A well-tended file drawer is a lot like a well-tended garden:
- It has lots of colors. (See this vlog post about using different colors of file folders for different categories of files)
- It has labels. (Is that place for the green beans or the pay stubbs- I mean the pea pods?)
- It needs weeding often.
Weeding your files simply means removing the papers that are no longer relevant or useful.
Weeding files prevents your files from becoming too cumbersome. The file drawer is only so big, so if you only add papers and never take any out, then you’re going to eventually reach full capacity. That makes filing new papers really, really difficult.
Weeding papers also saves you time in the long run. When outdated and irrelevant materials are removed from your files, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for more quickly.
So, whenever you put something new in the file, see if there’s anything in file that can be removed. (Not sure what to keep? Ask yourself these questions or consult your office’s retention policy.) For example, when your file your new car insurance policy, take the old one out. There’s no reason to keep the paper for the policy that is no longer in effect. Pull that weed!