Paper files and paper clutter are common, especially for an office setup; However, the pandemic has forced us to transition our workplace from the office to our homes.
Transitioning from work offices to our home offices has also resulted in paper files and paper clutter coming along with it.
We know that most of our files have now transitioned from hard-copy paper files to digital files; However, there are situations in which paper files are unavoidable.
These paper files may stack up without us even knowing it, which can also lead to clutter within our desks, and before we know it, it has already weighed on us mentally.
Paper clutter and clutter, in general, can be stressful. We aim to have a clean and organized home office to focus on the task at hand and not let the paper clutter stress us even more.
In this guide, we show you the best practices needed to remove and prevent the paper clutter from piling in your home office.
Why you have to Organize your Home Office
An unorganized home office can affect your ability to focus and perform well on your job.
It is crucial to keep your home office in check and have it decluttered when we aim for a conducive and focused work environment.
Leaving out the clutter on the desk can take a toll on your work performance mentally.
Decluttering decisively the clutter one at a time and taking out all the paper clutter may surprise you with how much it can help your performance.
7 Ways to Organize Paper Files and clutter
- Transition to digital copies
- Storage Solutions for the paper files
- Apply Labels to folders and boxes
- Declutter incoming papers right away
- Storage for essential papers
- Set a Deadline for long-term paper clutter
- Consider hiring a Junk Removal Company
Transition to digital copies
Paper files can pile up to some extent in your home office, and without you knowing, it could lead to paper clutter.
A way to avoid the paper clutter in your home office is to convert hard-copy paper files to a digital format.
Scan the paper files and have them sorted out digitally. Once you have converted the paper files into digital format, you won’t have to think about the paper clutter within your home office. However, these files can be susceptible to digital threats—for example, a virus can damage and remove all the files from your memory, or your laptop can get stolen.
An alternative for you to secure these files is to store them on an external hard drive or store them in online storage like google drive.
Paper files can range from essential to not-so-important files on your desk. Storing the files digitally works best for paper files that don’t have a requirement to keep them as hard copies.
Storage Solutions for the paper files
Keep the clutter in check by purchasing a smart storage solution for your paper files. Stacking all the folders of paper files in one closet can be a way to deal with the clutter. However, it is not the best way to deal with it, especially when the time comes for you to search on one of those files. It would be difficult to stack all of them without having to properly organize each of the folders.
Organize the folders with a storage solution that suits your needs. Storage solutions can range from—a simple bookshelf to help keep your binders, or a metal filing cabinet to organize the folders.
Storage solutions can be anything from shelves to even plastic file containers, as long as it works for your current situation. You may not access these files quite often, but as long as they are well organized, then you won’t have trouble looking for a specific document within the paper files.
Apply Labels to folders and boxes
Whether you organize your paper files digitally, or through a folder. Regardless, it is crucial to label and organize the paper files.
Applying a label to everything helps you organize and find specific files once you have stored them in one place.
Using a label maker or simply writing down the folder’s contents can help you identify a folder without having to go through all of it. It can be laborious to find a particular file without knowing which folder it was stored in.
Add as much detail as you feel appropriate when labeling all the files. For example—the dates of the particular files, a list of the files included, and a summary of the contents.
There are no particular rules on how you must organize, and label the files. It is all up to your preference—you can group them by dates or by type. Sort them out depending on their specific function. You can even include a calendar within the folder to add notes related to the files.
An excellent way to label the files visually is to incorporate colors when labeling each of the files. Incorporate colors by date on your files to know which time of the year it was obtained.
The best way to assign the colors—is to organize and assign the colors that make more sense to you personally.
Declutter incoming papers right away
Now that you have a label and an organizational system for your paper files, time to arrange and put all the papers in their rightful places. If the amount of paper you have to work on overwhelms you, divide your work into chunks and only work on small portions simultaneously. Take your time to work through each section until you have gone through all of it.
Once you have dealt with all the paper clutter within your home office, deal with the incoming papers when they enter your home— from the mail, receipts, documents, and more. Sort the mail and decide whether to dispose of it or file it in one of your paper organizers.
Never allow the paper to stack up into piles of clutter. Deal with the papers immediately to avoid the paper clutter from piling in your home office.
Storage for essential papers
There are important files that require you to keep for long periods. However, it isn’t possible to have important files sit around your room or home office just to add up to the clutter. You will have to store those important documents somewhere for long-term purposes.
It might be time to consider stacking those files in a box and storing them in your closet. If those are files related to work, then store them through your company’s archive or storage area where you might need them in the future.
Similar to the previous tips, label those boxes to make them easier to identify whenever you need them. You can also add details on the label regarding the list of content and the date on when you can consider in dispose of the boxed files.
Set a Deadline for long-term paper clutter
Work offices can often stack up paper documents that are either unnecessary or considered clutter. You will have to consider which of those files to keep and which of those paper files to declutter.
Not all files are essential and need to stay for long periods. Create a list of the documents that need to stay and for how long, making it a yearly activity to update the list and decide whether to declutter those documents or add more paper files to the archive.
If you have decided that some documents don’t serve a purpose anymore, pile them up and shred the paper clutter. It is much easier to manage fewer files than to keep all the stored paper clutter in the storage.
Getting Help from Professional Services
Consider getting professional help from junk removal services to dispose of all of the piled-up paper clutter in your home office. There can be situations where the paper clutter can still be managed. However, disposing of multiple office trash can be laborious.
Junk removal services can help you remove all the trash and other junk you need to remove from your home office. They will help you with the junk removal service from start to finish. They help you sort out the trash, haul it away from the house, and transport it to the appropriate disposal areas.
Apart from the trash, you need to remove, a regular junk removal company usually removes other types of junk as well—from paper trash, office furniture, and other junk within the house you need removing.