How to Deal with an Overflowing File Room
File Room Jenga
You’re in the file room again, and files are stacked anywhere and everywhere. When you need one, you gingerly pull it out of the leaning pile hoping it doesn’t topple. When you’re finished with the file, you drop it back on top, just like a game of Jenga. You’re not sure when things will come tumbling down, but you know it will happen soon—hopefully not to you.
This game of “file room Jenga” is not only frustrating, it destroys efficiency, morale, and information security.
How We Got Here
Your file room didn’t get this way overnight. It got this way for a number of reasons. Here are a few possibilities:
- More files than space. You’ve simply run out of room, whether that be due to a lack of file cabinets or floor space. No matter how you do the math, you have more files than you do space.
- Your file system isn’t working. This might be happening because everyone on staff has their own method of filing and refiling (or not), and none of the files are ever discarded. You probably even have multiple copies of some files.
- Your file system consists of primarily hard copy files. Do you feel like you haven’t taken full advantage of the benefits of digital information? Are you still a bit “old school” and prefer paper documents?
How We Can Move On from Here
- Your overflowing file room is partly caused by a lack of space. The next step is to determine whether the solution is to get more space, reclaim space, or a combination of the two. Some options are:
- Purchase or rent more space. This seems like an easy fix, but most of the time it is prohibitive due to cost. It’s a temporary solution at best, the new space will fill up, too, and you’ll be right back where you started.
- Make space by purging. An annual file purge is incredibly beneficial. You can remove duplicate or redundant files, check retention dates, reorganize files, and remove outdated documents. The important factor here is to ensure that the purged files are properly shredded. A wise choice is to have a reputable shredding company securely shred them. Ask about their one-time purge shredding service.
- Archive files that aren’t used on a regular basis or that must be kept indefinitely. Get them out of your primary work space and into a secure storage area.
- Don’t assume that all of your staff all follow the same filing system. Implement a standard system and train your staff accordingly. Make sure that file retention dates are being followed consistently. Not only will it keep your files from overflowing, but it will also keep your business compliant with data privacy laws. Have staff make promptly process all paperwork that comes across their desk. Everything should be either currently in use, properly filed, or dropped in a shredding collection container to be shredded.
- Set up a scheduled shredding service so your documents are shredded on a regular basis. Outsourcing to a local, secure shredding provider will lighten your workload and help you comply with data privacy laws.
By incorporating some of the basic principles listed above, you can get your file room under control.
GreenServ provides secure one-time and scheduled shredding services to businesses in Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas. Call us at 662-533-0940 or complete the form on this page for more information or to book shredding service. Our shredding experts are standing by!