paperwork on office floor
Organize & declutter paperwork (Source: Outside In Organizer and Makeovers

Organizing paperwork

Organizing paperwork is the best way to reduce clutter and improve productivity. As a Personal and Professional Organizer I find my clients are often asking about when and how to get rid of paperwork including old documents. Here are helpful articles to guide you in deciding what to do with your papers:

What documents do I need to keep?

How long do I need to keep documents?

What do I need to shred?

What paperwork can I safely recycle?

Recycling, Shredding

office decluttered
Declutter paperwork | Recycle, Shred (Source: Outside In Organizer and Makeovers)

Organizing paperwork starts with decluttering.  Keep only documents that are useful and required for specific purposes. These include: taxes, professional or personal action required, or personal reference. Organizing paperwork means that you can put your hands on what you are looking for quickly. Recycle papers that do not contain confidential information. Your return address on incoming mail is not confidential so it is safe to put envelopes in the recycle bin. Shred items that contain financial and confidential information such as identification numbers on accounts, PINS, and passwords.

If you have a large amount of paper to be shred it is worth considering several options that are more efficient and not necessarily costly.

  • Secure shredding services – pick up at home or office
  • Secure shredding services – drop off
  • Do it yourself shredding – commercial locations

Once you are caught up on the very large amounts of shredding you can create a system for shredding yourself on a regular basis. Organizing tips:

  • Don’t bring recycling and junk mail into the house or office.
  • Have a shredder in or near where you open mail.
  • Purge files on a regular basis, at least quarterly.
  • Purchase an identify ink stamp or roller to hide confidential information.
  • Use recyclable shredder bags in your shredder bin.

Got organizing, time management and productivity questions? Call your San Diego Professional Organizer at (760)809-8851.

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