Staying organized at home means organizing paper files
One of the things I like to do at least twice a year is to go through my filing cabinets. When I review and cull my home files regularly, it helps me stay on top of filing, and reduce overstuffed file cabinets. Here are some tips to help you stay organized at home too.
First off, I separate personal and professional files to de-clutter the massive amount of paper I keep. Categorizing different types of files helps decrease stress too. With categories for different types of files, everything has a home. And I know where my documents are and can find them when I need them. This gets my creative juices flowing.
Quarterly maintenance captures the past and makes room for future
Looking over my files feels like a quarterly review process. It’s a great way to set a reasonable, frequent-enough reminder to clear your home files.
Another benefit of quarterly reviewing your home office files is to review your performance and activities. I swear clearing out old files reminds you of what was important and helps you to develop what you might like to do for your future. As I physically pull out each file and my fingers go through the papers, I’m visually and mentally reminded of the past and I DECIDE if these papers are still useful and important. If they are not, it’s off to the recycling bin or shredder, and if they are they remain in a properly labeled hanging file folder.
How to get started organizing your home files
Regularly maintaining your home files is essential to feeling organized. Think of it as a trip down memory lane. It’s an opportunity to reflect on passing time. Additionally, creating a regular maintenance routine gives you time to think, find closure, and move on. Organized files create space for new thoughts and future aspirations.
The examples below show how I use regular maintenance tasks to review both personal and professional files. And how reviewing files can “tickle” me into staying organized for the future.
How to organize personal files for your family
These days it’s essential to create a file for your medical papers. I create a new one for each calendar year to hold bills and EOBs that come by main. Additionally, each family member has a private file for medical records and test results.
As I review my family’s medical files I might be reminded that I need to set up an appointment at the orthodontist for my son or call our primary care physicians since we have changed insurance companies.
Report Card Files
As I review my children’s report card file I am reminded of their strengths and weaknesses. So if my son is supposed to read more, I will set some dates up to go to the library and also to utilize his Barnes & Noble gift cards. Additionally, if my daughter is supposed to write more, I will ask her to write out invitations to her birthday party, the menu for the party, and thoughtful notes of appreciation afterward since her birthday is this month.
As I review each child’s Personal file, I will only save items I may need for the future. Items such as passport records, social security cards, birth certificates and records relevant to my children’s religious identity and training are considered vital. It’s a good idea to
How to organize professional files
Running a business adds a lot of stress to your life. So, setting up professional files successfully means your filing system helps you do the work you need to do. The right organizing system can make or break your productivity, so work with your Organizing Style Preference to set yourself upright. The TSSI can help you determine the best way to set up your professional and personal files.
Client Records & Files
As I review my client files I will think of people I want to reach out and touch again so I will jot a note in my planner to follow up with them.
As I review all the courses I presented, I may think of classes I’d like to run again or new places and/or topics I’d like to teach. When inspired, I write these thoughts in my planner and assign a time to develop each. However, the most recent presentation files are always there, ready to serve as a resource whenever I need them.
As I look over my QuickBooks reports, I am reminded to call my accountant to create some new chart of accounts that I hadn’t needed before. Again, I decide when I am going to do this assignment and write it in my planner.
Why you procrastinate organizing your home files
Maybe people procrastinate on filing because it seems too daunting. When looking at your files you may become overwhelmed when you realize that filing isn’t simply one piece of paper that needs to be filed. But the un-filed paper indicates a postponed decision. Paper piles indicate inaction and are often a sign for you to revamp your paper filing system altogether.
Most people don’t have the time at the moment to complete their thought and become overwhelmed with the time consumption of getting things done. In reality, if you break the tasks down into manageable steps and “schedule the unscheduled”, things do get done and by spreading them out you’ll feel more in control of your time management.
In conclusion, this process just goes to show you that staying organized is a constant work in progress. Once we get our files and life “in order”, Father Time is going to take us places we don’t know about yet and we will have to constantly readjust our organizing strategies to stay on top of it all.
Organizing files is definitely one way we entrepreneurs can stay on top of our yearly goals! Find out more about Jean Marie and how she can get you organized (especially for an upcoming move) here – www.POSSEpartnersllc.com.
Jean Marie Herron is a professional organizer and the owner of POSSE, as well as one of the founding members of ReadyStageMove™. She can be reached at JM@POSSEpartnersllc.com or at 201-406-9643. For further organizing information, please visit www.POSSEpartnersllc.com. To learn more about Jean Marie and POSSE, connect on Facebook and Pinterest!