Are you tired of a constant mess in your papers? Are you always looking for important documents or find them in the least expected place? Learn how to organise a home or office filing system so that everything stays in place.
Where to Start
Do you feel that you are not in control of your documents? They get lost and you finally find them in the least expected places? Take a few hours to organise them thoroughly. Start by gathering all the documents you keep at home. The first step of filing should be getting rid of those that are definitely no longer useful or required. There is no point in storing, for example, old receipts and warranty cards for items you no longer have or extensive manuals for electronic devices – if necessary, you can usually find these on the Internet. Prescriptions that are no longer valid or test results from a few years ago will not be useful either. Your home filing system should be transparent and only contain what’s necessary.
Tip: If you feel that a document may still be useful – archive it in a digital form. You can take a good quality photo with your phone or use a free document scanning application that immediately saves files, e.g. in PDF format. It is easy to store them in a cloud.
How Do You Organise a Home Filing System?
Not only the simplest but also the handiest way of segregation is to organise documents in categories using envelopes, folders or binders. A home filing system may include the following categories:
- finances and home budget
- policies and insurance
- tax settlements
- work-related documents etc.
Of course, this system may look slightly different – depending on your needs.
Other Ideas for a Home Filing System
If you’re not a fan of piles of folders and binders, you can store documents in decorative cardboard boxes. Nobody will guess what’s inside, and you’ll be able to label their content easily. One spacious folder with compartments can also come in handy. You can mark important documents or compartments with coloured sticky notes, for example. The same labels might serve as a reminder for things such as upcoming payment dates etc. It is worth selecting a separate colour for each document category.
Office Filing System
In the office, there are usually many more documents than at home. Often, you should also comply with the provisions on their secure storage. This is in order to maintain confidentiality and restrict access for unauthorised parties. That is why an office filing system usually requires a lot more attention than a home one.
In a small office, a bookcase or a filing cabinet with a key will do the trick. When using binders, it is worth paying a bit more attention than usual to accurately describing their content, not only in terms of categories, but also in terms of dates which the documents refer to. Every few months it is advisable to check the status of document and archive those currently unnecessary or supply anything that was missing. When it comes to an office filing system, sorting documents regularly to avoid mess is a real key to success.