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.
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.