Once you’ve established your business and have started to bring in a steady income, it’s time to finally get to all that paperwork you’ve been neglecting. Get an organized filing system started and help your office to feel more like home.
A Place for Everything
Secondhand is cheaper, so if you have any used office file cabinets lurking around, they make great upcycling projects and add a pop of personality to your office. The first step in getting your paperwork organized is to sort through it. Make three piles:
- Shred: Paperwork that is obsolete, outdated or has personal information on it. (This includes personal information about clients and employees as well!)
- File: Items that are still relevant and need to be put in their appropriate place.
- Other: Things that need to be relocated (go back to another department) or fall into some other category.
Colorful and Bright
Colored labels do more than make your filing cabinet look cheerier; they also help to act as a code for specific documents. Separate files by topic, using a color to indicate that topic. For example:
- Red: HR and interpersonal paperwork.
- Yellow: Master copies of documents.
- Green: Payroll and finances
Invest in a Decent Shredder
Paper shredders serve a basic concept, but consider how much yours will need it to withstand. Will you use your paper shredder many times during the day, or just once or twice a week? When you shop for one, consider the following:
- The maximum capacity for how many pages can be shredded at once.
- Can different kinds of media be shredded (credit cards, disks, etc)?
- Is there a good warranty on the machine if it fails on you?
Handling paperwork is not as hard as you’re imagining it to be. Start filing and sorting the piles upon piles that have been gathering on your desk to make your office feel like yoursagain.