It’s one thing buying filing cabinets for your office and another thing actually putting them to good use. After all, in the hubbub of a busy day at your workplace, you might feel like you simply don’t have the time to carefully put pieces of paperwork in the perfect places time after time. The trouble is, if you’re not savvy when it comes to filing, you can quickly find yourself in a mess.
If this sounds all too familiar, now’s the time to take action. The fact is, by sticking to some basic principles, you should find it quick and easy to keep your office neat and tidy.
No time like the present
It’s tempting to put off tackling office chaos, but the longer you leave the task, the harder it will be. This means that when it comes to addressing office filing, there really is no time like the present!
The right filing cabinet
First and foremost, make sure you get the right storage solutions. There’s no point in choosing products just because they look pretty or they’re cheap. Size matters when you’re selecting filing cabinets. Think about how much paperwork you’ll need to store and opt for furniture that can accommodate this. If your office is small, you can buy tall cabinets to take advantage of the vertical space on offer.
Ideally, your cabinets shouldn’t be crammed full of documents, because this makes searching for them tedious. It can even put people off using the storage.
On a related theme, if you’re using hanging folders, try to place only one manila folder or set of documents in each. This makes it much easier to rummage for specific items. To remove the temptation to cram too many items together, make sure you have a healthy supply of manila folders and hanging folders to hand.
Effective labelling is a must
When you go to the trouble of finding the right storage and buying suitable folders, make sure you don’t stumble at the final hurdle. Without effective labelling systems, your efforts will come to nothing.
Of course, exactly how you choose to label your files is up to you. Perhaps you’re a straight-down-the-line A to Z kind of person, or maybe you prefer to arrange your paperwork according to themes, such as ‘taxes’, ‘bank statements’ and so on. Whichever route you take, be consistent.
No matter how organised you are, eventually your filing cabinets will fill up. Rather than waiting until they are bursting at the seams, it helps to have regular clearouts of documents you no longer need. There’s something satisfying about trimming your paperwork like this. It can help you to keep a clear focus.
Of course, make sure you don’t accidentally go chucking away important documents that you’ll need in the future!
OK, so whipping your office into shape and getting all of your filing in hand does require a little time and effort, but it really is worthwhile. Once you’ve cleared the clutter, your working space will look much better. Also, your day-to-day life will be that bit easier and less stressful.
This article was written by Carly Lincoln, who is known in the furniture industry for her specialist knowledge. She researches her articles on various sites, including www.furniture-work.co.uk - this post has been edited by Miss Holly.