Four Myths about Organizing Paper and Documents

Published on: Author: Anne Langton

Nothing creates clutter in the office environment as quickly as paper.  It’s a never ending battle but there are some myths regarding paper storage and organizing that need to be debunked.

 1. KEEP PAPERS OUT OF SIGHT

As a professional organizer, it is a sentiment that I repeat constantly with clients, “Everyone’s organizational system will be different”.  If you are a visual person, having those documents on your desk may be critical in your project accomplishment. However, what is more important is setting up a system where retrieval and procurement of those papers is easy, intuitive and non-disruptive.

 2.  ONLY HANDLE PAPER ONCE

 Otherwise known asOHIO(Only Handle it Once). …talk about pressure!  Since we do not have crystal balls let’s just get rid of this one shall we?  If you are struggling to get organized the last thing you need is to add this to your list.

 3.  IF ONLY I HAD MORE FILE DRAWERS…

This could be accurate but there is another issue that needs to be examined as well. Perhaps there is paper stored in active files that need to be weeded out and placed in a more remote storage location.  Files have a definite hierarchy.  Don’t let inactive files take up prime real estate in file drawers.  Valuable space could be gained by moving inactive files into archived boxes.   File drawers fall into one of three categories…

  • ACTIVE AND ACCESSED CONSTANTLY
  • ACTIVE AND ACCESSED SOMETIMES
  • INACTIVE

 4.  YOU CAN ORGANIZE YOUR PAPERS IN A DAY

Filing and organizing papers requires making many decisions.  This type of work can be very tiring.  Don’t be unrealistic with the amount of time a “paper project” could require.  Organizing a home or business office could take weeks or months!  Remember…organizing is a process…not an event!