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Office & File Organization 101

I have to say that I am a total NERD when it comes to office organization. Sine I can remember I have loved everything paper, pens & organization in office spaces. It's no surprise that my initial career of choice as a Paralegal was all about files; papers; and being organized.

Not only do I continue to use those skills as a Paralegal but also helping to manage my husband's landscaping business. There is the monthly invoicing; weekly banking; managing his bank accounts; preparation of quarterly sales tax information; preparation of proposals; and managing all the paperwork necessary for year end taxes. All of these tasks require me to be organized and able to retrieve information as it's needed.

My best advise when it comes to office organization: AVOID clutter and have proper storage for all the items that need to be kept in your space.

Your space may not necessarily be a designated office, perhaps just a space in your home. {My office is a cozy little space in one of the dormers of our bonus room, complete with a view.} Proper storage could be a file box or a file cabinet. The size of the filing system truly depends on what you need to store. You will also need to think about how to organize your files. For years I kept files for each account/bill we had [various utilities, medical, insurance, vehicles, etc.] However, within the last few years I have found it more beneficial to organize files by month rather than individual accounts. So in January I prepare a file for each month of the year and as I pay bills each month/or an important document arrives, I file them away in their respective monthly file. It has reduced the amount of files needed, as well as the amount of time it actually takes to file.

Disclaimer: The downside to my new system is that you have to go through each month's folder if there is a specific document/invoice needed, rather than going to a specific file for "X" account.

Managing your papers/files can also be done electronically with a simple scanner to keep important documents. Not only does this reduce paper clutter, you are able to name documents to easily search when you need to refer back to them.

*It's important to note that there is no right or wrong system when it comes to filing. It is simply what will be most functional for you.*

And... now - the most important question that's always asked, how long do we need to keep various documents? Here's a little cheat sheet to get you started:

How long to keep documents

Need more help or have questions? Contact me via email at

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