Joyful Downsizing Tackles Paper in the Home Office

Declutter Your Home Office’s Filing Cabinet From Unnecessary Paperwork

TACKLING PAPER IN THE OFFICE is thirteenth in a series of articles featuring techniques for decluttering your home – one room at a time. As owner of Joyful DOWNSIZING and a Sun Lakes resident, I am passionate about helping boomers and seniors declutter to simplify their lives, organize remaining items, downsize unwanted stuff and be ready for any type of future transition whether a surprise or planned.

8 Things I Don’t Buy Anymore as a Declutter Specialist

This month, we will tackle THE OFFICE. To operate a household, a business or to be an employee requires a lot of paperwork. As you clear the clutter throughout the office or work area, keep in mind that 80% of what we keep we never use…according to the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). As you clear your home office, continually ask yourself these two questions, “Will I ever use this document or this file? Can I access this paper document via the internet and therefore dispose of the paper version?”
Clutter Clearing Guide for working through the paper clutter:

1. Declutter Your Office With A Shredding Machine

Sort your paperwork into Short Term, Long Term and Discard/Recycle piles. If a shredder is not part of your office equipment, create a Shredding Pile. Staples is a good source to take shredding. You weigh your papers and box and they subtract the box weight. A typical shredding cost is 99 cents / pound. You feed the papers into the big trash bin yourself.

2. Simple Decluttering Paperwork Tips for Single Paper Pieces

Pick up a piece of paper. Ask yourself “Do I need this?” If not, put in the discard/recycle pile.

3. Long-Term Organization For Important Documents

Long Term papers include appliance manuals, warranties, service contracts, yearly bank statements (monthly only for current year), credit card contracts, legal documents, education records, diplomas, transcripts, employment records, family health records including vaccination histories, health benefit information, income tax returns and supporting papers (last 3 years for State and Federal), insurance policies, yearly loan statements, password list, receipts for items under warranty, safe deposit box inventory and key, tax receipts, charitable deduction receipts.

4. Declutter Your Desk By Going Online Instead Of Keeping Paper Notes

What to do about notes from workshops or events? Do you ever go back and read them? Try releasing them and refer to the internet for the notes should you need them.

5. Save Home Office Space By Storing your Files Online

Now review your saved piles and determine those which have information you could potentially retrieve online. DON’T store anything in paper form that you can access online, unless having a paper document gives you a feeling of security.

6. Declutter, Organize, And Keep Your Office Desk Clean

Finally, it’s time to declutter the desktop with the added challenge of keeping it clean. Try magnetic desk accessories to corral clips. Also acceptable are a pencil cup, phone, a photo frame that makes you smile, a small divided stand to hold only a few current file folders labeled with a Sharpie pen to make the font more visible.

A cluttered office is a path to an inefficient life. Reserve five minutes at the end of your day in the office to organize and/or file necessary paperwork. Scan or input business cards, organize computer files and documents, and put items back in their place. Once you have de-cluttered your office space, you will feel lighter and pleased with yourself for all your accomplishments as you look forward to beginning tomorrow with a clean slate!

Stay tuned for future articles about organizing craft/hobby areas, digital organizing, drawers transition preparation. Contact me to schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation:

Author: Kim Kubsch

Website: Joyful Downsizing

Call me to learn about my FREE 30-minute consultation: 480 720 8566.
I can also be reached by email at: [email protected]