How to Set Up A Filing System- Tips From A Professional Organizer in Los Angeles
1. Take your big pile of papers and organize likes with likes first. In essence make different piles with different categories. Use post it notes if necessary to remember what each new pile is.
TIP: Make one pile an ASAP PILE, meaning it needs to be done ASAP before filing, such as paying a due bill.
2. Go through each pile and get rid of redundant paperwork ( shred or toss). This maybe old bills, outdated documents, flyers from past events, expired coupons etc.
TIP: There are many shredding services out there, such as Staples,. If you don't have your own shredder, collect in a dedicated box until you are ready to get them shredded.
3. Determine your categories. As you work through your piles, you may see that you have barely in one pile and a lot in another. Therefore it is beneficial to combine or sub categorize, depending on the amount of papers. Make sure that you will recognize and remember the name of your category.
TIP: Don't make too many small categories or too large of a category, either way it will be hard to find an item.
4. Hanging folders are a nice way to keep your files, but may not always work with your space. Me personally I like hanging files the best, they are very easy to access from the top. Manila folders are an alternative if you have to stand up your files, in which case magazine holders can be a nice to use.
TIP:To keep paper clutter minimal set up your bills and banking paperless.
5. Labeling. It is nice to have a label maker and filing tabs to label your files, but you can also handwrite them if you like.
TIP: Stay consistent with your labeling. I.e. capitalization, numbers or years first or last on all labels the same.