Getting rid of old paper records can be freeing, but not if you pull the wrong ones. Sometimes paperwork gets filed in the wrong spots, or people accidentally stick their hands in the wrong folders. The result is that you have a file cabinet littered with old records, and several new records appear to be missing. Here's how to prevent that mess in the first place.
Look Where You're Filing
If you really want to take a big step toward eliminating file mistakes, file correctly in the first place. Always look at the file you're placing paperwork in and ensure that you have grabbed the correct folder. Actually pull out the folder and look at the label; if you leave the folder in the drawer, it's too easy to misread the labels and think you've got the right folder when you really don't. It may take a few extra seconds to pull out the file and be sure you've got the right one, but those seconds are worth it.
And if the drawer is so full that you have trouble pulling out a folder, it's time to get an additional file cabinet.
Confirm Paper Information
Filing correctly in the first place is vital, but if it still doesn't happen, the next line of defense is when you first pull the paperwork for destruction. When pulling paperwork out of a file folder, always look at the paperwork itself Be sure it matches the folder label you looked at, and be sure all other info that determines whether to shred the paperwork is correct.
Look at Each Page
Misfiled papers can easily get stuck to the papers that belong in the file folder. When you go to pull out the papers, you could end up grabbing too many. Look at each page you pull out to ensure it's from a record you need to shred.
Register Names and Steps
Have sign-in sheets or computer check-in programs that log who worked on the files, when they worked on them, and what steps they took, if more than one person is working on this project. If something goes missing, then, there will be a better idea of what may have happened because you can question the person who worked on the files.
Work on the files in small batches if you can. That way, if something goes wrong, you can find it and stop it before you continue to make that mistake on more files. You may also want to consider hiring a professional records management and processing company, such as SynergyIXS, to take care of the work for you.