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5 Essential Paper Organizing Tools For Your Home Office


Are you overwhelmed by paperwork?

You’re not alone.

Don’t give up on getting your papers thinned out and organized so you can find them when you need them.

Successfully defeat paper overwhelm with the following 5 essential organizing tools for papers.

1. Recycle and Shred bins.  Place these containers near your paper sorting area, i.e. kitchen or desk and label them “shred” or “recycle” to avoid any confusion. Having containers close at hand will allow you to quickly sort your mail and other papers and then discard the ones you don’t need without leaving your sorting area.


    Shred papers to avoid identity theft

2. File folders.  A simple hanging or manila file folder provides a home for the papers you need to keep and if labeled, you’ll find your papers when they are needed.  I use these stick-on file tabs when labeling hanging file folders because they are more convenient than the plastic tabs.  Do you worry that your filed papers will be out of sight, out of mind?  I then suggest using clear folders.  Alphabetize the folders in a file cabinet or file box for easy access.


3. Desktop file box.  This file box, also called a command center, provides a home for papers that require action or frequent access. Simply place them in a labeled hanging file folder inside a small file box.  It’s a compact, portable system that stores your papers vertically so they are more visible, not hidden in unsorted piles. Won’t it feel incredible knowing you’ll be able to find your important papers? Learn how to set up a desktop file box here.


4. A recipe binder.  Do you enjoy clipping recipes or printing them off websites only to have them add another layer to your paper piles?  I recommend storing recipes in a 3-ring binder with plastic sheet protectors.  Slip your recipes into the sheet protectors, which in turn keeps them clean.  Now you’ll enjoy trying the new recipes you’ve found.

5. Magazine file boxes.  These are another vertical storage option for magazines, small recipe booklets, directories, and project papers (for example, contractor bids and brochures amassed for a home remodel). The boxes fit nicely on bookshelves and may be labeled.

Do you currently use these tools in your home office or do you have another tool to suggest?




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  1. fromoverwhelmedtoorganized on June 14, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I’m more old school Janet and tend to cook the same things over and over:) Thank you for your comment!

  2. Janet Barclay on June 14, 2016 at 8:34 am

    I use all of these except the recipe binder, as my collection always seemed to outgrow the binder. Now I save my recipes in the Pepperplate app.

  3. Ola Otto on April 21, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Great tips, Jill! I do use most of these. One of my problems is not USING those – sometimes I’ll just stack or pile. Such good reminders!! Ola

    • Jill on April 21, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      Good to hear Ola, we just try our best.