Keeping your office clean and free of clutter is a huge factor in productivity. Working in a cluttered space makes it harder for you to get your job done and causes you to waste time looking for items and constantly organizing paperwork.

However, by putting a few measures in place, you can keep your office clean with virtually no effort at all. Use the following 7 different techniques for organizing paperwork in an efficient way:

1. Create A Hidden Filing System

If you have an office that’s overrun by paperwork, you need a hidden filing system. Using a cabinet that doubles as a bench is a great way to save space and keep your paperwork out of the way. When you have all of your papers on your desk, it’s hard to not feel overwhelmed. Keeping your paperwork hidden in a bench or in your desk is a great way to avoid wasting time organizing paperwork.

Instead of using a clunky traditional filing cabinet, consider transforming a bench or an old dresser into a hidden filing cabinet. These fit in much better with modern office decor and can serve multiple purposes. Benches are ideal for offices as it gives you another place to sit and more room for storage. Transforming a bench into a filing cabinet is a fun project you can complete in about a day.

2. Set Up A Sorting Station Equipped With A Shredder

The best way of organizing paperwork is to create a system that sorts everything automatically. The first place you put your incoming paperwork should be a station equipped with everything you need to help avoid paperwork taking over your office. Your sorting station should have a shredder and a recycling bin so you can get rid of the documents you don’t need right away.

For the paperwork that you do need to keep, make things easy on yourself and create different inboxes on your sorting station. This way you can simply place the paperwork in the appropriate box without letting it clutter your desk or get lost among other documents. Having a sorting station prevents you from having to hunt down documents and waste time organizing paperwork around your office.

3. Declutter Your Office From Scratch

Starting from scratch is often the best remedy when you have a paperwork problem. Give yourself a blank slate to work from so that you can remove the burden of paperwork from your life. Eliminate all the unnecessary items in your office. Decide what you need to keep and give each item a proper home so everything stays organized. Starting from scratch is also a good time to build your sorting station and modify it to your needs.

4. Organize Your Office Equipment By Importance

When your office equipment flows, you’re less likely to get overrun by clutter. If you handle lots of paperwork, it’s important to position your sorting station in a place where it’s easily accessible for all incoming documents. Having your sorting station to the left of your desk allows you to process items in the middle and send items out on the right.

If you have drawers on your desk, it’s important to organize your equipment by order of importance. Your top drawer should have the items you use the most for quick access. Organizing your office with ease of access in mind is a great way to prevent paper clutter and junk from piling up.

5. Make An Effort To Keep Your Desk Clear

Making an effort to keep your desk clear goes a long way to helping the overall cleanliness of your office. At the end of every day, make some time to clear all the paperwork, bottles and office equipment off your desk. Starting each day with a clear desk is part of getting a good start to the day. Coming to work and seeing a pile of papers and pending tasks is overwhelming and can be draining.

6. Take The Time To Label Everything

It may seem tedious but labeling everything actually forces you to keep your office clean. It’s hard not to put things where they’re supposed to go when you have everything clearly labeled. Labeling also helps the people you work with interact with your workspace without messing things up.

Taking the time to label will help you avoid wasting time looking for a certain item or deciding where something needs to go. When everything has a spot, keeping your office clean becomes a low effort task.

7. Create Folders For Specific People And Projects

A great way to keep your work organized is to create folders for specific people and projects. This system works elegantly when you are using advanced mobile technology to manage your documents. Whenever you’re talking to a person that you work with, you can just go into their specific folder and pull out the documents relevant to the discussion. This is a great technique to handle one on one work and group projects.

It’s also worth having sperate folder for all your meetings so you can quickly refer back to the minutes in case of a misunderstanding.