ASK A DESIGNER

DESIGN DILEMMA:  HELP!  PAPER IS TAKING OVER THE WORLD.

I work at home and I’m having a hard time staying organized.  How can I best manage overflowing papers in my office?  I need to keep the office running smoothly and find files quickly.  Also, Post-It-Notes are convenient reminders but they can quickly become unsightly when every surface is covered in them.  No matter how hard I try or what strategy I take, paperwork grows quicker than ants building their hills.

SUE’S SOLUTION:

There are a variety of storage mediums I recommend to handle papers in a functional efficient manner: cabinets with drawers, shelving, magazine bins, and folders.  Certain legal and financial papers need long-term storage so these are best kept in a drawer within a locked cabinet.   “To-do” papers can be filed in multi-colored project folders and stored in a magazine bin/binder.  It is helpful to index the folders for quick retrieval.  The magazine bins can be shelved in the open or behind closed doors.  As far as reading materials are concerned, I would make a stack of unread newspapers, magazines, store flyers, etc. and diligently toss them each week on garbage night.  If they haven’t been read in a week, you probably won’t get to it.  Electronic news is highly recommended.  Do not use Post-It-Notes for tasks.  Task management is best organized on a smart phone.