If paperwork has piled up, you may not have a good filing system. But do you even need one? It might be your instinct to try to use folders and shelves to control the chaos, but you can’t determine what’s needed until you’ve cleared out the useless items. “The product is the band-aid on the issue, not necessarily the solution,” says Leist. Eighty to 90 percent of old paperwork can likely be shredded or recycled, says Leist.