For many of us, paper clutter is an artifact of a busy and productive life – one that we’re quite occupied leading. We grew up in an age where keeping a hard copy of documents was necessary for our records and reference. As more companies are moving digital, it’s a great time to assess if your filing systems are working for you. When you can easily retrieve the documents you need, you’ve moved beyond just “storing” paperwork. There is no right or wrong way to file documents – a good system is one that gets used effectively!
Whether we’re updating our client’s filing systems for a more minimal digital footprint, helping reclaim an office space lost to stacks of papers, sorting through a sea of documents of unknown importance, or periodically managing a professional’s paperwork; we have some great processes and systems to help cut through the clutter.
One of our favorite tips is to keep the tools necessary to process your paperwork at arms reach from where you’re working. This can be applied to most any space – even beyond paperwork, documents and filing.
When something is easy for us to use, we are more likely to put that product or system into practice. If something will be used or referenced frequently, keeping it handy can save a lot of trouble and time. We’ve found lateral filing cabinets to be incredibly useful because they take up less space, and these can frequently be found on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
Cutting out fat isn’t just for diets – the acronym “F.A.T.” is commonly used in the Organizing world to help sort and organize paperwork and documents:
File: necessary records and reference
Action: paperwork where a pending task is required
Trash: for sheets that are no longer needed
With this simple system you can get your paperwork under control by sorting and purging – or cutting the “FAT” out of your office. Things that fall into the first two categories can be efficiently organized with colored folders, to have frequently referenced and immediately actionable items most easily accessible.
In the next article in our mini-series on office upkeep, we’ll discuss tools and services that we’ve found really useful for our clients and in our own offices at Uncluttered – especially related to cutting out the FAT! To see the latest updates in this series, uplifting and positive posts, quick tips and techniques, and satisfying before & after job site reveals, you can keep in touch with us here.
If your home organizing project feels too big for one person, it could be time to talk with a professional organizer. Let’s start the conversation! Send an email to me at Linda@unclutterednw.com and we’ll schedule a time to talk about what’s on your mind.