Conquer paper clutter in your home office and work more efficiently
The rise of the hybrid office and working from home, means home and office life are more blended than ever. Which in turn means you likely have more paper cluttering your home workspace too.
Sorting and organizing receipts, bills, travel documents, manuals and/or warranties and vital documents can be stressful enough. Keeping active work documents and reports separate from archived files in a neat and orderly way helps you work more efficiently.
Staying organized can help you feel calmer and in more control, as well as boost productivity while working from home. Below are our top 5 office supplies that can help you conquer paper clutter at home so you can focus on your work.
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1) Binders and dividers for work documents
Organizing paperwork at home gets even more complicated when you add work documents to the mix. A good binder and divider combo makes it easy to move active work documents from home to the office as needed.
Using a binder and dividers to organize paperwork seems like a no-brainer. However, there are a few things to consider in order to get the most out of these tried-and-true office supplies.
Can you clean it? Office supplies you can sanitize are more important than ever. Making it a habit to clean items you handle a lot (or pass around) really comes in handy during flu season too.
Think about efficiency. Labeling (and re-labeling) tab dividers can sometimes be a pain. Dividers with tab labels you can apply all at once or a printable table of contents are ideal for organizing paperwork fast.
2) Extra-wide dividers and sheet protectors
Does it feel like you save every manual and warranty, but can’t find the one you need when you need it? Whether it’s home appliances or electronics for work, getting all your manuals and warranties in one binder makes it easy to find what you need, when you need it.
Here’s how to choose the right office supplies to organize your manuals and warranties:
- Get a thick 3, 4 or 5 inch binder to accommodate bulky manuals
- Slip manuals and warranties into sturdy sheet protectors; avoid punching holes
- Use extra-wide dividers designed to extend past sheet protectors so you can easily see what you have
3) File folder labels for archiving and storing work documents
Sorting is a fundamental step in organizing anything, but it’s especially important for organizing paperwork. Sorting paperwork is crucial because there’s often a lot of it and it’s hard to tell at a glance what individual papers are actually for.
All work documents in your home office should be sorted by “active” and “archived.” Active paperwork includes documents you are actively using on current projects. Documents used for reference now and then, or kept as records, should be archived and organized in file folders out of the way.
Different types of file folder labels come in handy depending on how you like to organize and your personal style. For example, color-coded file folder labels work best for organizing paperwork by priority or yearly quarter. Clear file folder labels create a clean, modern “printed on” look.
Pro Tip: Avery labels with Trueblock® technology have a proprietary backing that blocks everything underneath. Even dark permanent marker. File folder labels with Trueblock are great for regularly updating file folders for specific projects.
4) Document sleeves for organizing bills and invoices
We all try to go paperless when we can but some bills and invoices are just unavailable digitally. Which can make decluttering home office paper more difficult. Creating a system for sorting incoming bills and invoices as they come in is way easier than scrambling to organize a big pile.
Document sleeves with locking corners (to keep everything in place) are the perfect tool for organizing bills and invoices. Set aside one document sleeve for each of the following:
- Bills – Paid
- Bills – Pending
- Invoices – Paid
- Invoices – Pending
Set a reminder on your calendar every three months to review the contents of your document sleeves. Pending bills and invoices get marked high priority. Paid bills and invoices can be archived if needed for tax purposes or tossed.
5) Document wallet for receipts, travel and vital documents
For some documents, it’s important to consider mobility when organizing paperwork in your home office. Any documents or papers that may travel or need to be mobile, should be well-protected in plastic or vinyl.
Document wallets should be on everyone’s office supply list for organizing paperwork. They protect travel documents and vital documents that may need to travel in an emergency.
Examples of vital documents include birth certificates, marriage licenses, wills, power of attorney documents, and insurance policies.
Pro Tip: If you’re traveling light and only need a few documents, use a slimmer vinyl envelope for travel documents.
Document wallets are also super useful for organizing receipts. Set aside one for work and one for home so it’s easy to see which ones are for expense reports and which ones are for personal taxes.
Best office supplies for organizing paperwork at home
Binders and dividers are tried-and-true office supplies for organizing paperwork. Durable binders and plastic dividers are perfect for work documents that travel between home and office. Thick binders with sheet protectors and extra-wide dividers keep clunky manuals and warranties in order.
Archived and reference documents are sorted and ordered with file folder labels. Document sleeves keep bills and invoices neatly together and easy to track by status. Document wallets organize and protect important documents that may travel.
Shop more office supplies for getting organized and decluttering your office, at home or anywhere.