Working from home can pose unique challenges and force us to use our home offices in creative ways. One issue you may face when working at home is figuring out where and how to store your confidential business data and paperwork. Here are some tips for organizing your business documents while working from your home office.
Use a Filing System
Your home office may not have as much space as a traditional office, so you may need to get creative with your document storage methods. Consider investing in a secure filing cabinet that comes with locking mechanisms. If you don’t have the space for a full cabinet at home, you can also use accordion files or file boxes that take up less space. Just remember that you may need to put these filing items in a secure place, such as locked closet, to provide additional security.
Separate Your Documents
Once you have a filing system that works for you, don’t just throw all your papers into the cabinet or folder with reckless abandon. The longer you go without organizing your documents in your filing system, the harder it will be to find items when you need them. Instead, start by separating your documents into file types (action, reference and archive) before filing them. You can then further organize these groups by the document’s age, put them in alphabetical order, and use other sorting techniques. Taking the time to organize all your files now will be a lifesaver later when you need to reference old business documents.
Shred What You Don’t Need
Finally, remember that you don’t need to keep every business document that comes your way. Some documents will become outdated and obsolete with age or when you update your business’s information. However, before you throw these items in the trash, shred them. Even throwing away old and outdated documents can allow thieves to trace information back to your business. Document shredding can protect your business even if you work from home, so never skip this crucial safety step. Regularly shredding your old documents also helps free up space in your filing system.
These tips for organizing your business documents in a home office can help you protect your business’s confidential information in a way that doesn’t clutter your limited space. Remember to go through your paperwork regularly and shred anything you don’t need to save space and lighten your paper trail.