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What IS it about figuring out how to organize papers and books that gives us a fit? It must be the variety of different paper support papers we accumulate. Papers are one of the hardest things to organize. From junk mail to important legal documents, there are a slew of papers taking up valuable space throughout the average person’s home. There are bills, documents, receipts, lists, letters etc. If you’re the kind of person who would have trouble locating the top of your table with a shovel and a GPS unit. Or, if your idea of “organizing” documents is by simply creating 25 distinct piles and stacking them on the dining room table, or maybe sweeping them into already over crowded drawers, then you probably would like to know how to organize paperwork and reduce the clutter.

You might like to try some of the following hints:

But remember, organizing your documents and papers is a pretty big task, so cutting it down into small pieces helps a lot.

First, finding an appropriate place for all of these papers is essential to keeping an organized home with daily activities running smoothly. All papers need a place to call home, and file cabinets offer the perfect blend of versatility and stability, but they aren’t the total answer.

Before you can organize your papers, you need to assess what you have. Group your papers together in like piles, (you might of already done this; check the table). People naturally organize their papers and other items into piles that make sense to their own way of thinking. Designate one area of your home, even if it’s only one drawer, for the majority of the filing of business papers, bills, letters, and clippings.

Now, assess your papers and determine the best place for each category. Keeping those files you use often near you, and easily accessible, is a key to keeping your documents organized. Having to get on a ladder to access your daily files is not a good idea.

Set up a separate area for your important papers and receipts. Sometimes, just a cheap fire-proof box is all you need. Put all insurance papers, titles, birth certificates etc. in this box. You always hope nothing bad like a fire or severe storm happens, but it can. If you have invested in a fire-proof box, hopefully all your important legal papers are all together and protected. Remember to make sure that you keep your insurance papers in the box. If you need the box, you need the insurance papers. You might think about putting a copy of your most important papers in a safe-deposit box at a bank. Some banks offer a free box when you open a new account.

If you can’t file papers on a regular basis, use a folder or box, labeled “To File” to temporarily store items. (At least that way, before they’re organized, You’ll know where everything is – in the box). Finding the ideal place for papers is a vital key to maintaining the order.

A filing cabinet is almost always the best way to organize papers. If you don’t have a file cabinet you could use an old dresser. Then you can organize papers from those other piles scattered throughout your home. When you organize your papers, use folders or envelopes then store them in the location you have selected. Purchase a portfolio/organizer notebook from an office supply store to help organize papers for special things you are working on. An example would be if you are in the process of changing your car insurance, place all the different price quotes in the one portfolio. That way when you are ready to make your decision you have all the necessary information in one spot. This also works great when those year-end statements start to come in. Put them in a folder and then just take that folder to your tax preparer. I used to have a tendency to just put them in a “safe place”, then, of course I couldn’t find them when I was ready to file my taxes. Another good use for these multi pocket portfolio’s is to store all those receipts. New roof, new furnace, all the miscellaneous items that you had to get for that re-model.

Top of the list as a way to stay organized with your papers, is to sort the mail as soon as it comes in. Throw out those items you KNOW you won’t look at, such as all those ads. Then keep three folders or paper trays in a handy area. One for unopened important incoming mail, one for outgoing mail, and one for papers that need to be taken care of such as permission slips and bills to be paid.

Take action, perform regular maintenance and keep your papers organized by deciding what papers are most important to you. Take your time, and make the effort to take care of your filing and you will find that you will be able to locate what you want, when you want.

If you need help with debt, and you decide that you do not want an IVA or to do debt management, you need to consider bankruptcy. This is a quick guide to what you need to do.

In order to declare yourself bankrupt, you must be insolvent. That means that your liabilities must be greater than your assets and/or you cannot pay your debts as and when they fall due. The legislation says that you must owe more than £750. This was set back in 1986, and so is out of date. Everybody who goes bankrupt owes many times this amount.

If you are insolvent, you next need to ascertain which is your local bankruptcy court. Not every court in the UK has bankruptcy jurisdiction. You can get the information on which court you need to apply to from the Courts Service at your local court.

When you have decided on your local court, you need to get hold of a bankruptcy pack. You can down load these on line. Alternatively call your local court and they should send you a pack or you can collect the pack from them.

Your pack will contain, a Petition, and a statement of affairs, plus a guide to filling the forms in.

Your petition contains questions about your name and address and whether you have been bankrupt before. It is only two pages long.

The statement of affairs is a much bigger affair, being 35 pages long. It requires detailed answers to questions about assets and liabilities, income and expenditure. You can get help from various professionals with the completion of this document.

You need to take three copies of both documents to court.

Before you simply turn up at court check the procedure as some courts like Leicester have a two day process and others like Stockport and Burton on Trent have a waiting list which may be up to two months.

The cost is £510 for those who get no help with fees being a court fee of £150 and an Official receivers deposit of £360.

At the court you need to file your papers and the court staff will check your documents and take your money. You may or may not have to see the Judge.

Again each court has a different hearing process. In Leicester the District Judges often do not wish to see you. In Coventry the Judges always want to see each person.

The District Judge makes an order and you are then bankrupt for one year.

If you need help filling in your papers, please seek professional help. Some companies will even walk you through the whole bankruptcy process.