I hope you are all having a great start to 2018! I am starting my 16th year in business and I feel so grateful to be able to help my clients with finding solutions to their organizing situations. And in particular to help work with and teach my clients the techniques when it comes to organizing their teenagers rooms!
Here are a few tips and suggestions on organizing and purging paperwork in your home and business office:
Tip One: Go to the place where you have your oldest paperwork and see what you have there. Are you able to shred the paperwork or recycle it? Ask yourself the question: What is the consequence if I do not have this piece of paper? Do I need this information for my taxes? Are you running a business out of your home and do you need to keep the paperwork for 7 years? If you are not running a business out of your home, I would look at why you need to hold onto the paperwork. Does your accountant or financial advisor or lawyer need the information? If your answer is no, then it is time to shred or recycle the papers.
Tip Two: If you have a file cabinet that holds your old paperwork, is it busting at the seams? Is it hard to open because there is so much paperwork in there? And the big question is, do you really need this paperwork? When you purge your paperwork as much as you can, you may find you have additional room and you may not need a large file cabinet. And if you have additional room in the cabinet after you purge your papers, you may consider getting a new file cabinet or one that does not take up as much room. Some older file cabinets do not have an easy way to hang file folders from the frame and it is hard to keep your files organized in the cabinet.
Tip Three: Label your files exactly to what the paperwork pertains to. For example if the paperwork pertains to your automobile insurance label the file “Auto Insurance” or if the paperwork is about a test you had at your doctor, label it as “Blood test 2018”. Many people are afraid that if they file the papers away they will never be able to find it again. If you label the file to exactly what it is, you will be able to find it right away. Also you can label your files to what makes sense to you and what is easy for you to find.
I do not want you to feel like you are drowning in paperwork and as I stated before, the big question should be: what is the consequence if I do not have this piece of paper? Once you make your decision on that, it will be easier for you to decide what you really need to keep and what you can let go of!
If you are looking for additional ideas or solutions to organizing your paperwork, please contact me and I would be happy to help you conquer your paperwork project! I wish you all the best in the New Year!