How to Organize Home Office Filing

How to Organize Home Office Filing

An effective home office filing system allows you find something when it is needed. As long as you can access what you want immediately, it doesn't matter how you organize, but there should be a separate area inside of your home just for your office. Your home office should also include a filing system, which helps you to separate your business and personal transactions.

Review your existing papers; sort and discard accordingly. If you are unsure of whether you should throw an item away, ask yourself what will happen if you do. If the perceived outcome is negative, keep the item.

Separate the papers you decide to keep into piles. Use post-it notes to categorize each stack. For example, if one stack contains your business's tax documents, label the pile, "Tax Papers." Use broad categories when sorting, such as "Leisure" or "Company Bills." Note that "Leisure" applies to your hobbies, such as photography or music. If the stack pertains to your clients, label each stack according to its topic, such as "Inventory Reports" or "Stock Inquiries

Make hanging folders and interior files for each category. For example, say you are running a payroll services company, make hanging folders and interior files for each client for the year. If the client has a large payroll, assign an entire cabinet drawer and include hanging folders and interior files.

For example: label the drawer Johnson Construction Services. Make hanging folders for each month, such as January 2013 and February 2013. Use your file folders to create interior files, such as Payroll Registers, Tax Documents, and Time Cards.

Create folders for your own transactions. Keep these in a separate drawer from those belonging to your clients. For instance, label the drawer under your business name; then create hanging folders. Labels for the latter can include Medical Insurance, Life Insurance, Receipts, ATM Withdrawals, Automobile, Legal and Paid Bills. If your Leisure stack is varied, create sub-topics, such as Music, Art and Reading.

Use a filing cabinet that appropriately holds your files. Do not stuff the cabinet with files; this makes it harder to find the files when you need them.By Natalie Grace


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