How {And Why} To Declutter Files From File Cabinet Annually

How {And Why} To Declutter Files From File Cabinet Annually


Today’s mission, as part of the Declutter 365 missions, is to declutter files from your file cabinet, and make it an annual occurrence.

How, and why, to declutter files from your file cabinet annually, including the types of files to get rid of, and how this helps you keep paper organized in your home {a #Declutter365 mission on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

This mission is designed to be done while working on the Organize Home Filing System Challenge here on the site, which is part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenges.

I’ve placed this mission within the Declutter Calendar to fall as the second day of decluttering your file cabinet, file box, or binders used for filing in your house for the reason that no matter how much you clear out of your home filing system now, later on you’ll need to clear out more.

That’s just the nature of paper clutter. Some papers you keep in your filing cabinet that are important now become unimportant with time, such as copies of old bills or bank statements, or information about events that have now passed, or papers about property you no longer own.

How, and why, to declutter files from your file cabinet annually, including the types of files to get rid of, and how this helps you keep paper organized in your home {a #Declutter365 mission on Home Storage Solutions 101} #DeclutterFiles #PaperOrganization #PaperClutteruse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

In addition, with time you also receive new papers that are important to keep, such as your most recent bank statements, or the title to the new car you purchased. If you keep everything that has become obsolete in your filing cabinet, instead of clearing it out, you’ll eventually run out of room for the new stuff.

Today I want you to realize that clearing out your file cabinets the first time, thoroughly, may take you a while, but from now on you’ll regularly clear out these files, on an annual basis, so you’ve always got room for the currently important stuff.

When Should You Do This Decluttering Task, Annually?

If you follow along with the Declutter 365 missions each year, as many people do, so that they can maintain the clutter free environment of their home once they’ve got it that way, this mission reoccurs annually, and therefore you can use the Declutter 365 calendar and my reminders to help you remember to do this task.

However, since many of the files I suggest clearing out, annually, are those labeled from older years, another good time to do this task is around the beginning of the calendar year.

Others like to do it right after finishing their taxes for the year, as a way of clearing out old material after that big task is completed.

You choose which time seems best to you, just start doing it sometime, annually, from now on.

What Types Of Files Should You Declutter Annually?

Generally, when doing this mission, you’ll be looking for older files, such as ones with dates on them, like your paid bill stubs file or old tax return files, that have passed the date you need to keep them, so you can grab the entire file and get rid of all its contents.

(Remember, the documents within these types of files are typically things you want to shred instead of just throwing them into the recycling bin.)

To help you with this task, refresh your knowledge of how long to keep various types of papers with this article, so you can feel confident that you’re getting rid of the right old papers.

Declutter file folders

In addition, check out the general mission on getting rid of file clutter here for general details of decluttering the paper in your home files.

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Declutter file folders

Are You Ready To Declutter Your Home?

declutter 365

I hope this mission has inspired you to declutter excess paper clutter from your file cabinets or binders regularly.

When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you’re loving the results you’re getting I would encourage you to keep going.

I’ve got a whole series of 15 minute decluttering missions (eventually 365 of them!) that you can do.

Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!

via How {And Why} To Declutter Files From File Cabinet Annually

use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Today’s mission is to get rid of file clutter from your home filing system, because you know not everything you once filed in there is actually worth keeping, right?

This mission is designed to be done while working on the Organize Your Home’s Filing System Challenge here on the site, which is part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge.

Organize Files Challenge

The reason this is such an important mission is that part of having an organized filing system in your home is making sure you’re only keeping things in it that you really and truly need. There’s only so much space in your file box, or the file drawer or cabinet, and if you’re trying to shove even more papers into a too crowded space it makes you not want to file at all.

Plus, getting rid of old and useless papers makes it easier for you to find the stuff you do really need to keep and access periodically with less frustration, and less time wasted.

How To Get Rid Of File Clutter During This Mission

How to declutter file clutter 15 minutes a time, to clear out your file drawer or cabinet of old papers and make room for the stuff you really do need to file in there now {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Depending on how many files you’ve got, and how old those files are, this may not be a 15 minute mission for you. Instead, this may be a 15 minutes at a time mission.

With any mission that you need to work on in 15 minute increments make sure to give yourself a few minutes of those 15, at the end, to do any clean up needed, so you don’t make a bigger mess in the process. That can include putting things away, putting stuff in the recycling bin, or shredding papers.

To go through these files, you’re going to approach it in the exact same way that you approach big stacks of paper you’ve got lying on flat surfaces. The advantage you have with your filing is that you’ve most likely already done an initial sort with it, and have it labeled, at least partially, with what it is.

Therefore, you’re likely to find that going through these files actually takes less time to sort through than a large stack of random paper piles you’ve got lying around.

To help you, here are a few resources on the site you can use:

    • 4 Questions To Ask Yourself When Decluttering Paper – This article will help you feel comfortable in making decisions of what to keep and what to get rid of, because it can be a bit nerve wracking sometimes, especially when decluttering file folders, because, after all, at one point you thought this was something you needed to keep.
    • How Long Should You Keep Papers {Including Printable Cheat Sheet} – this article explains how long to keep various documents, such as tax returns, bills, insurance paperwork, and more, which is exactly the type of stuff you will come across when decluttering file folders
  • 15 Types Of Documents You Should Shred – when you do decide to get rid of certain paperwork from your old files, some of it can go in the recycling bin, but other papers should be shredded for your privacy. Here’s how to know what types of papers need to be shredded.

Make It A Habit To Purge Old Files Annually To Keep File Clutter At Bay From Now On

Declutter files from file cabinet annually

Once you’ve cleared out perhaps years of accumulated paperwork from old files, you know you never want to take on such a huge decluttering project again.

But here’s the thing. File clutter is going to creep back up on you, inevitably. That’s because I suggest, as part of your weekly paperwork session that one of the tasks you do is file more paperwork that comes into your home. Over time it builds up.

So what’s the best way to deal with that paperwork from now on, so the task never gets too overwhelming? It is to do an annual purge of your file folders, looking through everything and getting rid of anything that has gotten too old to need to keep, or that is no longer useful or relevant to your life.

You can learn more about how to declutter files in your file cabinet annually here.

Make Sure You’re Ready To Shred A Lot Of Paper When Doing This Mission

When doing this annual purge, or the initial decluttering session of these files, make sure you either have a

paper shredder on hand

to shred any documents that should not be trashed (and recycled) whole, or that you use a shredding service if you’ve got a lot.

This can be a very satisfying decluttering mission, because you’ll most likely get rid of a lot of paper clutter and really consolidate the contents of your file drawers. To get you inspired I’ve collected some photos sent in by readers, below, who’ve already done the mission, so scroll down to check them out.

via How {And Why} To Declutter Files From File Cabinet Annually