Is your paperwork overwhelming your work space? Do you find it difficult to find important documents you need to action? Here are some handy tips to get your files organised:
- One Spot In-Box – Decide what the best spot is for ALL incoming papers (mail, receipts, school papers, flyers, everything). One bigger pile is much easier to handle than several smaller ones mushrooming up around the house!
- To-Do File – Go through your in-box daily and pull items out that require action. It is easier to have 3 parts to this file so you can sort the items by level of urgency. Your to-do file can even be a cork board on the wall with different levels of urgency. Or you can take the papers requiring most urgent attention and keep these on the cork board – do what works best for you.
- Waste Station – Keep a shredder, recycling bin, and rubbish bin close by. You can toss unwanted paper as soon as it enters the house, before it even hits the in-box.
- File Cabinet – If space allows, have a file cabinet for papers that don’t need action or has been dealt with. If not, collect papers to file in an easy-to-access box or folder and transfer them to long-term storage monthly.
- Spend a few minutes each day – Go through your to-do file and get the urgent papers actioned. Re-prioritise the remaining ones for later. Go through your in-box if needed as well and transfer papers to the to-do file, waste station of filing.
- Are you a piler or a filer? If you are a piler, you still need a visual reminder to deal with papers. Choose clear stacking trays to pile up your papers in an orderly way. If you are a filer, you like minimal visual clutter. A desktop file box with 3 labelled folders may work better for you.
- Maintain your to-do file as if it is living and breathing and needs care at least every working day. This will ensure nothing will fall through the cracks.
- File miscellaneous papers – Don’t allow the miscellaneous papers to clog up your in-box or stack up around the house. It will grow like a weed! Keep them handy but out of sight. Check out our Facebook page for regular tips on organising in easy, low cost ways: