Businesses have policies for how long records and paperwork are to be held—and you should, too. Cut down on the clutter in your office by establishing rules for handling paperwork. Over at the organizational blog Ian's Messy Desk, Ian has several great tips on reducing office clutter. Chief among them is creating a record retention policy.
Despite technological advances, there are certain files, such as personnel records and corporate documents, that you'll need to keep for extended periods of time. To manage this process, you'll need a record retention plan. How this policy reads will vary depending on local laws.
It isn't effective or practical to keep paperwork beyond the point where it is required by law or directly benefits you—so goodbye five-year-old cable bills. Ian's process starts by assigning a rule and duration for each type of document in one's "active" pile, then consolidating and organisng your archive boxes with destroy-by dates. That way, your clean-out sessions allow you to quickly and confidently shred, burn, or shoot the documents into a lower earth orbit. Photo by Marcin Wichary.