Files- Create files for all your shared papers and your individual ones. That way your personal documents won’t get mixed up with your joint papers, making them easier to find in a hurry.

Remember there are two of you- double the mess!

Remember there are two of you- double the mess!

Put away paperwork from last year- Your files can get pretty full if you leave everything in from year to year, so start afresh and put anything from 2016 in the loft leaving you with space for your 2017 hoard.

Create an in-tray- And clear it out every weekend. We understand that you might not feel like filing your statement way on a Tuesday night, so put it in a place to action when you have some more free time- but do make sure you open it and look at it first as it could be important.

Use dividers- Chances are, you won’t need 90% of your paperwork again once you’ve filed it. But if you need to lay your hands on your car insurance certificate, your counterpart licence or your birth certificate- you need to know exactly where they are; so mark your dividers clearly and in order of how often you use them.

Communication- Generally one person takes control of the paperwork when in a relationship, which is fine if that works for you as a couple. With that said, the one who does the filing- make sure you tell your partner where you’re putting it so if you’re not there to show them- they can lay their hands on it easily.

Keep the desk clear- Make sure that you don’t pile wads of papers on the desk. One of you might need this to work at and it’s not conducive for working if it’s filled with documents to be actioned. One of you may wish to use the desk for pleasure- working on some creative writing, filling in a diary entry or simply browsing the internet. If the desk is covered in things to be moved or done- it’s not going to provide the user with a happy, relaxing environment.

Protect your relationship from unnecessary niggles- Some of the biggest bugbears for couples are hoarding, disorganisation and mess, particularly if its only one partner who’s the contributor. If you keep everything in your study in apple pie order, this will save your bickering over something that shouldn’t be an issue in the first place.

Keep your books, CDs, magazines and DVDs in alphabetical order- There’s nothing worse than thinking you know where something is and then you go to get it and it’s missing. If you keep everything in this order, you should know exactly where you’re looking for your desired item rather than trying to remember the colour of the spine.

Set up your systems together- Anything that’s mentioned above- if you decide to implement it- do so together. Buy your stationary together, sort it out as a team and take pride in it when you’re both done. This way you both know where to find things- where to put things away and where to place your hands on the most important stuff.

And if you feel something isn’t working- Discuss it before making any changes. It’s all well and good moving the files from their usual spot to a new one- but if your partner doesn’t know where you’ve shifted them to- it could cause conflict. 

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