We're setting up a personal archive. How to store documents at home?

Many official and banking matters are done online today without the need to collect paper correspondence. However, there are still quite a few documents that we need to keep at home. How do I organize bills, school reports, or contracts so they're easy to find? We suggest a few ideas.

Organizing documents

Organizing documents is always helpful. It should be such that, it is easy to pull out the document when needed. Especially when there children also in the family, it is worth finding a suitable place to store important documents. Some of them can be simply closed in decorative boxes and put away from the reach of tiny hands, while others can be placed on a shelf in carefully labelled folders or drawers.

Storing documents at home - let's start with segregation

There are tons of documents in every home. Those relating to the educational qualifications, certificates, banking, investments and loan documents, medical records or receipts or those warranty or guarantee papers that you get when you buy an appliance or a gadget. The lack of a well-thought-out organization means that chances are we miss timely payment of a policy or we end up looking for that warranty card for the broken dishwasher for hours together!

Therefore, it is worth starting the process of organizing papers with thorough segregation.

Organizing papers

Let's try to create a few categories of documents, and then close them in separate folders, boxes or binders so that they do not mix with others. Arranged alphabetical order or type of document – like invoices, warranties, policies or by the type of category – property documents, banking documents, medical documents, kids’ school documents etc, will then always be easy to find. Another great way of arranging could be by each family member – mom, dad, kid 1, kid 2 and further segregating by type of document. Before we start organizing the documents, let's also check the date on which they were issued. Some of them might be required to keep for 2 to 5 years, while some, only for a few months.

Work desk

Let's choose organizers that will help keep the papers in order. Decorative boxes, metal newspapers holders and paper folders are just a few ideas for storing documents at home. Depending on the type and size of papers, we can also choose spacious baskets, some special organizers or spacious boxes in the cabinets.

In order to enjoy well-organized documents, we do not need a separate room or cabinets. Almost any available space can be used for storing documents. You just need to make sure that it does not get lost within home and stays safe for long.

Specially designed furniture provides a lot of room to show off. The Creative system allows us to adjust them to our needs, choosing open or closed shelves or drawers. You can choose how you want your cabinet to be. On the other hand, we can easily use the shelves and cabinets from the Stige collection. They will allow for convenient segregation of both small items and large-sized items, e.g. rolled up chart papers for your projects.

When choosing classic boxes and containers, consider items that have handles so it’s easier to pull out and carry documents. Foldable Storage boxes can be a good solution, as they take up little space when not in use. A light box made of aesthetic felt, available in two practical sizes, can also become a convenient organizer.

How to store frequently used documents? Clever ideas

Always have the most necessary documents at hand. Regardless of where we store them, we can use a desk with a movable cabinet, a cube cabinet or a clever table with a spacious compartment under a raised top.

Table with raised top

Thanks to this, we can put the latest papers in one specific place, and then store them away into specific binders or boxes when they are no longer needed on a regular basis.

To keep your documents in order, it is important to follow a few important rules.

First of all, try not to keep them for longer than necessary. This will help in avoiding unnecessary mess and the loss of any important document. It is also worth taking care of these important documents regularly by storing them in appropriate lockers and checking on them on a regular basis, e.g. once a week when doing general cleaning at home.

Some every-day solutions that will ensure comfort

Among home documents, there are often a few small pieces of paper that are easy to lose. If we do not want to hide them in boxes or look for another place to store them, we can always put them on the wall boards.

Metal overlays

Attach them with magnets onto these metallic overlays, so they are always within your reach and sight. We can also use the furniture present in the home office or work corner to organize the documents. Those from the Young Users collection come with metal overlays to which we can easily stick the necessary notes. We can also use the space available in the drawers of the study/ work desk. To prevent papers and other small items from falling off, consider putting a felt organizer inside.

We can install functional wall panels above the desk and choose the preferred accessories for them. The Slot board with openings that allow you to use containers, shelves and pockets for small items will help to organize the space.

An equally handy space is provided by upholstered Soform panels, to the surface of which we can conveniently use for sticking important documents with thumbtacks.

The number of ideas for storing documents at home is almost unlimited. If the space in cabinets and drawers is already occupied, consider putting the folder or files on the table top.

A modern furniture system - for order and convenience It is worthwhile to approach the subject of order in home documents comprehensively. In addition to the purchase of appropriate binders or folders, we can also plan a furniture system for storing large amounts of documents. The appropriate arrangement of shelves will not only make it easy to accommodate all bills, certificates, and insurance policies, but will also hide everything that should be hidden from the eyes of guests. The Creative system allows us to configure our own furniture. A large library of available materials makes the new chest of drawers or wardrobe aesthetically match with the rest of the room.

However, each of us has slightly different needs. In some houses, the number of documents stored is so large that after buying a bookcase, you still feel the need to buy more storage solutions. In such a situation, the Young user cabinets work the best, as it can be mixed and match to fit your need.

How long should I keep my documents?

Rental contracts, invoices, banking documents or other official documents should be kept for the statutory time required. Appropriate archiving of documents becomes even more important when we run our own business and when it is at home that we store all the necessary documentation. In line with UAE laws, many documents, e.g. visa documents, labor contracts, rental contracts, trade licenses, must be kept for a at least 1 to 5 years depending on the nature of the document. Contracts for maintenance or repair services of appliances and gadgets should be stored until the warranty expires, e.g. 6 months or 2 years.

Among home documents, there are also those that must be archived for up to 10 years - these are letters and declarations that may be requested by the Property Insurance Institution. Other papers, such as university diplomas and letters of ownership, tend to stay with us throughout our lives.

Important documents that are confidential should be well secured. In this situation, small office safes or lockers with a key works fine. Making a copy of an important documents and storing it separately from the original documents can save us a lot of headaches just in case a document is lost. Having s soft copy of the same and storing it in a computer disk or virtual cloud can also work out a great backup plan.