Delightful and rewarding as family life can be, it’s also a time in life where your responsibilities are multiple, and the paperwork you’re forced to confront reflects this. From rental or mortgage payments, taxes and bills all the way through to dental records and birth certificates, your world virtually explodes with family documents as a mother. You’re forced to carefully gather up and store efficiently all of these documents, in order to stay on top of your family administration responsibilities. This guide offers five smart tips to help you tame this document explosion wisely.
There’s no doubt that your first step in organising your family documents should be buying a number of folders in which to store different kinds of documents. It’s perhaps best to organise your documents as follows:
- A specific folder for each family member, containing individual documents such as birth certificates and tax numbers
- A folder for the house, including rental or mortgage agreements, insurance and bills
- A folder for your vehicle, including its service history and insurance policy
- Folders for documents related to material goods, like washing machines, sofas or phones
- A folder – and calendar – related to your responsibilities in the immediate future
- A folder for travel documents of all kinds
Print Out Emailed Documents
Seeing as you’re making a physical store of your documents, you should make it comprehensive. This should, therefore, include those documents you’re sent over email – those which are notoriously liable to get lost in your inbox after a week or two. Make sure your printer is well stocked with affordable Epson ink cartridges so that you’re always able to print as you receive the emails.
Every family needs a calendar around which family activities are planned and responsibilities observed, but an extra measure for the responsible management of your family’s documents is to set a series of reminders on your phone, tablet or laptop that’ll jog your memory about insurance policy renewals, MOT dates, doctor’s check-ups and other important events that it’s crucial you don’t forget.
Check Your Files Online
The internet is a wonderful resource when it comes to checking you’re doing something efficiently and effectively, and of course there’s plenty of advice on the internet when it comes to how you manage your family’s documentation. Check out other online resources compiled by other parents who’ve gone through the document-taming process you’re doing yourself. See if they have any alternative tips, and whether they prioritise other documents that you’ve not yet added to your family folders.
Keep Up to Date
The most important part of managing your documents is for you to keep everything as up to date as possible. Put the newest documents on the top of folders, so that you never quote numbers and figures from documents that are outdated. As soon as you secure a new policy, a flight ticket, a doctor’s certificate or indeed any kind of document that updates your current relationship with an institution, print it out and store it so that your documents are consistently updated.
Family document management is far from the most glamorous part of parenthood, but getting it right will save your blushes and frustration in the future. The tips above will help you keep a tight ship where family documents are concerned.