Money To Live

August 9, 2010

The depest of intimacies — merging files

Filed under: family finances,productivity — by moneytolive @ 6:00 am
Last summer, I ordered the FreedomFiler. I heard about it on unclutterer and wrote about it here.

Over 12 months, it has proven to be as wonderful as it was initially. The structure makes it easy to file papers that I probably will never need again (i.e., the water bill) without letting them become clutter (in two years, I will shred the water bill). At the same time, important papers are not lost in the jumble — when I needed to send paperwork to our insurance agent recently, I could quickly find the exact papers needed.

I am particularly impressed with the FreedomFiler system because it allowed for the seamless integration of  R’s files — his education records, medical records, bank accounts, tax records, house documents, auto records, … The system is just as easy to navigate for two people as it was for one person. There is only one set of paperwork that we are intentionally not merging — his immigration papers (R has a green card and expects to apply for citizenship in 2-3 years). I am afraid to touch those papers because I would feel awful if I somehow messed them up. For now, these very important papers can stay where they are in a fire-proof safe. Assuming R becomes a US citizen in a few years, we will merge these very important documents into the FreedomFiler.

To be honest though — sorting and merging a lot of papers and files is not a lot of fun. We have merged our files over several months because we both get sick of it after a few hours. The task could probably be completed in a long weekend, but we would be bored and the shredder would wimp out. Instead of devoting a full weekend, we find times when we can both sit in the home office for a few hours. R selects one of his old file folders and starts sorting — some files will be shredded, some are easy to file in the new system, and some need a new home in the new filing system. I add new folders as needed and otherwise let R sort his papers as he wants to.

A key part of the merging of our files has been shredding — shredding 7 years of bank statements, shredding brochures about insurance from the UK in the ’90s.
“I just shredded 7 years of bank statements.”
Are there any sweeter words said by a fiancé?
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