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Organizing Paperwork

Project Overview

When the current board of directors for a 41-unit co-op in NYC found that they were frequently spending lots of time looking for important documents and not finding them, they decided a new filing system was a must. During the co-op’s 18+ years in existence, there have been numerous board members and various attempts at organizing all the essential paperwork. However, none of the systems truly integrated all the documents and really worked.

Process

Stephanie Shalofsky created a strategy for organizing paperwork and the new filing system building on the framework that the board had put in place. Her goal was to design a system that addressed the co-op’s current needs, identified a home for all relevant paper work and provided direction for maintaining it. Once the storage locations were assigned, several rounds of organizing paperwork starting with the sorting of documents that had accumulated in the file cabinets, shopping bags, archive boxes and accordion folders followed. Those documents that needed to be kept were filed in clearly labeled folders in their appropriate file drawer which was also labeled. In addition, a procedure was established for managing receipts and other tax related documents that needed to be kept for a limited number of years prior to shredding them.

Results

The board could easily file new documents or find filed documents by going directly to the appropriate section of the filing system. As retention guidelines were followed in setting up the system, the contents of the folders was limited to only essential information and as a result a container’s worth of papers to be shredded accumulated. A procedure for removing the current year’s bills and bank statements from the financial files and moving them to a temporary archive pending shredding was established.

What the Client Says

“Our co-op is self-managed and was lacking an efficient filing system. Over the years, we had accumulated piles of files that needed to be properly archived. We reached out to Stephanie Shalofsky of The Organizing Zone to help us on this project. Stephanie recently completed the project and we are very happy with the results. Our lawyers recently asked for some documentation, which in the past would had been very difficult to find but with our new filing system, we found what we needed in the blink of an eye. Our office is now clutter free and much more pleasant to work at. Thank you, Stephanie!” -Board President

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