• Cath Moore

Filing Doesn't Have To Be A Drag!

Updated: Sep 6, 2018

The key to successful household filing is to create a foolproof system and have the discipline to use it!


An overcomplicated filing system is off-putting to use and will quickly be abandoned in favour of chaotic piling. Aim for something simple and easy to keep up. A good tip is to divide your paperwork into broad categories and then only subdivide further if absolutely necessary. All households are different but the following categories are useful as a guide:

  1. Vital Personal Docs: Passports/Driving Licence/ID/Birth/Death/Marriage/Civil Partnership/Divorce/Adoption Certificates & Wills

  2. Work & Tax: Employment Contract, Tax Docs (Tax Code P60s/P45s etc), Payslips

  3. Banking: Account Details & Statements

  4. Pensions: Annuities & Life Insurance Policies

  5. House: Mortgage or Rental Agreement/Deeds/Statements/Insurance

  6. Utilities: Gas/Electricity/Water/Broadband/TV/Phone

  7. Education: School/College/University

  8. Medical/Health: Insurance & Record of Treatments

  9. Car: Tax/MOT/Financial/Servicing/Insurance/Recovery

  10. Leisure: Clubs & Memberships

  11. Travel: VISAs/Insurance/Upcoming Travel Bookings

  12. Financial Investments - Premium Bonds/Stocks/Shares/ISAs/JISAs etc.

  13. Home Certification - Planning Permission & Buildings Control Docs

Lockable cabinets are perfect for filing (I prefer the type with multiple shallow drawers which you can clearly label with stickers) but if you don’t have the floor space or budget then a shelf of labelled magazine/box files will work fine. If you feel you need to subdivide some categories then use transparent plastic wallets for this purpose and clearly label each one.


  1. Gather all paperwork that needs filing onto a large flat surface.

  2. Divide your paperwork into piles based on the categories which comprise your filing system - car, banking, work etc.

  3. Sort each pile by date so that the most recent communication is at the top.

  4. Take each pile and place it directly into the drawer, file or wallet you dedicated for the category. The simple beauty of this is that the most recent contents stay at the top of the drawer or file where they are easiest to access.

  5. When a drawer or file becomes full (or at least once a year) go through the whole contents and remove and shred any obsolete paperwork.

Make sure you schedule time for filing every week to prevent overwhelm.

I hope this advice will help you keep your filing process quick and easy. If you feel you need more practical assistance creating a system, or you're burdened by a backlog of filing that you can't face alone, then please get in touch, I can help you Rule Your Roost!