Sticking with my organizational list to-do list….January was time to tackle the office.
Our filing cabinet had become so full that we couldn't even slide the file folders. Putting things away had become a hassle and taking things out was even worse. We had way too much stuff in way too many folders.
And so, in keeping with good disorganized behavior, I avoided it. Slowly I started cutting the filling cabinet out of the organization business altogether. In a strange twist I started keeping key documents "out and visible" so that I wouldn't lose them in the filing cabinet. The only problem is that once you keep enough things "out and visible" they end up hiding in plain sight. Soon you can't find anything…and your place is a mess.
And so, as with most of my organizational projects, a big clean up was required. And as the picture below proves…I didn't cheat…I took everything out. To be honest this was fun at first but once my room was covered I did have a few fearful moments…"what had I got myself into?!"
But I pressed on. Went through every paper dividing it into:
- Recycle (shredding first of course)
- Things I wanted to keep but didn't need to be in my office (financials dating back 7 yrs or less)
- Things I wanted to keep in the office
Quickly I shredded 80% of the documents and packed a 68L / 18G Roughneck tote with the "keep…but not up here" stuff. That tote went down to the basement and I then got busy organizing the stuff I wanted to keep in the office.
Flushed with all kinds of filing cabinet space, I thought about how I wanted to use the cabinet. I chucked out the main categories of documents as:
In some cases I had finer classifications but everything fell in under the above six core categories. I used the basic tabs and labels that came with the file folders. My handwriting is terrible but since it remains hidden in the filing cabinet…I don't mind.
I now use it.
Things are going well….I'm building momentum…and I'll need some for my next project…The storage room/closet.