Reasons for this include:
Down sizing of departments in an office environment, leads to staff taking on bigger portfolios meaning they are more accountable for more information.
We don't trust our computers and keep both paper and electronic copies of almost everything.
We simply do not know what to keep (so keep it all to avoid having to make a decision).
How to overcome this:
Streamline your filing system making it as easy as possible.
Make an immediate decision as to whether you need to keep the paper copy before placing it in an “in/out tray” to act on later.
Use a 6 drawer A4 Buddi drawer system (available from Waltons stores nationally) in place of the standard open trays. Label each drawer with a category and use this as your interim/holding filing system.
The drawers act as a limit for the amount of paper you can store before doing something with it – when the drawer is full, you simply have to schedule time in your diary to work through it. (if you are going to label a drawer "to do" or "to pay" we recommend you checking the drawer on a weekly basis to avoid late payments/actions).
Ask yourself what is the worst possible thing that can happen if you get rid of the paper i.e: how will it impact your life, will you be able to get the information from somewhere else.
Back up your computer regularly (if you do not have the facility to do this yourself, there are company's that offer this service.
Contact your bookkeeper/accountant for a list of information that is necessary for you to keep by law in South Africa. As a rule, keep any invoice that might be required should you be audited by SARS for a period of 5 years.
Get Organised is the growing National Professional Organising company that helps businesses and individuals take control of their surrounding, their time, their paper and their systems for life. Visit www.getorganised.co.za to download your free info pack with tips and solutions to help you simplify.