The final month of the year is here, and for many of us, it’s a time of wrapping things up before the new year rolls around. This year, as part of your year-end wrap-up, consider taking a few moments to revisit the systems that serve you every day, and see if you can improve them.

Clean out your paper files. Over the course of a year, most of us accumulate way more paper than we need, and much of it ends up in our file drawers. The end of the year is a great time to free up space in your files to make room for next year’s new documents. Spend some time going through your file drawer and see if the papers in there are still necessary and relevant to you. Look at your files with a cold eye and shred or recycle what you no longer need.

Revisit your filing system. While you’re in your file drawer, take the opportunity to look at how your filing system is set up, and make any changes that will help it serve you better in the future. Do the file names make sense to you? Are the tabs and folders clearly labeled? Are the file folders frayed at the edges? Are you trying to stuff too many documents in a slim hanging file, when a box-bottom file is a better fit? Now’s a great time to change file names, re-label, and get the right supplies to improve the system.

Donate unused supplies and other “stuff.” Look through your supply storage area, and chances are you probably have some supplies hiding in there that have never been (and likely never will) be used. Sure, those t-shirt iron-on transfers seemed like a good idea when you were at the office supply store, but are you ever going to use them? Free up space in your storage by getting rid of those things you either never used or just don’t need. Most non-profits are happy to take office supplies off your hands. Bonus – you may even get a tax-deduction for donating these supplies to a charity.

Delete junk from your computer. Files stored on our computer may not take up room on your desk, but they can fill a hard drive surprisingly fast. Delete drafts and out-of-date versions of files if you no longer need them. Use the search tools on your computer to find duplicate files, and keep just the ones you need. In your email program, if you no longer have use for a large attachment that was sent with an email, delete it. These can take up a surprising amount of space!

―Joshua Zerkel

Author's Bio: 

Joshua Zerkel, Certified Professional Organizer and home office organizing expert, helps busy people save time, space and money by getting organized at home and at work. For more FREE organizing ideas, visit or call 415-830-6345.