The year is drawing to an end and it’s a good time to make sure files and paperwork are in order. Closing out the year in an organized way will help you not only start next year right, it can also make tax time easier. Here are several tips to get your year-end paperwork in order:
Know What to Keep: Do you ever get confused when going through paperwork because you’re not sure what you need to hang on to? Check out the Chaos To Order Records Retention Document for a good list of what paperwork you should save and how long to save them.
Box it up: Once you determine which paperwork you need to keep, like finished projects, customer files, and yearly financial documents, put everything into Bankers Box boxes. Because they can be stored flat and are easy to assemble, it’s always good to keep these boxes on hand for any time you need to archive. Before filling up the box, always weed through documents, folders and binders and purge what you can, that way you can determine what size box is best.
Create Systems: How does the paper flow in your office? Do you have ample space to store and retrieve the documents you use frequently? Good filing systems are essential for optimal organization. If you aren’t good at keeping up with files in drawers, consider using a Literature Sorter to keep projects separated and off your desk to avoid looking cluttered.
Clear the Shelves: When was the last time you paid attention to the shelving in your office? When you’re in a space every day, you can lose track of how cluttered it can look. Spend some time clearing through the shelves, eliminate what you can and properly store the rest. Magazine Files are great for keeping the shelves in order. Keeping magazines and/or documents labeled by type on the shelves not only looks great, but it will also give you easy access. When storing magazines, set a number limit of what you will keep. For example, keep only the current 6 months of a subscription. Then, when the latest issue arrives, toss the oldest.
Taking the time to implement a few organizing strategies now will help you button up this year and look forward to an organized 2015!
Written by: Monica Friel, President and founder of: Chaos to Order