New grads today are totally hooked in to the digital world but there are still pieces of paper and information that need to be stored or managed. And they can’t always keep their birth certificate in your family file system.
In our experience, we find these documents unsorted, piled in a heap of the young professionals we have worked with.
Until digital pink slips and birth certificates are made legal, there has to be a place to store some of these things.
The categories we see most useful are:
– Are pink slips electronic yet? And I don’t know about you, but my mechanic still gives me reports, warranties and receipts in paper format
Career and School Documents
-Things like diplomas (if they aren’t framed and displayed) transcripts, letters of reference are easy to find if there is a specific place for them
– Insurance card copies, benefits package information can get lost without a home
– Lease/Rental contracts and Renters Insurance docs would live in this category
– Bank statements, investment records, Tax receipts
– These are the most valuable for gathering research, pictures and other information in discreet categories. Though this category can be made completely digital by scanning and using online apps like Dropbox, Evernote, Asana, etc. … likely there will be some physical vestiges of a project that need a place to land
– This file could house things like a passport, a birth certificate, a baptism or marriage certificate
For a gift, procure a desktop file or file tote…The Container Store has trendy looking file systems. Paper files work best in a hanging file system with plastic tabs to delineate categories, but file folders arranged alphabetically can work just as well…and are easy to maintain. Also, we’ve mentioned Freedom Filer® in past posts, but a few choice categories from that system would set them up for life.
Even if your kid’s paper life is light now, you’re giving them a structure that will help them manage their establish skills they’ll need for a lifetime. Eventually, all documents will be electronically submitted and legally binding, but during this time, we are straddling the two worlds. A simple system for storing important information is helpful.
Oh, and, by the way, it will make the gift more exciting if you put a $100 bill in their “Financial” section or seed their “Vital Documents” file with the title to the new car you are giving them for graduation.