Organizing Your Filing: A 5-Step Purge
I know I’ve been MIA these days, but being gone doesn’t mean Elvis has left this building! Nu-uh. I wish I had some exotic adventures to share, but I don’t. No, instead the fed-up bug has gotten me, and I’ve been tackling a backlog of ‘to dos’ one-by-one.
The dreaded filing purge has moved to the top of my list. How does it always manage to slide back down? So sneaky!
This was my filing tray when I got started.
Yes, it was this bad!
And this is my filing tray now.
Who knew this tray was prettier than it looked?
I also tackled two filing cabinets, and did a whole lot of purging between them.
This is a little glimpse of the ‘in progress’…
Oh yes, it was this bad, too!
But in the end…
Here’s shredding bin one…
And shredding bin two.
Believe it or not, we do as much electronically as we can! But I have to confess, some of this is years worth of backlog. Life happens, and paper builds up. Can you relate?
Here are a few tips when you’re purging years worth of files:
1. Don’t let years worth of files build up!
Okay, I just had to say it, LOL. 😉
2. Empty your file drawers exactly as they are into file boxes.
This way you have half a chance of finding something while in the transition of purging and refiling.
3. Work methodically through the files, sorting as you go:
- Refile – I recommend getting files back into the cabinets as quickly as possible.
- Shred – keep your bins handy and fill them; tackle the shredding later, and don’t forget, you can hire a shredding service!
- Recycle – fill your recycling bag as you go, so all you have to do is take it to curb side on recycling day.
4. Don’t get bogged down in the details.
The purging process is the clean sweep. Once this part is done, you can always go back to reorganize your filing system, revamp your colour coding, make up new file labels, or whatever detail-oriented job you feel is pressing to do!
5. Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Don’t overwhelm yourself with the task at hand. Depending on how backlogged your files are, tackle them in chunks over a few days. You’ll be so glad you did! Caution: do give yourself a deadline – there’s nothing worse than a job like this hanging over your head for too long.
Here’s where I left off…
Hubs and I have to go through these two boxes together.
So glad it was raining today!
How do you handle the purging of your files? Do you stay on top of it, or do you let it get away? Do you have any tips to share?
Thanks for stopping by!
Photographs by Sheila Zeller