Do you often find yourself frantically searching for important documents? The solution is simple – implement a home filing system using home filing categories that make sense. Let the streamlining begin!

Why is a Home Filing System Important?

The Benefits of an Organized Home File

There really are so many benefits to having a good system to keep all that paperwork in a way that makes it easy to find what you need when you need it.

It saves you time and effort if you have your paperwork set up in a way that suits you.

Common Issues that Happen Without a Filing System

We have probably all been there – you need a specific document, but WHERE IS IT?

You put it somewhere safe – but that safe place is long forgotten.

This is one of the issues that happens if your paperwork is disorganized. Of course, there are others.

It’s one thing to lose a piece of paper that you know you have – but worse – what if you are throwing away paperwork that you need to keep.

You might end up paying out for reprints of documents which means money lost because of disorganized paperwork.

Setting up a Home Filing System

Tips for Creating your Home Filing System

Keep it SIMPLE!

The whole idea here is to make something that is easy to keep up with. We want to streamline our life not make things more burdensome.

Another tip is to try things out to see if they work before going out and spending money.

Some filing boxes, or paperless systems can be very expensive. See if there is a way to try before you buy so that you don’t waste more money than you need to.

Picture of a big stack of papers. Part of an article - how to streamline your life with simple home filing categories.

Do a big PURGE!

When you create your filing system, you will want to get all your papers together, go through them and this is the time to get rid of any papers that you don’t need or want to keep.

What you will Need

Rather than give you a list of specifics, I’m going to mention the elements needed and you can figure out what will work for you.

  • STORAGE. You will need some box or container to keep the filing system in.
  • LABELS / TAGS. You will need to have some system of diving your home filing categories.
  • CAMERA. To take photos of things you want to keep a memory of but not keep physically.

As you can see, it can be kept rather simple. And that is going to be the same for the categories too.

Simple Home Filing Categories


You may want to keep this in a seperate box as there is a lot of subcategories in this section.


  • Emergency. This is so important to have your emergency documents somewhere ready to go. Some things that are good to keep are things like old passports, a list of phone numbers, a list of current medication. I think if possible it’s good to keep these in a waterproof container.
  • Health. It’s good to keep all medical history recorded. I know some who have many illnesses and it saves them so much time if they ever have to meet a new doctor or surgeon, they can just give them their personal medical history records. You may want to have even more subcategories here for yourself, your family members or your pets.
  • Reference. For this category I put all the usual things – passports, licenses, legal documents. You will want to have records of exams, certificates, etc. Anything to keep for personal reference.
  • Sentimental. We keep a sentimental box for all those bits that we have gathered over the years and want to keep.
3 different pictures - a family with the title personal, an envelope with money with the title financial, a house with the title home. The big title says Streamline your Life with Home Filing Categories.


This is a big section too. I did find this article which is quite a good guide for how long to keep things, but bear in mind each different government will have seperate tax regulations.

Although I will share the subcategories, many find that an easier way to file finance records is to have a box for current year, and then a box that is labeled with each year going back.

READ: Organize Your Money With this Simple Budget that Works


  • Tax.
  • Bank Statements.
  • Investments / Pensions.
  • Insurances.
  • Bills.


Home can include lots of different things. So your subcategories might be very different for another person’s.


  • Manuals / Warrenties. Every home appliance seems to come with a manual and you never know when you will need it, so I do think it’s a good idea to keep them in a safe place.
  • Reference. This is Important documents like rent contract papers or other documents to do with house ownership. And although you may have your utility bills in with financial records but it is a good idea to have some information in one place to show what companies you are currently using – your account numbers for them, etc. You might also add your wifi password and things like that here. You will want this information to be secure though.
  • Maintenance. You might want to create a home maintenance section that has a schedule for when things need to be looked at or cleaned. In fact in this section you could have a full cleaning section with routines and reference information.
  • Food. You could have your meal lists, recipes and meal plans in a whole section. This can be as simple or detailed as you like.
  • Vehicle. You might include documents you have related to extra things here like a car or motorbike. This might not be a section for everyone, but it’s important if you do have a vehicle.

Maintaining Your System

Once you have set up your categories filing system you will need to keep on top of it.

You might want to have an are for paperwork coming in – an inbox.

Then you could have a seperate area for action items – a to-do box

Then you should have your filing storage.

But you may need to set aside time every week to deal with paperwork and file everything away as it is needed. This should work to keep on top of your paperwork.

I will say – I’m not an expert in this. So I’m sure I may have missed out some areas. But hopefully you have gotten the basic idea from this.

Thank you so much for reading, please do share your comments below.

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