How to create a functional home filing system

How to create a functional home filing system

When you’re working from home, the last thing you need is a disorganised home office. 

We’ve talked about some of the upsides to being a home-based worker, but a lack of storage solutions and space unfortunately doesn’t come under the benefits of working from home. 

Doing your filing at home can seem like an overwhelming (and boring) task. But it really doesn’t need to be, and with these simple tips you’ll be up and running in no time.

Where to begin

We’d recommend that to begin with, you should take a look at everything you need and don’t need for your day to day work. 

For many people, the move to remote working was a bit of a rush, so in that time you may have taken some documents, papers and files home that you simply don’t need. 

So, a good first step is to take stock of everything you have and sort it into 3 piles: bin, store and keep. 

This way, you end up with only what you need for your day to day, and you can either store or throw out what’s not needed. 

The home filing essentials 

It might sound simple, but make sure you’ve got somewhere to keep your papers safe in one place. If you can fit everything into one drawer, then that’s perfect. But if you’re swimming in documents, you should probably consider buying a good quality filing cabinet

Luckily, these come in all shapes, sizes, capacities and styles, so you can find one to fit with your home office’s vibe

We’d also recommend investing in a label maker. You can just use a good old fashioned pen, but if you’re looking for a professional feel, then printing labels can be a benefit. 

Plus, if the cabinet is going to be used by more than one person, then consider whether others will be able to read your handwriting. 

So, using a label maker is likely to make things easier for everyone in the household!

To stay extra organised and add a little bit of flair to your home working space, you might want to get some coloured folders for different categories. 

Just remember to get enough files if you’re doing this, as you definitely don’t want to run out halfway through and mess up your system. 

Finally some additions we’d recommend are a paper tray, bin and planner. These can all help you to easily stay more organised. 

How to choose your filing categories 

Everyone is different and has varying priorities, tasks and more. So, to get the most out of your home filing system, the categories you choose need to fit with these. 

But to get you started, a few of the key categories we’d recommend for personal use are: 

  • Financial
  • Employment
  • Warranties
  • Insurance
  • Health 

Of course, if you’re filing for your job then you’ll need to have a few more which are more personal to you. You’ll also need to have active and archive files for each of these categories. 

To do this, either use a subject divider within the file itself, or have a completely separate file if you have a lot of documents.  

Finally you’ll need to assign sub categories for each. For example under financial you might have bank statements, credit card bills and possibly mortgage documents.

Stay organised and focus on what matters 

We hope this quick guide helps you to get on top of organising your day to day work or home life. 

The best way to think of filing is not just a way to store things, but to help you maintain productivity and get things done, as well as free up your time and mind to focus on what’s important!

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