Last week you did your visualizing and started your plan for the fabulous home office soon to come. So hopefully you did just that and have a list of things that you need to do. Let’s create a file system for your papers since that is what the majority of people complain about it in any office. Why is there so much paper in our lives? And it keeps increasing everyday. So take a few minutes and think about the type of paper you accumulate. What do you need to keep and what can you toss? What are the categories? How can you color-code your files to make it easier to maintain in future? Is one file cabilnet enough? I have two. One for files I need everyday and the other stores paper like taxes, 7 years of receipts, etc.
Start by getting rid of anything that doesn’t belong in the office. Put it all in a box and move it to another room to deal with later, not too much later, deliver each item to it’s new home.
The worse part of the process is purging and sorting the paper. So maybe break it up a little each day. Get some wire baskets to help you sort and set up a sorting station for this week only. Label your baskets and don’t forget you’ll need a trash can. Hopefully that will be full by the end of the week. I’ve read many organizing books and they all say to touch each piece of paper only once. Either sort it or toss it. Do NOT put it in a pile for things you don’t know what to do with. If you have too many of those then you didn’t plan well. Think it through and then revise the plan. Everything needs to have a place.
Once you’ve sorted all the paper by category then you can start filing them all away. It’s not as big a job as you think. And when you chunk it down into smaller tasks you will be finished before you know it. If you’re having trouble staying focused then enlist a friend to help. Especially when purging. We tend to want to keep everything. A friend will not be attached to the sentimental things you are keeping.
A tip: You may want to have a file for sentimental paper. I started a “smile” file for all those papers that I can’t part with for sentimental reasons. I pull it out a few times a year and trust me … I smile.