Paper Organization Guide for Messy Individuals

Did you know that the average office worker wastes about 50 minutes every day searching for missing files or other missing items? That’s more than four hours a week and 192 hours in a year. We’ve all had trouble locating paper and other items on our desks, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

Dealing with a ton of paperwork can feel overwhelming. However, with proper paper organization, you can keep all your important papers in order and make good use of your time. So how exactly can you organize your papers and boost workplace productivity?

If you’re having trouble organizing your papers at school or work, you’re in the right place. Today’s guide is the ultimate paper organization guide for the not-so-organized individual. Without wasting time, let’s dive straight into it.

Use a Personalized Mail Organizer

If you’re one of those people that have mail streaming in from everywhere, you could do with a personalized mail organizer. This is a simple way to group all incoming mail and mail that you need to send out. You can order one on Amazon, but the handyperson can create one for themselves.

Customize the labels on your organizer to help you group mail into their respective areas. Check out online tutorials to create your own personalized mail organizer.

Try the Streamlined System

The streamlined system involves placing everything you need for a particular task in one designated area. This works best for school and work papers you frequently have to refer to. If you have to work on a particular project, keep all the documents relating to that project in one area of your desk.

Stash everything else you don’t need inside the drawers or on the upper shelves. Alternatively, you can buy a desktop organizer to keep the items you need nearby. Don’t be afraid to discard anything that you don’t need.

Install Built-in Shelves

A built-in shelf provides an easy-to-access spot where you can keep all your important documents. These shelves utilize free space on the walls for shelves where you can store your papers. You can tuck your papers away out of sight and grab them whenever you need to.

You can build these shelves on your own or hire a pro to do it on your behalf. Either way, you’ll have a safe and convenient place to put your important papers.

Adopt the Action System

The action system involves grouping paper documents into different slots depending on what action you need. For instance, you can have a slot for “sign,” where you keep all the documents you need to sign. You can also have a “reply” slot for letters and documents you need to reply to.

Depending on what you do, you can have different slots for various actions. You can even have a “read later” slot for documents you don’t have time to read at the moment. Papers that don’t serve any purpose go directly to the trash bin.

Use Filing Cabinets

Nothing beats an old-fashioned filing cabinet when it comes to organizing your papers. All you need is a couple of files that fit snugly into your drawer. The next step is to get labels for each type of document you have.

Group all your files into different groups depending on the purpose they serve. Label each of the files and place them inside your cabinet. Be sure to put all documents in their respective sections, and you’ll never have to worry about missing papers again.

Create a Paper Center

If you have too many items on your desk or workspace, it’s high time you created a paper center. This can be a cabinet or a closet away from your usual work area. Use this closet or cabinet specifically for papers, but don’t just toss them there.

Lidded file boxes should form the focal point of your paper center. Neatly file all your papers in their respective files and keep them inside these boxes. You can also have stacked drawers for papers that you only need for a short time.

A well-organized paper center will prevent papers from getting in the way of your usual work activities. You can get any documents from the paper center if you need them. Just don’t forget to return them to the same file you picked them from.

Wall Files

If a filing cabinet isn’t working for you, consider having wall files on the walls. Wall files are file-like pockets that you can attach to your walls. You can place these wall files conveniently in front of your desk and keep your papers in order.

This makes for an easy and convenient paper organization system. However, you’ll have to create labels for all the hanging files to avoid mix-ups and confusion. You can visit to get these wall files and other file organization items.

Use Cubbies

Consider installing cubbies into your desks or cabinets and use them to store your papers. A cubby is a small fitting you can install on your desk or cabinet for storing items. They fit snugly on the side or inside your desks.

Cubbies are great for storing receipts, coupons, statements, and other paper. They, however, may not be great for entire documents. Install cubbies on your desk today if you need a safe space to store your receipts.

Get a Letter Tray

A simple letter tray will go a long way towards keeping your mail in order. You can label the trays with three labels, “file,” “responds,” and “discard.” Depending on what you do, you can come up with your own labels.

Paper Organization Made Easy

You no longer have to worry about misplacing papers or losing them with the above paper organization tips. Invest in a proper organization system to work or study seamlessly. Put all your papers in order today.

Check out the other posts on the site for more insightful content.

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