Written by Karen Bates (last updated October 27, 2020)
Have you looked at your work space lately and noticed a huge pile of papers taking up a good chunk of your desk or shelves? It may seem like no big deal when you simply place files and documents on the pile to organize later, but letting papers pile up will only cause you problems later. Once the stack reaches a certain size, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start when it comes to organization.
Although organizing these files may seem like a huge task, don't give up hope. With a little planning and some helpful tips, you can succeed in your file organizing tasks and keep your papers neat and easy to locate in the future.
Take on your pile of files by separating papers into different groups. Designate piles for very important files, useful files, and files you don't need. This step alone can help greatly reduce the amount of paper clutter you have, especially if a lot of the pile happens to be junk. Even if this isn't the case, as least you have an idea of what kind of files you are dealing with and can now organize them accordingly.
After you have thrown out unneeded files, it's time to focus on what you have left. Get some file folders and set them up with a file system, shelf, or filing cabinet. Have this set-up ready so you will have a place to store away your papers and documents in a way that will make them easy to locate later.
Go through your remaining papers and place them into small piles according to type. Putting similar papers together will help you group things and will let you find them more easily in the future. You can place these groups of documents into file folders, and label them to help you keep track. Place you folders into a filing system, filing cabinet, or drawer. It can help to put all of your files in one location for quick retrieval.
Organizing your files doesn't need to be a huge, time-consuming task. Taking a few minutes to go through your papers and putting them together according to type will make a huge difference when you go searching for certain things later. Stay on top of clutter by filing away papers as soon as they show up on your desk instead of letting them sit.
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