What do you do when you find yourself waiting for your computer; and you can’t move forward because the wheel is spinning, but you can’t walk away either? Recently, I found myself stuck at my computer doing exactly this. Waiting. And waiting some more! We all know fall is here, but I squeezed in a bit of spring cleaning during the wait.

I don’t know about you, but I can only stare at that spinning wheel for so long before I start to go stir crazy. Waiting on a website to load so I can fill customer orders for a huge flash sale is hard work. Luckily, I had procrastinated on a bit of filing! Normally we here at BFB would never recommend procrastinating because it can be a huge energy drain in your home office. But that day, I was happy to have something to keep my mind off the waiting.

Filing can lead to needing a bit more room in your filing cabinet. And if you are cleaning out your filing cabinet, you’ll likely find yourself wondering what to do with old documents. There are several documents that need to be kept indefinitely and some that can be disposed of. As you pack away one year of documents don’t forget to keep your customer information safe. If you collect credit card information on order forms or invoices, be sure to cut that information off and dispose of properly. If you don’t own a paper shredder, search locally for a company that will shred documents for you. Insurance companies, libraries and more will often host a free shredding day.

Not sure how to file your information away for long term storage? It’s nice to keep similar records together in folders; expenses in one folder, bank and credit card statements in another and customer order forms in another folder. Then keep all the folders of information for one tax year together in an expandable folder. And if you are ready to take your organization up another notch, find a tote to store all those expandable folders in. If you ever find yourself needing something from a previous year it will be a snap to find.

I took enough information out of my filing cabinet that day to move 6 years of records for my businesses into long term storage. My office feels bigger now that all that paperwork is happily stored in my basement. Will you join me in a bit of spring cleaning this fall? Your office will feel lighter and brighter; and that can only lead to business productivity. We’d love to hear how you file documents away in the comments below!