Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Home Office: Paperwork

One of the biggest problems when it comes to organizing is what to do with all the paper that accumulates. Bills, invoices, receipts—it usually all ends up in a pile somewhere, often on top of the desk.

Electronic communication makes it possible to eliminate some paperwork. Bills are paid online, email replaces paper letters. And yet it never quite seems to all go away.

Here's how I control the clutter in my home office. I have a filing cart that also holds my printer/fax/scanner:
The files are labeled (color coding might work better for people who are very visual) and alphabetized. Most of what's in there is personal papers—household info, vet records, receipts, that kind of thing. I try to take something out when I put something new in, but some of the folders don't get cleaned out nearly often enough, so every few months I go through it and purge old receipts and what not.

Work-related papers and tax info are kept on this unit, easily reachable from my desk:
The pink folder holds tax receipts, and the file box on the bottom shelf contains invoices and such from jobs that I've done. I also have dictionaries and style books at arm's length, but these days I mainly use online tools to look up words.

I keep some other, less-often-used reference books on another book shelf:
There's no closet in the office, but we have big closet off the kitchen where I keep printer paper and other office supplies. I want to get a Stockholm box (or two) from the Container Store to keep paper and printer refills close by, but for now it works fine.

Houzz has tips (and lots of eye candy) for creating a paperless home office, but I'm not quite ready for that yet.

How do you organize your workspace?

4 comments:

  1. Yeah, creating a paperless office can be really challenging, especially if you are still starting out. A good way would be to minimise paper use as much as possible and put everything else online.

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    1. I think you're right. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Organising a work space can be greatly challenging. Fortunately, through your post, people can be inspired to go through their papers and sort them out. Cheers!

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    1. I hope so! Thanks for stopping by!

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