Useful Tips

How to organize the storage of home documents


Storage organization is not only a fashionable trend, but also a necessity in the conditions of the modern world. Parenting, working, preparing dinner or meeting friends in a coffee shop - all this takes a considerable amount of time. On the organization of domestic issues it is often not enough.

No less important is the issue of storing papers and documents. How long will it take to search last year's receipt for the light?

It’s easy to clean up and get rid of extra documents. It is enough to take advantage of the recommendations from Marie Kondo, a well-known author of the methodology for organizing space.

Document Categories

An expert on home cleaning and a popular author of books recommends identifying three categories of documents:

The first group includes the information that is necessary throughout life. The second - all kinds of documents relevant up to a certain date. The third group is everything that is subject to destruction.

Mari Kondo recommends storing documents in vertical trays, which significantly saves space.

The system of this famous author is ideal, but for application in the conditions of Russian realities it requires some changes that take into account current legislation and document management traditions.

The time required to search for documents will be reduced by the introduction of additional subcategories for the second group:

  • Property: include sales contracts for real estate and cars, insurance policy, certificates from BTI, traffic police, etc.
  • Health: insurance contracts, medical records, statements and epicrisis and others.
  • Financial: agreements on opening a bank account, deposit, loan repayment receipt, certificate and statement.
  • Tax: pay receipts, tax returns, etc.

In most cases, these four subcategories are sufficient.

If there are 5-20 pages in the stack, do not split them into additional groups. Finding the right document takes minutes. If there are more than 30 sheets in a pack, study the contents of each and determine what can be saved electronically and what can be distinguished into an additional subcategory, for example, correspondence with a certain company, contract, and other documentation when making insurance payments.

Keep forever

This category includes all documents that are issued once in a lifetime:

  • birth and death certificates,
  • passports
  • work books
  • pension certificates
  • marriage and divorce certificates,
  • copies of wills, powers of attorney,
  • adoption documents.

In case of loss, their recovery takes time and considerable effort.

Get a safe

Storage of “eternal” documents requires compliance with certain safety rules. Specialized cabinets at home take up a lot of space. Consider buying a fireproof safe or renting a bank cell.

Scan them and save the backups in the "cloud storage". So you can access remotely and in any emergency. Do not forget about security measures: use strong passwords that other people will not be able to pick up.

Keep 3 years

In accordance with the current Russian legislation, for many cases the statute of limitations is 3 years. Therefore, some documents should be stored during this period.

For example, a loan agreement was concluded. The last payment was made in December 2018. In such cases, it is recommended to contact the bank for an extract and a certificate of full repayment of the debt. All documents: contract, receipts, extract and certificate must be kept until January 2022. In the event of claims by the bank or third parties, you can confirm the fact of repayment and lack of debt.

The situation is similar with tax documents. The limitation period is also 3 years. It is during this period that payment receipts, tax returns and documents confirming the right to receive deductions or benefits should be kept.

This should also include:

  • contracts for the sale of real estate or vehicles (if they were used to calculate taxes when filling out declarations),
  • mortgage agreements
  • medical records (including bills, receipts, prescriptions and insurance contracts),
  • documents confirming the sale of currency, gold, other assets.

If real estate or vehicle sales contracts have not been used to fill out a tax return, they should be kept as close as possible to “eternal” ones throughout the entire period of ownership of the property.

Important: All receipts should be periodically scanned and digitalized or photocopied. The fact is that after a short period of time, the ink usually fades, and this threatens with the loss of confirming information about the next payment, for example, on a loan.

Fixed Date Documents

This category should include contracts and documents implying the existence of warranty periods: for the installation of plastic windows, doors, fire alarms, room repair services, and the purchase of household appliances.

Sort them by file, sorting by type and end date. If possible, scan them and store them electronically.

Store 30-45 days

This group includes:

  • credit card statements
  • ATM checks
  • utility and telephone bills.

Checks from ATMs and bank statements can be discarded immediately after checking the information. Checks confirming payment of utilities should be classified in the previous category. Store them better by sorting by date.

Important: all booklets, brochures, newspaper clippings that are really needed are best scanned and stored electronically. In this case, the volume of securities will be significantly reduced. Instructions for household appliances and electronics can be downloaded via the Internet, and printed ones can be discarded.

Sorting financial documents is a fairly simple process if you determine the validity period of specific types of documents. A periodic audit will save time on finding the right receipt and save you from unnecessary volumes of securities.

Storage organization

All documents, except for "eternal", can be stored in files or folders, divided into categories, subcategories, and ordered by date.

You can order a desk, where one box will be designed to store documents.

Use the power of visualization: determine the correspondence of color and theme.

  • finance is green
  • private is purple
  • real estate and vehicles - yellow,
  • medical records - blue,
  • taxes are red.

This method requires a small investment in the purchase of stickers, files or envelope folders of certain colors, but this will reduce the time spent on searches and organize documents.


You can check documents for relevance once a year or six months. This approach will help maintain order and relevance of documents.

Do not forget about the ability to store all documents in electronic form. Modern technologies and security requirements guarantee the safety and confidentiality of information in the absence of huge stacks of papers.

Document storage in the house

First of all, you need to assess the situation - the degree to which your home office is neglected. There are housewives who store literally every piece of paper, food receipts and certificates. But each document has its own statute of limitations - from 2 weeks to infinity.

When I tried to understand this issue, I was faced with conflicting information regarding extracts, certificates, declarations. Therefore, do not bother and specify the shelf life of documents from those who directly issue them.

But of course, documents for an apartment, certificates, TIN, passports must be kept intact. By the way, sometimes a period is written on certificates and papers during which they will have legal or legal force.

As for the checks for purchased household appliances, everything is simpler here. They will be valid only during the warranty period. But experts in this field still recommend taking care of them all the time, until you throw it away. This applies primarily to large-scale equipment, for example, expensive televisions, refrigerators, machine tools and so on.

I personally keep the receipt of payment on the advice of a lawyer for 3 years, although it seems to me that is too much. But where to go, everything happens in life. In general, what I want to say. Take care of the integrity and security of your documents and approach this wisely.

How to clean up the documents?

Step 1. Collect all the paper in a pile. Rate the complexity of the whole situation. Personally, all my home documents occupy a medium-sized box. There is nothing superfluous.

Step 2. Sorts the paper into categories. I suggest in this way:

  • documents for an apartment
  • medical docs
  • tax
  • credit
  • payment receipts
  • checks and warranty cards and so on

You can distribute them relative to family members (documents of mom, dad, children, and so on). General also orient, as in the previous example.

The main thing is that you are comfortable and at any moment can find the paper that you need. Sorting should be combined with garbage collection and throwing out what is no longer needed. What-what, but leaflets, brochures should immediately be sent to the bin.

If you have any doubts about this, put it aside. Find out their shelf life as soon as possible. As for business cards, they can be placed in a special organizer or a small box.

Step 3. Choosing a storage method. As a rule, most often they use folders with files to store documents in the house. They can be inserted separately or already be one with the cover. This way of organizing papers is very convenient. You can buy several such folders and assign each of them to one of the categories (tax, medical documents and so on).

Portfolio folders are capable of coping with this task no worse. It is convenient not only to store documents in them, but also to take with you.

As a rule, there is a small place on such organizers where it is possible to make a signature. Then you definitely will not confuse it with other categories. Better yet, assign a color to each type of paper. For example, documents on the house are in the red folder, medical certificates, cards, and so on in green, tax papers in blue.

Another way to organize the storage of documents in the house is file cabinets with partitions. Papers in this case can mainly be in files or thin folders - folders. In this case, special plates with protrusions, where you can sign types of documents, are the sorter. Such devices are not cheap. But you can do it yourself. For example, as separators, take dense colored cardboard and cut a ledge. Thus, you will not only organize the storage of your home papers, but also save money.

Well, the last option that I want to offer you is boxes. In principle, you can put the same folders and files in them, that is, combine several storage methods. But now I'm talking a little about something else. For example, letters, receipts for payment are not of a completely standard format, when they do not particularly fit into the size of the folder, especially when there are a lot of them. Then simple small boxes will come to the rescue. They are very convenient for folding small documents.

Step 4. It's time to think about a place for your securities. First of all, it should be inaccessible to strangers and guests. That is hidden from prying eyes. This can be a mezzanine, an upper shelf above the desktop, a safe or a drawer, preferably locked with a key. For those who have children, it is also worth considering whether the kids will be able to get to the securities. After all, they are a curious people, and everywhere they can use their little hands.

You should also not choose sunny places, although inaccessible to children. From moisture and the sun, paper can fade and deteriorate.

And one more nuance that I forgot to mention. Create a folder where all photocopies of the most important documents will be stored, for example, passports, insurance policies, pension certificates, documents for an apartment and so on. If you urgently need copies, but you don’t have a photocopier at hand, there’s not enough time, then this trick will save you.

Well, and the last, do not pull with that heap of papers that caused you doubts about the shelf life. As soon as you deal with this case, immediately put them in their places. After all, now you have the storage of documents at home organized at the highest level!

And how do you steal paper? Share your secrets! Leave a comment! See you soon!

1 step - assessment and plan

First, I compiled a questionnaire for myself and answered it, for example, a few questions and answers from it:

Why do you need an organization?

So that it would be cozy and beautiful for everyone in my house, as well as it would be convenient to quickly find the right thing for all family members.

How long have you been in a mess?

The mess in the documents for about a year or so - gradually accumulated after the birth of the 3rd child, before that everything was carefully organized.

What is the obstacle to maintaining order in your opinion?

Mom’s lack of free time and an underdeveloped storage system.

Does the family make efforts to maintain order?

Only I bring order to the papers; my husband, as I use them, returns the papers to their place, but not always.

Do you have any special organization needs?

So that documents can be easily found for both me and my husband

Which organization in your home works well?

Earlier, when I laid out all the incoming documents on time - this system worked well. All for daddies. Daddies are signed. One separate folder with the most important documents.

What works poorly or doesn't work at all?

A separate temporary folder for folding incoming documents, it has become a permanent storage of all documents for the year.

What do you want to get as a result?

A well-organized document storage system in which it is easy to find the right document, both for myself and my husband and any other relative.

What difficulties are expected?

  • Documents not parsed for the whole year
  • Documents are not stored in one place
  • I have a one-year-old child who can break all the documents if organization is done with him (the average child can also show interest in what is happening and begin to “help” mom.

How can they be overcome?

Organize the stages when the children are either sleeping or outside the house (walking with dad or grandmother, visiting their grandmother, in another room)

Next, I made a detailed plan of the organization, based on the answers of the questionnaire. I determined the timelines for each task, correlated the plan with the available organizational materials and budget.

The following organizational materials were available for me:

  • several folders with files,
  • three office folders with rings,
  • several folders
  • a large folder on the lock for important documents,
  • many files
  • plastic folders in different colors and sizes,
  • stickers for identification,
  • one plastic organizer.

I just had to buy three large cardboard organizers according to my plan, which I did.

Storage of documents at home: clean up the papers

In our age of Internet recordings and technology, the question “where did that little blue paper go ?!”, it would seem, should no longer worry anyone in principle. However, it is not. Now, various pieces of paper most often have the status of a wonderful memory, which I really want to keep forever. It can be crusts from tickets to distant lands, an invitation to the theater or just a sweet little note that someone once left on the table for you. Over time, the number of such paper "deposits" is growing and growing, quietly turning the room into a warehouse. And what can we say about people who like to write messages on stickers, hanging them here and there. We found eight ideas for storing papers, allowing you to not lose a single important document and at the same time organize the space in the room.


A folder for papers is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about their storage, especially if the majority are working papers. The folder is convenient in that it allows you to arrange the paper in a certain order and by classification, in addition, you can store paper of different sizes in it.

Folders can be made in a variety of colors and designs, so they easily fit into the space of any desktop. In addition, they are very spacious and do not take up much space, so they will be an excellent solution if you have a lot of papers, but there is absolutely nowhere to turn around with them.

The paper basket is a very practical as well as a multivariate solution. В зависимости от того, где вы намереваетесь ее расположить, меняется и ее внешний дизайн. Если бумаги должны быть всегда под рукой, лучше остановить выбор на прозрачной корзине: так вы будете видеть, что и где лежит.

Если вы просто хотите убрать бумажки с глаз долой, но выбросить их не поднимается рука, можно купить корзину с более плотным плетением, по цвету гармонирующую с интерьером. It can be put on a cabinet or under a table, but we advise you to inscribe it, so that you do not forget what you put there.

2 step - sorting documents by categories

At first, I prescribed a possible sorting on paper, correlated it with the existing structure, changed quite a bit.

I did it without perfectionism: in sufficient detail, but on a simple sheet in a notebook in 2 minutes.

Here's how it looked:

Then I began to evaluate the amount of work.

Here are photos of what I needed to make out:

Yes, I have always had a lot of papers: my family is big, there were and there are a lot of areas in which I personally need to keep papers.

3 step - minimization

Quick document recycling list:

  • junk mail - this was not
  • advertising catalogs - throw away immediately
  • announcements and brochures - throwing away right away
  • magazines older than two months, if the plans do not have a collection to return to the necessary publications - I have one collection and one for my husband, the collections are well organized. Magazines are periodically reviewed.
  • Expired coupons, guarantees, invitations - no such
  • I have revised the manuals for the operation of equipment that no longer exists or is finally broken - there were no such manuals
  • Important documents that have expired - there were quite a few
  • Worked out documents - there were too many of these

3. Paper holder

The paper holder is useful for storing commemorative paper gizmos, as well as for pieces of paper with the necessary phones or notes-tips.

The holder can be made in a concise and intricate spirit, so it will be a great element of decor for the room.

If you really have a lot of papers and they are all of completely different properties, the correct solution would be to store them in boxes, placing them by topic or size. Of course, boxes should not be an echo of purchases of household appliances - choose bright and non-standard models that complement the interior style.

Boxes are also better labeled, who knows, what if you want to re-read their contents?

4 step - put everything in place and 5 step containerization

I laid out all the remaining documents in 3 parts:

  1. documents that I always carry with me
  2. the most important documents we take with us in an emergency
  3. other documents

Documents that are always with me, I placed in a small green plastic folder.

In this folder, I separately laid out the documents for each daughter separately in three blue files.

Basically, I take these documents with me when I go somewhere with all my daughters.

But I can take documents only for one of the daughters. Now it is very easy and fast to do.

The most important documents that we take with us in an emergency.

Before the start of the organization, they were stored all in one folder on the lock and it looked like this:

The documents were all together, but it was not very convenient to search for the necessary documents in this folder.

I sorted these documents inside the folder into several categories.

She placed each category in a plastic folder of her own color, signed the folder.

After that, she already placed all the folders in the same large folder on the lock, which is easy to take with you in an emergency (fire, for example).

It turned out very cool. Finding the right document is now done in less than a minute. And not only by me, but also by my husband.

Other documents I also sorted into categories and put them in separate folders of different formats.

Folders, so as not to fall, I put in large cardboard organizers.

As a result, my shelf with documents began to look like this:

Separately, I paid attention to organizing the storage of magazines, clippings and printouts by type of hobby. I love needlework and devote a lot of time to it.

I organized storage by type: for sewing, for weaving and knitting on a fork, crocheting, embroidery, various other types of needlework (quilling, scrapbooking, etc.)

All placed in separate folders, signed everything with the help of special stickers.

Here's how it began to look in the end:

Step 6 - Disposal

All the papers I needed to get rid of, I immediately sorted into three parts during the second step:

1) Wraps for drawing for children, I immediately placed the children in a special organizer in their room,

2) Papers for kindling at the cottage or for collecting waste paper at school - packed these papers in a large bag, which we took to the cottage.

3) I tore some important documents with signatures into small pieces and threw them into the bin.

Step 7 - Planning for Further Maintenance

After completing the analysis of all the papers, I created a buffer folder for accounts and papers for sorting.

Put this folder on your desktop. To make the folder convenient to store, I purchased a special convenient organizer for my desktop.

In it, I now store documents for sorting, as well as my diary and some books and notebooks for daily use.

I determined that I would disassemble the buffer folder at least 1 time per month, ideally 1 time per week (two).

In order not to miss the parsing time, I set a specific day and time for parsing the papers.

If I take apart once a month, it’s convenient for me to do this after paying the bills, that is, after the 10th day.

If I take apart documents once a week, then it’s convenient for me to parse documents on Wednesdays.

So far, for several months now, I have been able to adhere to this order.

True, while I do not parse the documents weekly, but once a month on the 11th.

Another important point to remember is to control the documents at the entrance: that is, immediately discard unnecessary ones.

My husband and I throw away checks immediately, as we enter them into a special program. I track the rest of the papers about once a day when I sit down at my desk.

So far, all the documents are in order. The resulting system works well! And that's great!

So here I organized the storage of documents at home. How do you keep your documents?

Please share in the comments below your impressions of the article and your personal experience.

5. Organizer board

An ideal solution for those who spend a lot of time at their desktop, therefore they are constantly concerned about finding a lost sticker or a necessary receipt.

The organizer board can be made in a wide variety of variations, starting from the frame to which the notes are attached with buttons and ending with multifunctional drawers and a magnetic board. It all depends on what is more convenient for you personally.

6. Mini chest of drawers

The mini-chest of drawers is a very elegant storage solution, and you can decorate it to your liking: for this, you just need to purchase a wooden blank in Ikea, or ask someone you know to make it personally for you.

The drawers in this chest of drawers are very functional and ideal for storing the smallest pieces of paper that are immediately lost forever and ever. Now it will not be anymore! If you like the laconic wooden version of such a chest of drawers, then it will also be very appropriate, especially in minimalistic interiors.

7. Mailbox

A very original solution, ideal for storing letters and cards. However, you can hide there and lovely notes that you would like to hide from prying eyes, but in no case lose!

The box is best placed on the wall or on the door, and choose bright color variations: in this way, every look cast at it will improve your mood. In addition, you can leave messages for pets in the box - the main thing is not to forget to check it, otherwise someone will be waiting for a written answer to the question where his socks have gone for the third day. Well, on Valentine's Day, you can use the mailbox for its intended purpose!

8. Envelope Pocket

A practical paper storage solution that saves space. Such pockets can be placed on the side of the table, in the kitchen or in the hallway and stored papers there, dividing them by topic.

For example, in an envelope in the kitchen you can keep receipts for food and notes with wishes to buy something, in a room envelope it can be stickers with phone numbers, and in the hallway there are pieces of paper unexpectedly found on the floor. Though. after our ideas, this is unlikely to happen, right?

We hope so. And now your papers will always be in perfect order!