You don't need to be a professional organizer to be able to sort papers properly. In fact, organization is all about decluttering your space the way you find convenient. After all, you are the one who will be using the space, you need to find a filing process that works for you.
Here is a guide with step-by-step instructions on organizing your paperwork, regardless of how much paperwork you have lying around the office!
How to Organize Office Paperwork
Step 1: Gather Up the Paper Clutter
First, gather up all the scattered papers that have been messing up your office space. Place all of them in a separate container, and set them aside in the meantime while you work on the rest of your files. Toss out or shred any documents that are no longer relevant to you or your business.
Step 2: Decide on a Filing System
Decide on how you want to arrange and organize all of your files. Will you color code your documents, or place each category in a separate file to easily find your receipts and records later on? This filing system is going to be your standard in organizing paperwork, so be certain of the system you choose to go with.
Step 3: Organize Stored Files to the New Filing System
You most likely have files already stored from your previous organizing day. These documents must be updated to the new filing system, so take time to go through each document, and file them in the appropriate color code, folder, or cabinet for safekeeping.
Step 4: Store Scattered Papers in Corresponding Folders
Get back to the scattered papers you gathered into a container earlier. Clip together files of similar nature, or those pertaining to the same project using binder clips or paper clips. This will make it easier for you to store files together based on their contents.
Step 5: Organize Files by Category
Label your file folders with the nature of the files, date, and short details of its contents. Place your paperwork into their corresponding folders. For instance, all bills should be placed together in a labeled folder, but separated by year, business period, or month. Use a similar method to organize other documents.
Step 6: Integrate Files into the New Filing System
Integrate these newly-categorized and labeled folders into your new filing system. Place them in their corresponding arrangement, and create partitions to divide folders by alphabetical order, by year, or by file type.
Step 7: Store All Files in the Filing Cabinet
Place all the organized files into your filing cabinet, along with some silica gel packets to keep the paperwork dry, especially if your office is particularly humid. Make space for you to organize new files as you continue to work.
How To Keep Your Office Documents Safe and Secure
Tip #1: Keep Documents Dry
Paper documents are susceptible to mold and pests, especially when kept moist. The humidity in the room can become a problem for your files later on as the paper fibers soak up the moisture in the air. Place silica gel packets in your filing cabinets along with your paper files to keep the moisture away, as well as prevent mold and mildew.
Tip #2: Store Digital Files Out of Your Local Drive
Digital documents cannot simply be stored in your local drive of your office computer. Highly classified and important files must have copies in external drives, or in encrypted online storage solutions. This minimizes the risk of losing your files in case of any accidents with your computer, and decreases hacking as well as the files being encrypted.
Tip #3: Digitize Files
Nowadays, it is imperative to digitize your documents, particularly those that deal with important factors to your business operations. These files, especially ones that contain sensitive information, must be encrypted, and stored in an encrypted online storage system as well to keep them away from prying eyes.
Tip #4: Use Hanging Files
Hanging files, or file folders that you suspend on a built-in tracking system, offer a better use of space as you can store more files in your storage space. Because hanging files are bottom heavy, they can store more articles while taking up less space. They expand, which you can use to file your documents, but they are better suited as a temporary storage rather than permanent.
Tip #5: Organize Paperwork on a Standard Filing System
Make sure you have a standardized filing system in the office to organize your files properly. Without such a system, you'll be left with a lot of important documents mixed together with junk mail, as well as bank statements filed with medical records, and such. A standard filing system allows you to easily refer to a labeling system to easily locate your files.
Don't Fret the Paperwork
Organizing the paperwork is only part of maintaining a clean office. Cleanliness is the key to productivity, and we at Luce Maintenance Group can offer you the best office cleaning services that will maintain the professional look of your workspace!
Give us a call today, and we can discuss a schedule that works with you!