Filing Cabinet Clean Out – The Dreaded Task

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Filing Cabinet Clean Out

filing cabinet clean out

It’s that time of year to do our taxes. If you still need to file for previous years, you may wish to get in touch with a service like this tax-resolution-services-unfiled-irs-state-tax-returns/ to help you out with this – fortunately, for most of us, it should be a simple affair. But, before I sit down to do mine, I know there are other things that need to be done first like cleaning and purging my filing cabinet, updating my ICE list and taking the time to call around to all of the companies I do business with to check for lower rates or better deals. Sometimes companies make changes or have offers available, but they don’t broadcast them so you have to ask. It actually makes perfect sense to do it all at once, but I have an order I do it in.

For starters, let me say that I get paperless statements for everything I can. Everything that is not associated with taxes like credit cards, bank statements, loans etc. It cuts back on trees, I don’t have the extra paperwork to maintain in my filing cabinet so that saves me time and I can access any statement I need online at anytime. We have income from 4 sources so I do have some paperwork to keep track of but I find it so much easier to organize them because I use labels with blank index tabs so I know exactly where everything goes. I will be doing a separate article on how I itemize our taxes.

Supplies I Need to Weed Out the Filing Cabinet
  • 2 small boxes; 1 for papers to recycle, 1 for papers to shred
  • Paper clips
  • Stapler
  • Note pad & pen
Where do I begin?
  • I start with going through each and every file, recycle what I can, shred anything with personal information on it that I don’t need and put papers in order, usually by date if need be.
  • As I go along, I write down companies I want to contact for possibly better rates. When you call for auto and homeowners ins. be sure to have your existing policy in front of you so that you can get a quote on the same coverage as well as any creditors account numbers.
  • Get your free annual credit report at for you and your spouse.
  • Call your bank to see if they have a better savings interest bearing account than you already have.
  • Call credit card companies and ask for a lower rate.
  • See if you can refinance any loans you may have for lower interest rates including your car.
  • Look at services like cable and phone to see if you can cancel anything you really don’t use.

Last year I did this and saved my home a total of $2200.00 a year, I put that extra $188.00 a month toward our debt. This year I have saved an additional $240.00 so far. I still have calls to make like the credit card companies about a lower interest rate (ours are 6.9%) and we are looking into refinancing the house (ours is 5.25%). There are are no guarantees, but it never hurts to ask.

Update Your ICE ListIn Case of Emergency.
  • Physical copies of homeowners insurance policy, auto insurance policy, birth certificates, passports, marriage license, rabies certificates, proof of animal ownership if you have it.
  • List of medications, Dr. and pharmacy numbers for each person.
  • List of medications and Vet’s number for your pets.
  • List of account and phone numbers for your mortgage company, credit card companies, loans, phone company, electric company, etc.
  • Add any new creditors and remove any that no longer apply.
  • Include a list of phone numbers for your spouse, children and 2 other people not living with you. Include your own cell number. Keep that list of phone numbers in your wallet as well. In the event of an emergency, and you cannot speak for yourself, or if you get separated from your traveling companions, this can come in handy for emergency personnel.
  • Put all items including your list in a large envelope labeled ICE, keep it at the very front of your filing cabinet and be sure every member of your household knows where it is and that it MUST leave the house with you in the event that you must evacuate.

All of this takes me about a total of 2 days. Once everything is done, and my filing cabinet updated, I am ready to move on to our taxes.


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