So now that the taxes are done (well, OUR taxes are done…are yours?) I find myself overrun with paperwork. You know, all the files you’ve been filling for the past year? They’re all full. Your filing cabinet is full. And now you’re throwing 2014 in with 2013 and everything needs to be reorganized…but where are you going to put all those extra papers?
Allow me to make a suggestion: invest in a good scanner!
It’s really as simple as that! This time of the year, I take our files (one at a time, so I don’t get overwhelmed) and I scan them all digitally onto an external drive. They’re added to the rest of the years of files I’ve done the exact same thing with. All nice and organized, right where I can find them.
This makes future endeavors much easier, believe me. For instance:
Last week it suddenly dawned on me: Oh my goodness, I think we’re behind on the immunizations for the cat! (Which really isn’t good, since she gave my hubby a pretty nasty bite a couple weeks ago…LONG story…not really the cat’s fault…**SIGH**) Anyways, I was already on the computer, and in about 2 minutes flat I had located her medical files and called the clinic to schedule her an appointment for shots. (She’s gonna be SO ticked.)
But the point is, I didn’t have to stop what I was doing, go dig through the filing cabinet, search for her folder and then find the paperwork I was looking for. It was all right there on my drive. I had named, filed, categorized and cross-categorized the digital files, so all I had to do was a quick search. Document found and opened in just seconds!
Sure, it takes a little bit of work at the beginning of the year to scan, but it’s totally worth it in the end! Oh, two more tips:
1. BACK UP WHATEVER DRIVE YOU’RE SCANNING TO. You don’t want to lose any valuable documents!
2. SHRED ALL THE DOCUMENTS AFTER YOU FINISH SCANNING THEM. No need to have any identity theft to deal with!
So what about you? How do YOU manage your paperwork during this season?