Are files slowly but surely taking over your office? Office clutter can be more than just irritating -- it can both damage productivity and make it difficult to find things when you need them. But not everything can go digital and many offices are actually required to keep the original copy of their files for a certain amount of time. If you can't get rid of your files, you need to take control of them.
1. Keep a Complete Inventory by Date
Keeping your inventory down begins by organizing it. Keep a complete inventory of your data by date so you know when the data can be shredded. For most companies, documents will need to be held from between seven to ten years. Some businesses like to hold on to documents a little longer than they really have to. Either way, having an inventory lets you identify your old files at the end of every year so they can be discarded.
2. Get Turning File Cabinets
Turning file cabinets maximize the efficiency of your space while not taking up too much of the room. These cabinets can be placed in the center of rooms, against each other or against walls, and let you put files on both sides of them. Being able to turn these cabinets from side to side means that all of your files are always accessible. Just watch out! These cabinets are heavy and need to be bolted down to ensure that they don't tip over while spinning.
3. Use Standardized Boxes
Have both legal sized and letter sized documents? Go standardized with legal sized folders and box sizes. Standardization means that you can stack things in ways that are consistent and that you'll have an easier time moving things around. If you have multiple sizes of boxes, you'll always have to shift things around so that they aren't in danger of falling over!
4. Create "Copy Protocols"
A major cause of document bulk is the improper creation of copies, which are then filed. Useless copies, copies that are one-sided instead of double-sided and copies that are longer than necessary will all pad out a file. Make sure your employees know when to create copies and when to throw them away. If the original exists and the project is over, the copy probably isn't necessary any longer!
Don't forget that you can always move to a self storage facility if your office clutter gets to be too much. Locate a storage facility that's close enough to still be accessible and then send the files that you rarely need over. By keeping the files that you need to access often in your office, you can maintain productivity while not keeping every little thing.