I am working on de-clutter and organization and have made lots of progress and gotten rid of TONS of stuff...however these are all skills I've had to cultivate/work on and do not come naturally to me. One area that I am procrastinating on is my home office though. How long do I need to keep old bills? I am thinking of some years as I used to have to pay my ex alimony and may need to prove my financials...hence I have such a messy folder full of bills...what's the best way to organize, I was thinking of an accordian folder, with a slot for each month and a new one for each year? I also work from home and so my work stuff is all in there. I am pretty organized on that front but would like it to look nicer...I need things to be readily available so I have a lot of standing file folders...then there's a lot of "b-level" less important stuff that I need to print out and save but rarely access...I am thinking maybe I can file that away under my two big work tables? I am on a budget so those are just milk crate files with hanging file folders...none too pretty but not sure what else I can do. I appreciate any office/paper organization tips.
Thanks so much in advance,
I have one file cabinet (from Ikea) of stuff I access all the time, bills, accounts, medical, this years tax etc. Then I have file boxes for the stuff I access less than once a month. I keep it all in regular file folders with labels on the top, then grouped like with like (all money together with green labels) in hanging file folders.
For other stuff I have some great little drawers that hold the little supplies, stationary etc and a bookcase for the bigger stuff. I keep extras of office supplies in boxes tucked away.
Make sure you have your recycle and garbage handy from where you usually sit and work.
A skirt on your work tables would hide a multitude of ugly but functional.
Mama to J (Jan '09), E (May '11), and C (August, '13)
Professional Cloth Diaper at Diaper Lab in Boston (ask me about laundry)
In organizing your office, think about what you need on a daily basis. Put that close at hand. Things like receipts, I like to keep longer than suggested since I can't use documentation that is in the landfill. However, Only save the important stuff.
Designate a special box for the important keepers. Use filing envelopes from office supply stores. They keep everything neat and tidy inside the envelope and nothing slips out the sides.
For documentation of tax information, I like those boxes with the separate lids such as copy paper comes in. Put your information together by the year along with supporting proof. I keep it longer than just 3-5 years...just in case! Also, when you sell a house or settle an estate, it can be helpful to have proof of purchase. In case of fire or other emergency, it is helpful to prove you actually made some of the larger purchases.
Put this box out of the way, but where it can be found easily if needed.
Good luck! Cynthia Charleen