I can only tell you what I do and maybe it will help. I have a file cabinet with folders marked for important things. I have one with my name and my husbands name and it has our birth certs, marriage license and any other personal important papers. I have one for each child with their important personal papers and I also keep their awards in that folder too and report cards. Then I have one for bank statements or any other statement that is in refererence to our 401k or insurance policies. I do not keep stubs for electric bills, water, cell phones, ect...because once I pay the bill, I dont need them. I keep each years taxes in their own separate folders too. Cleaning off my desk is a weekly thing. It accumulates quickly.
at 8:12 AM on Jul. 31, 2009