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How To Organize Your Home Office Files

written by: MichelleDonnatien•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 7/5/2011

As 2009 begins, many home office professionals realize that they need a new way to keep their information organized for ease of access. Not only will this make it less frustrating to find much needed information, but it will save time. Learn easy ways to organize your home office files.

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    How To Organize Your Home Office Files

    As 2009 begins, many home office workers realize that they need a new way to keep their information organized for ease of access. Not only will this make it less frustrating to find much needed information, but it will save time.

    Keep your filing system simple. It's not rocket science so don't think you must create an elaborate system that only Albert Einstein can figure out. If you're asking yourself "what is a filing system?" don't worry. The most well designed filing systems can be the most simple ones. Start by asking yourself a few questions.

    1. How much paper am I required to store?
    2. Do I need hard copy back ups of what's stored electronically?
    3. What information do I need most often?
    4. How much space do I have for storage?

    Once you've determined the answers to those questions you're ready to get moving. You'll need to purchase some supplies like file folders, markers or pens, hanging file folders, and a file cabinet or file box. You'll be surprised to find that you probably have all the supplies you need already. Recycle supplies you already have and use them rather than stretching your budget.

    Label your file folders clearly. It's only necessary to write a one or two word description of what's in that folder. For instance, you may decide to keep all your proposals for new clients in one file. It might be labeled New Client Proposals. It's clear and concise. When labeling the folder, it's necessary to write neatly so it can be ready by anyone looking through the files later.

    Figure out what works best for you. The idea is to make life easier, not more complicated. Your filing system should fit into the way work flows in your home office.

    Be diligent because chances are, you'll have to change some aspects of your filing system a few times every year. Diligence will help you fulfill your desire to keep your files organized. If you strive to keep your files organized, you're more likely to notice when your system needs revamping. Being diligent will ensure smoother work-flow; which means you'll work less and make more money.

    Do some research. Like most home offices, you've probably already maxed out the office space your house can handle. Research how other home office professionals have efficiently stored their filing systems. This will give you some great ideas and probably remind you of ideas you forgot about.

    Hire an organizer. If all else fails and your filing system still seems like a puzzle that you can't solve, hire a professional. You can find professional organizers to organize everything from your walk-in closet to your home office space. Unlike most of us, they enjoy the daunting task of organizing. They enjoy it, they're good at it, and they get paid to do it. A common principal in management is to hire someone with the skills, training, and expertise in areas you are weak. In fact, you can choose to skip all the rest of the steps and go straight to researching professional organizers in your area. An organizer will ask you the necessary questions to create a great filing system that will work for you.

    Happy filing!