Does seeing clutter around your home or office leave you feeling overwhelmed? It’s not just in your head. Some research shows that disorganization can affect your physical and mental health.
When important documents like legal paperwork are disorganized, it’s even more stressful, since there’s always a feeling hanging over you that you won’t be able to find it if you need it.
There has to be a better way to live! Good news: there is.
Read through this short guide to learn tips on how to keep your legal paperwork organized so you have easy access to it when needed.
Determine What You Really Need
First things first, you need to figure out what you actually need to keep and what you can toss. You definitely don’t need every single piece of paperwork you’ve ever had in your possession forever. Take the time to sort through all of your paperwork to figure out what’s important and what you can shred or throw away.
Once you’ve determined everything you need to keep, you can finally start organizing it.
Create a Filing System
Next up, you need to create a filing system that will be easy for you to keep up with over the years. The best way to do this is to keep it simple. Overcomplicating it means it’s less likely that you’ll be able to continue using it over time.
We recommend using plastic dividers and divider labels to help you separate different types of paperwork. This will make it easier for you to know exactly where to put to new paperwork that comes in and where to find something quickly if needed. Visit LegalSupply.com to see examples of the types of divider tabs that can help you stay organized.
Beyond labels, you’ll also need to figure out a timeline system. The easiest solution is to store your paperwork chronologically. Storing them from newest to oldest will make it easy to add new paperwork quickly, in a way that’s still efficient.
Finally, make sure you have room to grow. If you’re using plastic dividers in a filing cabinet for your paperwork, make sure there is enough room to continue adding paperwork as needed, without having to develop a new system later on.
Get Into a Routine
Once you’ve got a good filing system in place, you need to commit to staying on top of it. Once new paperwork begins to pile up on your desk, it can quickly spiral out of control and feel too overwhelming to keep up with it, leaving you back where you started.
If you deal with a lot of paperwork, you might need to commit to filing new items weekly. If you don’t have as much paperwork, then consider setting aside time once per quarter to get all of your new paperwork squared away in your organized filing system. The bottom line is to find what works for you and stick with it.
Organize Your Legal Paperwork
After reading through these tips on how to organize your legal paperwork, you’re ready to tackle that mess on your desk! While it may seem overwhelming now, you’ll feel much better once you organize it, so don’t wait any longer.
Interested in reading more legal content? We’ve got you covered. Check out our other articles today.