Organizing Your Papers

by Karen Bates
(last updated May 11, 2017)

If you look around your desk at home or at work, you might notice that it could use some serious organization. Maybe you leave wrappers on your desk, old soda cans, or random items that are cluttering your work area. But the most likely culprit for the bulk of the mess is probably paper.

Who knows where they all came from, but it seems that papers just show up on your desk with nowhere else to go. You might pile them up to the side or shove them under something else, but these papers aren't going to just disappear.

Take a few minutes to get your papers organized instead of just pushing them aside. If you just leave them, they will eventually become a mess that will become more difficult to organize later. And what if you need an important paper but don't know where to find it?

Try this process the next time your find that papers have invaded your work area:

  1. First, find all the papers on your desk and put them into a pile. Look through this pile and decide how important each paper is.
  2. Now move on to make three separate stacks: one for important papers, one for less important papers that you still want to keep, and another for papers that you don't need.
  3. Take the third pile and recycle these papers—you don't need useless garbage cluttering your work environment, so you might as well dispose of what is not important.
  4. Now, look through the remaining papers and put them into several piles depending on what type of documents they are. For example, you might put work-related papers in one stack and bank statements or receipts in another.
  5. To organize the remaining papers, you have a few options. Consider getting a small filing cabinet or just some files and a banker's box, depending on how big the paper stack is. If you don't have that many papers to deal with, get a few folders to hold different kinds of documents and papers. A large shoebox is another simple option for keeping track of papers.
  6. However you choose to organize your papers, make sure that you carefully label them once they are organized. Write clearly on files, folders, and boxes to ensure that you will be able to find what you need later on.

It only takes a few minutes to get organized, and it makes your desk look a lot cleaner right away. Enjoy your clean work environment and keep organizing those papers!

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...

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