Purging the paper from your office — and your life
As we reach the end of the year, it’s a great time to take inventory of your records and more importantly, your records management plan.
It’s easy to fall into a “save everything” philosophy when it comes to documents and other records, and accumulating paper records can be the biggest barrier to office efficiency.
Knowing what to keep and what to throw away is a decision based on a number of factors including legal requirements and the ability to easily access that information.
We’ve all seen the inefficiency created by disorganization and what can happen when chaos and clutter take over. Boxes and boxes of records, unlabeled and improperly maintained can make finding a record a workplace nightmare.
But purging your records doesn’t have to be an insurmountable challenge, and with a basic records management plan in place you can restore the order in your home or business office.
Here are a few key steps in the process to re-taking control over your paper records:
•Determine what is essential to keep: Whether it’s at home or the office, knowing what records you are required to keep is the first step in your records management plan.
Critical documents should be held as long as legally required, and stored in a properly labeled and appropriate container. Highly sensitive or confidential documents should be maintained in a case, carton or box designed to protect the records from fire or water damage.
•Shred your way to efficiency: Once you’ve determined what records can be disposed of, shredding is the best way to prevent identity theft or fraud and protect confidentiality.
Secure document shredding through the entire destruction process ensures that sensitive information is safeguarded. Eliminating unnecessary paper reduces clutter, drives efficiency, and makes searching for a specific document that much easier.
•Properly maintain the records you keep: By organizing your records, you’ve made it easier to sort and review your files and boxes on a regular basis. Once a records management system is in place you can also destroy or shred records that have gone past their required “freshness” date. Establishing a routine that puts an emphasis on efficiency is a best practice that works for home or office.
Take the time heading into the new year to review your records management plan and reduce the clutter in your home or office and get organized. That might be the easiest New Year’s resolution you’ll ever make.
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