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How to organize your important documents

And we’re talking about paper documents, not the digital documents that you can store in hierarchical folders. Over the years you must have gathered a big pile of documents in the form of memos, invoices, credit card bills, various certificates and even important brochures and flyers. Although you can keep postponing organizing them but eventually you’ll have to. Organizing basically means putting things in such a manner that they don’t create clutter, and you can retrieve important stuff as and when you want it.

In order to organize your important documents first of all you need to decide what’s actually important. As you keep stacking them up soon you cannot figure what you need and what you don’t need. There are some documents that you’ll always need like birth, death, medical and marriage certificates, your various school and college degrees, your tax returns, your various contracts and legal documents. Then there might be some documents you’re saving just because the information they contain (and that can be easily transferred to your computer or USB drive). Not organizing your documents doesn’t just mean you cannot access them when you need them, it also means they can get stolen and you won’t even realize that for a very long time, and by that time it’ll be too late. So before you begin to organize your important documents, get rid of those that are not.

You can start organizing your documents by scanning as many of them as possible. Although you’ll always need their paper copies, it’s a good idea to have digital copies of all your critical documents. If the task seems monumental, stretch it over a few weeks. Scan only 10-15 documents at a time. This can help if you just need to store information.

Read more at HowStuffWorks.