Do you have a central location where you store your household documents? If your answer to this is “no”, then what do you do if you have an emergency? If your freezer begins leaking, you find water in your basement, or you hit an unknown button that locks your cable on the HDMI channel, you’ll immediately begin searching for that manual or home insurance document!
Well, here are four quick steps you can take to create an organization system for all those manuals and papers you need in an emergency.
1. Determine What Documents You Need to Include
Gather all the manuals, warranties and paperwork you want to include. Throw away or shred things that you don’t need – including manuals for things you no longer own.
- Electronic manuals and warranties
- Appliance manuals, warranties and service history
- Home insurance documents
2. Choose a System That Works for You
Decide how you will organize the documents. Choose the system that makes sense to you – organize your paperwork in a way that will make it easy to find what you need in an emergency. You may want to organize things according them to the rooms in your home, by the year they were purchased, or even just alphabetically!
Choose an organization system to house the documents. Here are a few suggestions:
- One binder for every room in the house – use poly envelopes to easily store booklet-style papers
- A file box with hanging file folders for each category – this is very easy to maintain! One like this box, sold on Amazon, can be functional and decorative!
- A hanging file drawer or locked cabinet – if you have room in your home office, this is a great option.
3. Organize and Label
Get those papers into your system, and clearly label each section! Make sure you leave room to grow, so that adding new paperwork won’t be a monumental chore.
The success of any organization system depends on your willingness to maintain it. Keep the folders neat and up to date. Set a bi-annual reminder to purge old documents and to add new ones to the system.
I hope this system will help you navigate your next household emergency with less stress! Be sure to visit me at Come Home For Comfort for more organizational tips and ideas.