I love organizing. However, offices are not my specialty – if you couldn’t tell by my website!
I pride myself in working with children and families – however, I do organize the occassional office here and there.
This week I wanted to share with you what I do in my own office for papers. It’s an incredibly simplified system, but it works really well for me.
The first step is to get as much stuff weeded out as early as you possibly can. For me, this starts right when I check the mail – I get everything out and recycle the junk mail. But wait – there’s more! I go as far as taking everything out of the envelopes and recycling the envelopes. I’ve never missed them once.
Next, the mail comes upstairs and ends up either on the dining room table, in a basket on my desk, or in the gray polka dot bag pictured, which is my basket of things to be shredded.
If it ends up on the dining room table, it usually gets swept into the white basket on the dining room table to be dealt with later. Same with the black basket – that’s on my desk – if it needs to be acted on or filed, it goes there.
This drives a lot of people crazy – they think that paperwork has to be categorized at every step – but I disagree. I know that if it is one of these baskets, I have to do SOMETHING with it – file it, do it, eventually recycle it, put it away. Why give myself an extra step be sorting it if it just needs to be sorted again?
Most things get done online then recycled. I generally don’t save paper copies of bills and have never needed to, as everything is recorded online and by email confirmation. Many of my bills are auto-paid at this point as well.
Next, it gets filed into one of two boxes – the box with purple folders for personal stuff and the box with yellow folders for business stuff. I try not to break down colors any futher than that – it seems that every other color coding system I have tried the folders of the color scheme I am keeping with run out for that category. May as well just keep it simple.
I also don’t like my handwriting, so I try to keep everything labeled with printed label stickers.
So – that is me! How do you keep your papers organized (or not)?