As many of you know, Laura at Org Junkie hosts a monthly Organizing Round Up. The project for January is filing cabinets. Before each round-up (assuming I participate in all of them) I thought it would be informative to do a post, telling some strategy that I use or something that I learned while doing the current project. So this month I decided to share with you the secret to my success (at least in the area of filing and ridding your desk of clutter).
My secret is the Temporary File Box. When I worked as a receiving clerk, I had several file trays and racks that held folders (all labeled nicely of course), and each folder or tray had a specific purpose and was a temporary home for a particular kind of paper work until it could be processed. I also had a box with green hanging folders (just like the one above) to hold all the recieved purchase orders until I had time to file them away.
After getting married we were plagued with paper! Mail would sit on my desk, my husband’s desk, the kitchen counter, and of course the kitchen table! So I decided to buy a simple file box and put some folders in it; the folders would help me, not only to organize the paperwork, but hide it away!
And unlike other solutions I tried in the past, I like this one because the box stays out in our office, and the folders are labeled, so the box itself is a constant reminder to stay on task and process and file paperwork!
The labels for the folders obviously depend on your own individual needs. But to get you started, here are some of my folders and their purposes:
- Bills – Where I place new bills until they are paid
- To Be Filed – Where I placed any paper work that needs to be filed (of course), and where bills and all the other paperwork goes after it’s processed (if I don’t have time to file immediately)
- Personal Reciepts – Where I place grocery store, resturant, and other receipts, until I can enter the amounts into my expense spreadsheet.
- Business Receipts – Where I put receipts from my husband’s business and other tax deductible receipts until I have time to enter & file them.
- Requires Action/To Do – For paperwork that needs to be signed or filled out and mailed off or something we have to call about.
- I also have a folders labeled “Misc,” “Scrap Paper” (for doodles), and “To Shred.” My husband and I also have our own individual folders, and I have a folder that’s labeled “Blogging” for ideas that I get or find, and I have a folder labeled “Etsy.”
By sorting all incoming mail and paperwork into folders as I have described, it is very easy to stay organized, and when it comes time to pay bills, file, and do other office tasks, you don’t have to waste time trying to figure out what everything is and what needs to be done with each piece.
This post is featured on Rocks in My Dryer.