Most people I know find it a challenge to deal with office paperwork - even if they are very well organized in other areas of their home. Organizing your home office and creating a filing system is one of the more difficult organizing tasks in any home.
Especially if you work out of your home office. It's hard to focus on organizing when you have paid work to get done. Another reason is that creating a great filing system can be a very time consuming task. For a creative person, it can be a nightmare just to define categories for all the paper. There are so many choices! Almost every paper in your file could be filed in any number of categories. And then once you do decide on a category, it's hard to remember what you chose! It's a vicious cycle. And then you have to figure out how long to keep everything for tax purposes.
Here are some tips to help make "doing it yourself" a little easier.
Create Filing Index
One way out of that cycle is to create an Index for your file system that explains what's in each category. That way, you have a guide to help you file...AND a guide to help you find documents.
Use a Premade System - The HomeFile System
If you don't want to do all this work yourself, you can now buy products that have done all the work for you! We feature one of these products in our Neat Living Store. It's called the Home File system. (Shown in the photo) It has file folder cards all set up so you don't have to make any labels. And it includes an index already made.
All you have to do is open the package, stick each card that is relevant to you in a pendaflex type hanging folder, and then start filing!
Your system will be ready to use in 5 - 10 minutes and all the category decisions have been made for you.
This is a Lifesaver for people with ADD, or anyone who gets overwhelmed with setting up and trying to maintain their files.
If you would like to see more or order this product, go to our store, and click on Office, or search on "homefile" (don't put a space between home and file)
Here are a few other places online you can get pre-made filing systems & folders (we use Office Depot Brand hanging files rather than Pendaflex - it saves a lot of money.)
To help you create your own filing system, we've created a 3 Page document that provides and a planning tool listing all the diffent categories and clearly explaining exactly which documents to keep and how long to keep them. To get our FREE "Document
Retention & Filing Guidelines" just sign up for our Neat Living Newsletter! It's a great way to be ready for the upcoming tax season!