How to File Categories for a Home Office

Categorizing you home office can organize your records so that they are functional and accessible. According to Home Made Simple, it is estimated that people never look at 80% of the papers they store, but you never know when you will need to find old tax information or insurance records. The typical suggested length of time to keep important documents is three years; however it is a smart idea to keep these papers filed away for longer if you have the space.

Sort your papers into color-coded files.
  1. Gather paper documents that you wish to file. Common types of important documents to keep track of are: W-2 and 1099 forms; brokerage or mutual fund statements; insurance records; car titles; medical documents; paystubs; and important pieces of identification.

  2. Sort and categorize the documents into specific sections. Examples of sections are insurance, home repairs or taxes. While you sort consider what items you will need at the same time and try to keep those papers together. Place the most recent documents at the top of the stack and the oldest papers at the bottom so that the most relevant information is easiest to locate.

  3. Organize your sorted stacks in color-coded and labeled hanging file folders. Use different folder colors for financial files, family and home files, career or education files, health files and hobby files. This makes your system even more efficient.

  4. Add your files to a file cabinet or file box. If you have a lot of files, use the drawers or multiple boxes as a way to sort your files further. Hanging folders work best for cabinets and boxes because they can be flipped through quickly.

  5. Place an inbox at a convenient location in your home office for papers that need to be filed. This prevents you from misplacing these documents before you are able to file them and is also a place for papers that need immediate attention.

About the Author

Julia Klaus has been a writer and copy editor for three years. She has edited books including "Top Dollar Plumber" by Sid Southerland and is contributer to eHow. Klaus has experience writing web copy and training manuals and has a Bachelor of Arts in English as well as a Master of Arts in teaching from the University of Portland.