If so, then consider placing the copier between them. Which zones need
access to the filing cabinet, phone, etc.? Are people right-handed or left-handed?
Questions like these help to determine the best arrangement of furniture and
equipment and identify additional needs.
Include ample storage. Determine the quantity and type of storage required.
Remember, a place for everything and everything in its place. Bookcases
or shelving can store reference materials. File cabinets are the best storage
solution for paper files. A closet, not necessarily in the office, can be used for
storing additional office supplies and files. Allocate storage space for each
person and space for shared supplies.
Label contents of containers, shelves, drawers and cabinets so everyone
knows where to find things and where to put them back.
Create a filing system. Because people think differently, they often
disagree on file names. Is it “Car”? “Auto”? “Vehicle”? Involve everyone when
creating labels for the filing system. If you have more than four drawers of
files, consider implementing filing software, such as Kiplinger’s The Paper
www.thepapertiger.com), which enables you to use your computer
to find both paper and electronic files.
A well-planned, well-organized home office will create an environment
that enables everyone involved to accomplish their work more efficiently
and with reduced stress.
By Kathy Vincent, member from Windsor, Ontario
The reason our desks and dining-room tables get piled with papers is
because we have no place to put them. We’re afraid they are going to get
lost. Having a usable filing system will eliminate that worry. Remember,
no piece of paper is worth anything if you can’t find it.
Follow the FAT Principle. When shuffling papers: File it, Act on it
or Toss it. Normally, 60 percent of the papers coming into your office can
be tossed immediately.
To move forward, back up. Printing files that should be stored on a
hard drive or CD just creates more paper clutter. It is important to maintain
hard copies of some materials, but in most cases an electronic backup is
File, don’t pile. Your desktop should be clear of papers and piles.
Creating an effective filing system will allow you to find any file in seconds.
• When creating a filing system, create files with names that
you will remember.
• Keep files you reference often in the front of the file cabinet or box
for easy access.
• Purge your files regularly to avoid holding on to outdated materials.
• Write a toss date on materials to remind yourself when to get
rid of them.
• Keep a recycling container and garbage receptacle nearby.
Eighty percent of filed materials are never referenced again. Before
filing a piece of paper, ask yourself: Does that paper deserve to take up
valuable storage space? A