Organizing Your Filing Cabinets? Some Helpful Tips

filing cabinet

Getting all your paperwork organized can seem like a daunting task, but you know it has to be done. So how do you face all those pieces of paper with courage and fortitude? It’s not as difficult as you may think, and when it’s done, you will not only feel relieved that you finally know where everything is, you will feel good about yourself as well.
 
First things first; make a list of all the categories you want your filing cabinet to contain. Some categories you might include are Taxes, Insurance (Health) Insurance (Auto) Insurance (Home), Bills (Organized as to what they are for; e.g.: Electric, Water, Garbage, Mortgage, Phone etc.), letters to answer, whatever is necessary to you.
 
Now decide on what method of filing will be easiest for you to navigate. Hanging files, manila folders, or both. Go to your office supply store and get the files and folders, labels that you can write or print on, and of course, a filing cabinet if you don’t have one. Get your supplies before you do anything.
 
The next step is to tackle all the paperwork. Find a clean counter top or desk top, and start putting paper into piles. Do it in alphabetical order, and only take a few letters at a time. It may feel like you are sorting things more than once, but in the end, you will get everything where you want it to be. If you have a hanging file that is labeled “Insurance,” put folders in it for each type of insurance. If you have one that says “Utilities”, create folders for each utility. If there is one that says “Business,” label folders for each aspect of your business: Clients, Contracts, Projects, Proposals etc.
 
If you already have a working filing cabinet, sort through the categories and see if you need to add more or remove some, depending on what areas of your life are represented by the loose paper you have. Make a list of categories to be added, and sort all the unfiled paperwork into the appropriate category. Decide whether or not you need to sort things by the year, like taxes for instance, and do so.
 
The hardest part may be getting rid of unused or unnecessary files and folders, or re-sorting them. Throwing things out can be very liberating, so try not to keep anything that you really don’t need.
 
This process may sound overwhelming, but once you get started, you will find it isn’t at all. Organizing your filing cabinet will give you a great deal of satisfaction, and a sense of relief. Now you can access your papers quickly and easily, and you know where to file things as they come in. It is work, but it is satisfying work, and the end result is well worth the time you give it.
 

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