Many people procrastinate on filing. In fact, most of them (us) dread it. Here's my theory: this is because most filing systems suck. They are painfully over-complex and inefficient.
Now folks like David Allen have suggested ways to make this less awful – use a simple A-Z order, only when needed should you make folders for a specific thing (filed behind the folder for that letter), and, most importantly, keep way fewer things. You can also make the filing process less unpleasant by using pretty folders and nicer filing cabinets and fancy labels and… ah, screw it. Filing is dull and uninspiring.
Here's how I do it.
1. Arrange to receive things you do not need to keep in digital form rather than on paper. Bank statements are a great example of this kind of thing which you can later access online in the rare case you need it.
2. Keep only papers you have high confidence you'll need again or that the government requires you to keep or that it stresses you out to think about discarding or shredding at this moment.
3. Make as few folders as possible for your comfort. Yes, A-Z, but also make folders for the stuff you know you'll have a bunch of (e.g. "Next Year's Tax Prep") or will need in a hurry or when stressed (e.g. "Homeowner's/Renter's Insurance," "Health Insurance," "Automotive Repair").
4. Make a folder called "Manuals" and throw the booklets for new stuff you acquire in there. Warranty info and purchase receipts for major things can also go here until they expire. I like to put the newest thing at the front of the folder and to weed it out once every year or so to purge manuals for stuff I got rid of and forgot to send the manual along with the item.
5. Put everything else you think you have to keep in one stack.
Seriously, just stack it up.
Make it very handy for adding to the stack and very unoffensive to your eye. My stack has sat on an upper shelf just above eye level when I had a seated desk and now resides behind two more constantly used desk items below eye level at my treadmill desk. (If I happen to spot a nice 9"x12" open-topped box, I might incorporate it, but so far it hasn't been necessary).
My discovery was that I spend far less time flipping quickly down through the reverse chronological stack to find one of the few things I actually wind up needing to refer back to than I ever did filing, so why file?
When the pile gets unappealingly high (or reaches 1 foot high, whichever comes first), whip through it quickly and pull out obviously stale stuff that can now be discarded or shredded or for which you have since created a file folder because you turned out to need those papers all together very often.
Here's the really sneaky part: since you know you'll be adding to it again soon you are not actually required to completely file or discard everything in the stack. If you feel anxious about what to do with it, just leave it there on the bottom and deal with it next time when it's less emotionally loaded or uncertain.
Is it perfectly orderly? No. Do I know just where to look for something when I turn out to need it? Yes.
Less time filing = more time for working on things that really matter to me!