documentsIt’s the beginning of a new year, the cycle starts all over again. It’s also time to think about filling our income tax forms for the past year. That April deadline can sneak up on you, so it’s better to get ahead of the game and start working on it now. Whether you fill out your own forms, or engage a tax preparation service, you need to gather all the required documents in order to complete the task of filling out the forms.

In order to gather these documents, you need to know where they are. If you have a great filing system that is easy to maintain, no problem, you can go right to the correct file and voila, you’re done! However, if you have piles of paper here, there and everywhere, this might be quite a challenge to find what you need. This of course could be the case for any document you’re looking for.

I recently came across the following statistic, “The average person spends 6 weeks per year searching for misplaced information.”~North Carolina’s Brunswick Beacon. Actually, I was surprised the number was so low. Since paper clutter seems to be one of the biggest organizing challenges for almost everyone, a good filing system is the foundation you need to get your paper clutter under control. If you struggle with your paper piles, and let filing go until you are overwhelmed and don’t do anything at all, it’s time to invest in a filing system that works for you.

There are some good filing systems out there and you could do the research to find out which one is right for you, or you could save some time and check out my favorite maintenance free filing system, the FreedomFiler system. This system is self-purging to eliminate the need to periodically clean out and reorganize your files, a task that everyone dreads! Since I began using it, I can find documents easily, and filing doesn’t pile up which saves a lot of time. And, everyone could use a little more time!

How do you store your documents?