Paperwork! Where does THIS go? Miscellany.


When you’ve reached the odds and ends of your accumulation of paperwork you’re officially in the world of miscellany (a group or collection of different items). Some of these items may “fit” somewhere else, so let’s see if we can get a little more sorting and grouping done with what’s left.

Revisit your miscellaneous stack and find anything product related. These items can be filed with warranties and instruction manuals IF you need to keep them. If it’s installation instructions or quick start guides you probably don’t need to keep those documents. If it’s already installed and running – or if was installed by a professional – you will probably consult a professional or find help on the internet in the future.

Look through the remaining items to be filed and decide WHY you need to keep them. If there’s just a few pieces of paper, you can label your folder MISC. and be done. If there are several related documents, do they pertain to a person (resumes, transcripts, personality assessments), or are does the document relate to the household in general or to your house itself?

If you have any remaining personal records for family members, pull out any one-of-a-kind documents that you might need for creating a medical or professional history: test results, treatment plans, report cards, awards, achievements, and/or certificates of merit/completion. Obviously, the medically related documents can be filed away with other medical records, but other personal information may be needed to update your resume, prove your identity, or verify some other event in your life, like completion in an area of education.

Since we’ve brought up resumes, let’s look at this more closely. If your saved paper highlights any special assignments, awards, or training experiences, these things should be added to your resume, or at least be added to your resume file. (These are especially important to students who don’t have much work experience to draw upon for a first resume.) If you receive any results of programs that will help you provide statistics, generate the math that shows percentage change or financial benefits. Many times, you’ll learn this type of information in an unofficial conversation, so record it before you forget the details.

If personal information remains after you’ve filed medical, education/work documents, then a Personal Misc. file is appropriate.

Household Misc. or Project Misc. are viable categories for documents you need to keep for later. You might have a handful of recipes to put with cookbooks, or creative ideas for projects or gifts. “I Thought This Was Cool” ideas can find a home in the Cool Ideas folder. I know people who keep a file of information about places they would like to visit – labeled Travel Ideas.

The miscellany folders can be filed where they make sense to you – where will you look for them. I suggest filing miscellaneous folders with your readily accessible file storage – not in archived document storage.

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Did you know . . . 80 % of the papers we file, we never refer to again. The Small Business Administration A full four-drawer file cabinet holds 18,000 pages. NAPO The last task in the paperwork manage