of documents, then store each document in its proper location.
This JSungo product is no ordinary box, though. It folds! When you’re not using it, you can fold it up to save space.
2. Desktop Wire Organizer
Whether you work from home or just enjoy spending time in a home study/office, it’s nice to have certain documents within arm’s reach.
If that’s you, a desktop document organizer might be right up your alley. These handy little contraptions offer several shelves on which you can store documents. Dedicate each shelf to a different type of document, then put a folder for each one on each shelf.
Plus, many come with a bottom shelf that offers more vertical space. You can use this to store blank paper, a calculator, a stapler, and other office supplies to keep your desk nice and tidy.
3. Magazine File Folders
Got some paperwork you won’t need to check for a long while? You can store them away for the long-term while adding some style to the room with some magazine file folders.
These are affordable yet useful methods of storage, allowing you to tuck away plenty of documents in a space-efficient manner. They look nice, too, as you can only see the backs of them once you put them into their resting place in the room.
Everyone has vital documents they can’t afford to lose. This might be your will, Social Security card, birth certificate, and so on.
You want to provide the highest level of protection and safety for these pieces of paper.
For that, a lockbox or, even better, a safe would be your best choice.
Look for safes that are waterproof, fireproof, and able to be bolted down to the floor. That way, neither the elements nor people can harm or take away the documents contained within.
Nowadays, you have plenty of options for how you access the safe. Some are lock only, others have a manual lock and a keypad. Still others offer biometric features, meaning you can access your safe with a thumbprint. Most have some combination of these.
Of course, safe’s are great places to contain other valuables, like jewelry, precious metals, and items of high sentimental value.
5. A Lockbox-Bag Hybrid
Have some important documents you need to take with you on the go? A regular lockbox would be unwieldy, but a normal bag or box wouldn’t be secure enough.
That’s why you should consider investing in a lockable document bag — one that’s fireproof and waterproof. These bags are durable with strong, stable handles and a strap for carrying over the shoulder.
They can fit plenty of important documents, yet they’re lightweight and comfortable to carry. Plus, they don’t look too conspicuous. People will think you’re toting around a normal bag.
Then, when you need to store it, they’re compact and foldable. Perfect for keeping in the office and carrying around alike.