Reports, meeting notes, client records, and more: they pile up slowly but steadily. If you’re working in a small space, you already know that every inch of space counts, for both you and your coworkers. It might feel like you’re about to get buried under a mess of loose documents, but with a little planning, you can have everything neatly organized and out of the way in a single afternoon.
Before you begin, take a few minutes and create a categorical list of what you have to file. Do you want to store papers according to the client’s name or month of the year? Do you need to have a separate file for confidential or private information, and will you require document shredding for those items? Are there any files that shouldn’t be accessible to everyone in the office? Is there information that could be better stored in a digital format?
Once you know what you’re working with, and which paper documents need to be organized and easily accessed, then the fun part can begin.
Box It Up
File boxes and bankers boxes tend to get a bad reputation, but they’re immensely useful to have around. Not only do they conveniently store file folders in a way that’s still easy to rummage through, but they’re portable. Instead of wrestling with a file cabinet, you can simply grab the box you need for that day and get to it.
Make sure that you clearly label the outside of the box and consistently store it in the same place when you’re done working with it. This way, you’ll be able to tell which box you need with a single glance, rather than having to pop each one open to try and remember what’s inside.
When every horizontal space is spoken for, you can find a surprising amount of storage on vertical platforms. Walls are a prime candidate, but you can also take advantage of the sides of desks. Hanging file organizers allow you to easily access several different folders. The only caveat is that since these files can be readily accessed by anyone passing by, it’s important to make sure they’re cleared out at the end of the day and that anything of a private or confidential nature is directly delivered to you, rather than left in one of the files.
Make the Most of Desk Space
Your desk is likely where you spend most of your time. It’s certainly where you do most of your work. Having what you need, when you need it, can not only speed up how quickly you can complete tasks, but it will also reduce a lot of the stress associated with trying to keep everything organized. Consider a multi-tier desk organizer for the papers you deal with on a daily basis.
If you need to discard confidential information once you’re done working with it, an under-the-desk locking bin is a perfect and unobtrusive way to keep documents secure until they can be safely shredded.
Keep Things Safe
Not all papers can be filed or thrown away. There are some that you may be legally required to hang on to for several years or more, such as:
- Tax records
- Identification documents
- Birth records
- Health records
- Financial statements
For these documents, you will want to make sure you have a robust, protective storage system in place. For larger companies, this may take the form of off-site file storage, but smaller companies and households may find that a small, fireproof safe is perfectly adequate for their needs. Minimally, your system of storage should be secure (in that access is restricted to only one or a few pre-approved individuals) and should protect its contents from fire and water damage.
Invest in Document Shredding
When you’re done working with a paper, there’s almost nothing more satisfying than crumpling it into a ball and slam-dunking it into the nearest trash can. However, not all documents are suitable for desk basketball. If the paper you’ve been working with contains sensitive or personally identifiable material, such as a person’s name or address, then it needs to be securely shredded to protect those details.
There are plenty of off-the-shelf office shredders available, but these are rarely designed to process the documents to the standards required by industry laws. Instead, store your documents temporarily in a secure container, and arrange for a professional, mobile service to handle the document shredding on your behalf.
Office shredders frequently break or jam, and no one wants to hunch over one for hours, feeding individual sheets of paper through. A paper shredding service can actually save you time and money, and you can arrange for pickup according to whatever frequency you require. If you’re working on your own, this might mean a once-monthly paper cleanse. If you work with or manage a larger team, then a weekly visit might be necessary to clear out the old documents.
Once the papers are shredded, the particles will be immediately and securely taken to a recycling plant for processing. You’ll also receive a Certificate of Destruction, which formally attests to the fact that you discarded the information responsibly with a certified shredding provider.
You won’t have to worry about losing or misplacing a piece of paper, and you’ll be able to carry on with your work, free of cluttered documents, in your new, organized office.
For more information on mobile document shredding service in Prescott, Glendale, or Phoenix, give us a call at (602) 759-5103. You can also send us a message online for a customized quote.