Color Coding Office Organization- Thank Goodness!

I am declaring my new love of color coding after reorganizing my home office mini-file cabinet.   Before I started organizing, it truthfully looked like a paper bomb went off at my desk and the surrounding area.  I am one of those type of people that I am either really organized or just not at all.  There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground with me.  I just couldn’t handle the mess anymore.

I started by organizing all of my paperwork, then I was able to I write out all of the folders I needed.   It looked like I would need 4 main color coded sections.  So, it was off to a trip to Staples.  I bought a 4 pack of hanging file folders that included file tabs and a sheet of labels. Finding a box with a full sheet of labels was important because I wanted all the labels to be typed out.

Here’s the breakdown of my color coding:

  • Blue Folders- Bills & Banking.
    • Monthly Credit Card receipts:  After I reviewed my monthly credit card statement, I shred those receipts except if the item bought has a warranty or was expensive.
    • Big ticket receipts:  I keep these receipts for 1 to 2 years, depending on the cost of the item, warranty, etc. Afterwards the receipts are shredded.
    • Checking/Saving: I keep all of my account statements for one year along with all my paycheck stubs, deposit slips and ATM receipts. Afterwards the receipts are shredded.
    • Credit Card: I keep all of my credit card statements for 1 year then the paperwork is shredded.
    • Taxes:  I keep all of my incoming tax documents in my files until I take them to my CPA.  Then the paperwork is placed in a separate box with all of my tax returns.
    • Investments: I keep all of my investment paperwork for seven years even after it has been sold off then the information is shredded.
    • Safety Deposit Box:  NEW- I keep a list of all the documents at the bank.
  • Yellow Folders- Household Bills.
    • Mortgage:  I pay my mortgage at the bank.  I keep the payment receipts for one year before it is shredded.
    • AT&T U-Verse:  I keep all billing for 1 year before it is shredded.
    • City Utilities:  I keep all billing for 1 year before it is shredded.
    • Auto Expenses:  This includes yearly maintenance, repairs and insurance.  At the end of one year, the file is placed in my “expense box” that is stored away.
    • House Expenses:  This includes any repairs, yearly maintenance and housekeeping.  After 1 year, paperwork is stored in my “expense box”.
    • Medical Expenses:  I keep all of my medical EOB’s (Explanation of Benefits) and match them with the medical expense.  After 1 year, paperwork is stored in my “expense box”.
    • Pet Expenses:  I keep all of the medical bills, lab reports, etc together. After 1 year, paperwork is stored in my “expense box”.
  • Red Folders- Upcoming Events.
    • Vacation:  Once we start planning our summer vacation, it is where our itinerary is kept.  After 1 year, paperwork is stored in my “expense box”.
    • Moving:  I am starting to plan our move to our new house.  We still have quite a while to go but I wanted to get a head start (more information to come shortly).
    • New Home:  I have paperwork from our Lending Bank, Architect and Builder.
  • Green Folders: Personal.
    • Cards:  I would like to make a separate greeting card box but until then I keep all of my cards here.
    • Blogging:  Anytime I have an idea, I keep the notes in my folder until I’m ready to write about it.
    • Photography:  As a family gift this year, my parents bought us a nice camera.  The camera’s manual and my notes (from a YouTube series on all of it’s features) is kept here.
    • Magazine Articles:  This folder consists of pages from my favorite magazines.  When I have time, I look for the articles or information online and then post to my Pinterest Page.
    • The Grain Brain Diet:  My doctor has asked me to follow this particular diet so this is where keep all of my notes and receipts.

How long do you keep all of your bills and paperwork?  Questions or thoughts?  Let me know!