Creating A Filing System: This is Day 12 of our 30-Day Declutter, De-stress, Simplify Challenge! If you are not signed up for the challenge sign up here to join the fun!
After you declutter your paper
We tend to hang onto old paperwork because we are afraid that if we throw something out, we will immediately need it. Am I right? Then, if we do need it we still can’t find it because it’s buried under piles of other paperwork. It’s a common dilemma.
In Day 11 we talked about dealing with your paper clutter. Were you able to pick a pile and start decluttering? If so, bravo! Then, after you decluttered did you say, “Now what?”
Know your style
If you don’t love detailed organizing, then a filing system with really micro-organized categories and rainbow-color file folders is probably not going to work for you. You may do better with a basket system that uses only broad categories.
If you are a very visual person, you may prefer to use a binder system that sits on a shelf and/or wall mounted baskets to hold your paperwork. Pay attention to your personal organizing preferences.
A smart filing system
I have one definition for a smart filing system: One you will actually use. If you aren’t using what you currently have, then it’s probably time to switch things up.
My Ducks In A Row Course shows you how to organize important documents into nine broad-categories. Within those nine broad categories are smaller, micro-categories. If you know you are never going to label file folders with detailed information, that’s perfectly fine! Do what works for you.
The Ducks In A Row System works with binders, bins or a filing cabinet. I choose to use a filing cabinet because I am a detailed, micro-organizer. You can take a peek inside my filing cabinet by clicking here.
- Continue decluttering your paper work. Important: You can’t effectively organize until you declutter. Purge and then set up a system.
- If you are done purging, start thinking about what system would work best for you:
- Binders, bins, wall-mounted baskets and/or a filing cabinet.
- Micro (detailed) or Macro (broad) categories
- Do you prefer visual (wall-mounted and shelving system) or hidden (filing cabinets) systems?
Paperwork can be exhausting, so pace yourself, and set up a filing system that works best for you.
Day 12 Recap
- Know your style – don’t organize like everyone else. Do what works best for you.
- Use a smart system. If you use it and can find what you need, then it’s smart.
- Always purge before you organize.
Check out the Ducks In A Row Course!