I am writing this at the end of April, and for most of us, tax season is over. We can now breathe a sigh of relief for another year. If you plan to shred or recycle large quantities of paper, now is the perfect time to do so.
Since organizing is an ongoing process, files will have to be tweaked and paperwork will have to be shredded or recycled periodically. However, if you follow these few steps, your system will be in order for the rest of 2011, and your paperwork that has to be filed will have a home.
• Make room for new materials by going through your filing cabinets (or wherever you keep your files). Shred copies of tax returns and the back-up documentation older than 7 years, old bills, old insurance policies, old bank statements, or anything old that has personal identifiable information on it. Recycle old newspaper and magazine articles, defunct travel brochures, etc. Check with your accountant, financial planner, and/or attorney if you are not sure what to discard.
• Review your filing system to determine if the way you have your files set up works well for you. If not, for example, change the names of the files, or change the placement of the files.
• Set up new files for the New Year if you have not done so yet, labeling them with meaningful names, so they are easily retrievable.
Personal Tip: I set up my business files for the upcoming year in December. Having everything in order by January 1st helps me to hit the ground running. However, there is no time like the present to set those files up if you haven’t already. One type of container I discovered to be very useful is a portable plastic letter-size file box with a handle that I bought at Staples. It’s the right size to house all of my paperwork for my business for an entire year, it’s easy to store, and if I need to take my information anywhere, it is effortless to cart around. Here’s the link:
• Remember – you can always get a lot of information on-line.
The greatest benefit is that now you can be more productive, efficient, and effective in your office. Your files have been culled, making it manageable to put away new materials, and it’ll be easier to find what you are looking for because everything will have a home. There is no right or wrong way to organize. What fits your needs is the right way.
BB’s Clutter Solutions is located in Cherry Hill, NJ and serves New Jersey (north and south), Philadelphia and its Pennsylvania suburbs, and New York City. Contact information: www.bb-clutter-solutions.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, 856-912-0077.