Here’s a trick question: What’s potentially more hazardous–an over-stuffed file folder or an empty one? Answer: An empty folder–when it’s unlabeled and mixed in among full ones.
Don’t make the common mistake of storing extra file folders in with your filing system. Empty files not only take up valuable filing space–they also create the confusing illusion that you have more files in use than you actually do. Then, when you’re in a hurry, it’s easy to mistakenly stuff a document in an empty file next to the one you intended to use. You may subsequently spend hours looking for a piece of paper that you’re sure you filed “in the right place.” Avoid this type of time-wasting and stress-inducing chaos by keeping back-up file supplies in a designated office supply storage cabinet or container.
For more tips on on this topic, be sure to read Chapter Six of Conquering Chaos at Work.