6 Office Organization Tips to Make Retirement Easier

An organized space is essential when it comes to preparing for retirement so you can find important papers and more. Our six tips will get you started.


Organization is a wildly popular topic with TV shows, books and entire stores dedicated to the exercise. There are a variety of different methods and practices out there when it comes to the topic of organization from Swedish Death Cleaning to Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method™ if you’re interested in learning more. 

Regardless of whether you subscribe to a certain method, there’s definitely something to be said about the idea of an organized space bringing a sense of calm and peace especially when you’re going through a life transition. Having an organized space allows you to know exactly where important items are that you may need which can be essential when it comes to preparing for retirement. 

These six tips will make moving into retirement a bit easier so you can focus on the more important things in life like what you’ll do with all of your newfound free time!

  • 1

    Clear clutter and tame cords to prevent trips and falls

    Disorganization can be more than just a nuisance, it can pose a serious health and physical safety hazard to you, your family members and even pets. From dust to piles of papers and books potentially toppling over to a tangle of cords to trip on. One of the first things you’ll want to do is move any items that are that are perched in a perilous position on bookshelves or piled on the floor into boxes or another, safer location to prevent falling items or tripping.

    Computer and office equipment cords are a particular hazard for tripping, so look into purchasing a power strip where you can keep cords in one location underneath or behind your desk and away from open or walking areas. While you’re at it, you may want to consider a medical alert system if you live alone and do fall, that way you can get help.

  • 2

    File documents in a way that makes sense to you

    There are a variety of different filing systems and methods out there all of which are worthless if they don’t make sense to you and how you’ll be looking for information. If you can’t find a document quickly and easily, reorganize and refile things in a way so you can. This is important as you prepare to retire and may need to find important documents and forms quickly and easily. It will also minimize having to replicate documents and keep your stress level to a minimum. There’s nothing worse than needing something and not being able to find it. Sit down and decide how you naturally like to work and use the following as a guide to filing:

    Alphabetical: It might make the most sense to organize your files alphabetically as long as you can ideate what files you’ll need.

    Categories: Maybe breaking it out into categories is your thing so you’ll want to have sections for generalized terms like “medical” or “taxes” for instance.

  • 3

    Keep important passwords and account info. where your family can find it

    No matter what age or stage of life you’re in, it’s important for your family and loved ones to know where important information is located in case something happens to you. This way, they won’t have to take apart your entire home office to find it. It’s a good idea to have this not only stored on your computer digitally but also printed and placed in a file located in a place your family can go to easily access it. This file should contain important passwords, account information, life insurance documents, health care proxies, end-of-life care plan, etc.

  • 4

    Know what papers to keep and what to toss

    Papers can pile up fast if you’re not on top of it. Educate yourself on what papers and files you really need to keep and for how long. Some general rules of thumb for how long to keep documents:

    • Seven years: Keep tax documents for at least seven years
    • One year: Non tax-related documents like pay stubs and credit card statements can be kept for a year.
    • Keep forever: You’ll want to keep important documents forever like marriage and birth certificates, retirement and pension plans and deeds.
  • 5

    Schedule a purge once a year

    Maybe it can be a New Year’s resolution or something you do around your birthday but make it a habit to set aside time each year to do a good once over and purge in your home office. Not only the physical space like any cabinets or the top of your desk to clearing clutter but your files too. This can tie into the previous tip about what to keep and what to toss but keeping your files and office clean and efficient will only make you feel that way too.

  • 6

    Consider purchasing a shredder to protect your information

    According to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reportover 3.2 million consumer reports were filed with the Consumer Sentinel Network in 2019, and 20% of them involved identity theft. Simple practices like never throwing identifying papers in the trash can help reduce dumpster-diving thieves from getting your information. A good way to do this is to purchase a crosscut shredder as an added security measure when you’re purging files. Many communities and banks or credit unions also offer shred days where you can bring a box of files and they’ll shred them for free. Always be mindful about what you’re tossing and where. 

    No matter how you choose to tackle your home office and organization, making sure that you can find what you need and utilize methods that work for you is what matters most as you plan for your next step in life.

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