Organizing Your Paper Command Center

February 7, 2011 by  

How Do You Deal with All the Daily Papers?

I have my daily paper command center, but it needed a bit of an overhaul now that I have my new office set up.

command center

I have tried several different solutions for paper command centers.  Several I have used because I have reviewed them.  You can see them at the end of this post.

I use this Paper command file to deal with daily papers coming in.  This is not for my bills.  This is not for all the drawings that Johnnie and Suzie bring home from school.  (I only keep 1 or 2 of those and they go into the file drawer in their folders) This is for all those papers that you need to follow up on, do immediately or need to reference quickly.

For the other papers

But I have a cubby by my chair in my office that I have plans to put my paper command center.  So I had to have a system that would fit and also would be easy to file papers in.

I went down to my basement where I have some organizing supplies that I have used in the past or plan to use.  Here I found the back plastic filer that has drop in separate file hangers.  These all fit into a file box, but I’m not using it that way now.

paper command centerI got it all cleaned up.

paper command centerI also cleaned the individual files boxes that fit down in. Each one of these has a specific function

1) Home

2) Business

3) Medical

paper command centerI went through each file and decluttered it.  I made the following decisions when I sorted

1) Keep

2) File

3) Toss (recycle)

sorting papersThen I made new labels using my label maker.  I’m not one who makes labels for every little thing in my house, I’m not teasing when I say the label maker tape can get expensive – but I do think it really makes the file tabs look awesome!

I color coded the labels.  Blue is for home.  Yellow is for work.  Green is for Medical / expenses for step kids

file tabsI already had everything, but didn’t have enough of the same color file folders to do them all purple, or red etc.  I did have enough to do the ugly old green..and I had to use those in the last section.. but I at least got to use the purple ones up front where I’ll see them.

I do suggest that you put the file tabs on the front part of the file folder.  I also suggest that you put them all lined up in a row. It is easier to see them lined up rather than darting all back and forth if they are spaced out.

file folders

Here is how I broke them down.  Of course we all have different needs and priorities in our homes, so more than likely my system won’t be your system.

This is my Family section of my Paper Command Center

Keep in mind these are not for long term paper storage. That would be the file cabinet.  This is for

1) Home Business – anything pertinent to the home, but not designated to a specific person.

2) I grouped the triplets together because most of what they get pertains to school or karate and it is all the same anyway

3) Each other family member has their own file, including Dave and I

command center

Now for the medical.  For me this includes insurance, dealing with 2 ex’s and the kids medical and other expenses that have to be split.

file foldersThe last folders are the ones I use most often. They will go in the front of my command center.  It is for my business.

In the very front I have a “To Do” folder.  This is the place that I will put papers that have immediate need.  This is not for bills (that is in a separate location that I will go over in another post). Then I have broken down the areas of my business that I need.  This might include for you

1) To Do

2) Projects

3) Banking

4) Specific projects might get their own folder

5) Income/Expenses (mine are separate, I’ll show you in another post)

file foldersThen each of these 3 separate drop in sections fit down in the main one.

command centerI place the “home section” in the back.  The “medical” section in the middle and the “business section” up front – so it looks like this when it is complete.

command centerThen it fits right beside my chair where I can have instant access to it.

paper command centerI just pull it out a bit and can slip papers in very easily.

So what do I do with all those other papers that need to be filed and go into the file drawers?  Like receipts for bills that were paid, or that special paper that Johnnie or Suzie brought home that I don’t have time to run over to my file drawer and file right now.

Those go into my general file bin that I will sort and file at the end of each month.  At my old desk set up it was a stackable plastic tray.   So I just put them right down below in this pink cubby.

office reorgFrom this pink bin.. they go straight to my file cabinet.

Just to refresh your memory:

Paper Command Center “Before”

command center before

Paper Command Center “After”

paper command center after

Here are a few other Paper Command centers that I have reviewed in the past and that might work better for you.  Remember, none of us are the same, we have different needs and we have different systems that might work better for us than others.  Don’t ever think you have to fit into a cookie cutter mold and do something exactly like someone else.

One of these other systems that I have reviewed in the past might work better for you.

The “In Place System” by Peter Walsh

In place by Peter Walsh

The PileSmart® Desktop Organizer Tray by Pendaflex

pendaflex Pilesmart

You might also like the Smead File System

smead file system

Your Mission if you chose to take it is: Show me your Paper Command File!

Organizing Mission Monday

Link up Your Office Mission Post

You can find the linky by clicking on the button above or going to my Organizing Mission Link Party. Feel free to keep linking up your different office projects that you accomplish during this Office Mission. I am ok with also linking up organizing projects that aren’t office related. This link will be up until Feb. 24 so you will have time to add your office projects in.

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