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3 Things You Should Know Before Setting Up a Home Office Filing System

How long does it take you to find a particular bill, receipt, or document from your desk? Can you find what you’re looking for without turning over each piece of paper, digging through junk, or turning your desk inside out? If it takes you too long to find documents, then you might need an efficient home office filing system.

A home office filing system helps you to keep documents and files in a neat, orderly, and categorized manner so that you will never have to dig through piles of paper or junk looking for another file again. Here are three things that you need to know before you set up a home office filing system:

1. The most efficient home office filing systems are category based systems

Arranging your files in a category based system allows you to find whatever you need much faster than other systems. For example, alphabetical systems can be very confusing. If you file documents in alphabetical order, you might put your car-insurance policy under “C” for “car” or under “I” for “Insurance Company.” In an alphabetical system, finding that policy again becomes a matter of your long-term memory, or luck. Different types of papers should go under different, carefully selected categories that make sense so that the next time you need a file, you’ll find it in a jiffy.

2. A good home office filing system is clear about what to keep and what to shred

Have you looked at the huge pile of papers on your desk lately? Have you tried sorting out what you need and what you don’t? You’d probably be surprised at the huge pile of papers that should be thrown away or shredded. When you have trimmed your piles down to the keepers, it will be easier to put them away in your home office filing system. For a complete list of which papers to keep and which to shred from a good home office filing system, see the resource box at the end of this article.

3. Choose a home office filing system that will grow with you

A home office filing system will spare you from the frustration of wasting time and energy searching for files, letters, receipts, bills and other documents. Furthermore, as your household or business grows, a makeover of your home office filing system can save you from paying hefty late-fees for bills that are not paid on time. It can also keep you from missing business deadlines because you lost an important document in the clutter. A good home office filing system can grow with your growing needs.

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About the Author

Heidi DeCoux, Clear Simple Living, LLC
Minneapolis, MN 55419

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