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Spring Cleaning Countdown: Home Office

Don’t get buried under piles of files and other office clutter. Clearing your work space helps clear your mind, too. Here are a few tips for keeping your home office organized:


1. Clear out your entire desk; empty drawers and clear off all surface spaces. Set aside paperwork aside to sort through later.

2. Designate one desk drawer to office supplies. Dispose of out-of-ink pens, and replace with a new box. Store writing utensils in a holder, such as a cutlery tray.

3. Rearrange your desktop space; at any given time, your work surface should be clear of everything except essentials and your current project. Experts recommend that you place your computer at a 90 degree angle to your desk. If you’re right handed, place your phone on the right side of your desk; do the reverse if you’re left handed.


1. Sort through your desk files. As you organize the paperwork, keep these guidelines in mind: If you don’t use the file on a weekly basis, or if it’s not personal or confidential (see list below), either dispose of it or store it in a separate filing cabinet. recommends a list of items “to keep” and a list of items “to toss”; Kimberly Lankford’s blog on has particularly helpful guidelines for how long to hold on to different types of paperwork.

Quick Reference Tips:

TO KEEP: Birth or death certificates; health records; insurance policies (keep current year); mortagage loan (keep at least 3 years after pay-off); passport; deed; warranty receipts; stock/bond certificates; tax records; will; citizenship papers; investment statements (keep monthly then discard after yearly statement arrives )

TO TOSS: reciepts for bills (toss after one month unless needed for warranty); ATM records (toss after monthly statement is posted); bank/credit card statements ( toss after one year unless you itemize)