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Filing, Filing, Purging, Organizing…

February 1st, 2018

I developed a great filing system years ago, it works well for me. However, I have about 15 years worth of personal and business files that I need to purge. Tax returns and a few other important documents will be saved, all else will be shredded.

I’ve been going through boxes little by little, with this I resolved to be ruthless about what I save and file, only the essential items. I also need to make a master list, in case something happens to me, it will make life much easier for those that have to deal with all the finances.

After dealing with my mom’s death last summer, I realize the importance of streamlining filing systems, purging frequently, and having a master list of all important accounts. My mom didn’t do this, and unfortunately the responsibility has landed on me to figure it all out. Going through 50 boxes of files to make sure nothing of importance is in them take countless hours. Not having a master list of retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other important things makes it frustrating to try to find out what’s current and what’s not. If you haven’t done this, please consider doing it. Exchange lists with a trusted friend or family member. Have someone that knows exactly where things can be found.

How’s your filing system? Do you keep a master list of all important accounts and information?

5 Comments to “Filing, Filing, Purging, Organizing…”
  1. KM on February 1, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Would you mind sharing what your filing strategy is? Ours is chaotic and any ideas/methodologies would be great. Thanks for your wonderful blog!

    Reply to KM's comment

    • Susy on February 6, 2018 at 8:47 pm

      I’ll have to write up a post about this specifically since you’re not the first to request it.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Nebraska Dave on February 2, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Susy, it’s always a good idea to purge. I keep records for seven years unless they are life documents like birth certificates, insurance policies, will, etc. Every thing else for the year gets put in a box for that year. It is saved for seven years and then ground up and disposed of. In all my years of life, I’ve never had to go back and find some thing from those boxes.They are not very organized so I’m glad that I didn’t.

    Have a great purging day.

    Nebraska Dave

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  3. elizabeth on February 3, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    I would love to hear more about how you’ve streamlined your filing system.

    Reply to elizabeth's comment

  4. Marina on February 5, 2018 at 8:13 am

    I do the same thing as Nebraska Dave.
    In the last few years I’ve become less diligent about purging, your reminder and my recent recent concussion from slipping on ice for some reason are urging me to get to it when I get better.
    I think being organized is a bit like taking your umbrella on a cloudy day: you may never need it!

    Reply to Marina's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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