Monday, June 9, 2008

Filing Expenses

Lately I've been looking into 2-drawer filing cabinets.  I was planning on buying 4 of the metal ones and creating back-to-back desks from our closet doors and then using the current 4-drawer wood filing cabinet as a clothes storage in my room.

The problem is they are: 1) too short; and 2) too expensive.  I remember when metal file cabinets were cheap--now you can barely find one for under $100!  I did find some at Walmart and Target (not online--in store only) that were around $25 each, but again they were too short.

I believe I'll just buy metal table legs.  I found a scratch and dent section of an online table leg store and even though they are not the right color, I may buy them since they are $20 off the original price.  A little spray paint works wonders!

So you may be wondering what I'm going to do with all my files.  I already have plans to put up track shelving and figure decorative file boxes (plastic is preferable) will do the trick along with a fire-proof safe for very important papers.

While looking around at different file systems I found one that was interesting.  It's a pre-labeled home filing system over at Stacks and Stacks.  Sure it looks nice, but why pay $70 for this?  It's only a bunch of files!  Plus they give a whole list for their filing system right on the website.  I'll definitely be using this to organize my files better into separate file boxes for my shelves.  

It'll probably look something like this:

1) Medical Files--will include one file for each doctor per person plus a health insurance folder

2) Emergency Files--will include files in case of an emergency (death, natural disaster, evacuation, etc.) such as account numbers, passwords, doctors numbers, inventory, etc.  This box would need to be sturdy and possibly lockable, yet able to be easily picked up and carried if there is an emergency.

3) Important Documents--these (social security cards, husband's citizenship paperwork, passports, wills, birth certificates, etc.) will be in the fireproof safe.  In the event of an emergency they will be secure in there, but copies will be in the Emergency Files box.  Carrying a safe wouldn't be that easy to do in an emergency.

4) Tax Return Files--one file for each year saved.

5) Investment Files--will hold files for each retirement account and any other future investments.

I know there are more, but these are the ones that came to mind initially.

Now it may have occurred to some of you that I'll be spending more money initially to set up this new filing system than it would be just to buy those 4 filing cabinets in the first place.  You're probably right!  But I'm looking at it in a way more than money (though I will look for the lowest price I can)--it's also a matter of convenience, safety, and organization (because we just cannot seem to keep the office neat and organized).  A good fireproof safe will probably run me anywhere from $50 on up.  To me it's a lot better to spend this money than keep my important papers in a wood filing cabinet or spend money monthly on a safe deposit box.

I'd love to hear suggestions on other filing system options.  I haven't started setting up the office yet.  I'm still on the first stage of preparing the walls for paint!

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