Organizing Your Files Drawer

January 20, 2011 by  

Paper Clutter… yuck!

I don’t know of anyone that really likes all the paper clutter.  We have SO much coming into our house all the time. From the daily mail to the kids school work, things we need to print from the computer.  It is never ending and easy to get out of control.

I have recently reorganized my office and with that I finally went through and reorganized my files.  They were a mix match of file folders and hand printed labels.

I pulled together all my purple files that I purchased several years ago and decided to only use those (cuz their pretty! lol)

Before Files

filesKind of all over there aren’t they?

Here is another drawer
files messySome tabs and folders from my husbands files when we got married… came over to my file drawer.

messy filesThe kids files were a mess too.

My husband recently made his own “man cave” in the basement for his projects and added an office space. So we were able to move him out of this main office upstairs. He took all the tax info and some other financial family info downstairs.  He had already started files for his 4 kids.. so we decided to merge those. So his kids files went downstairs with him.

file cabinetHere is the file cabinet I mainly use. It goes with this big stinky cool desk I have.  It is a little worse for the wear.. but hey… it works great.

So I emptied everything out of it.. drawer by drawer

and of course had a bigger mess then I started with for a day

office filesI was in the middle of the entire office reorganization in this picture… (see all the stuff in the back?)

files and taxesI was also working on taxes.. that is what this picture is of.  But.. while I was reorganizing the files.. it looked much the same.

labelerGot out my old but reliable labeler that I had the right color (and enough of it) label tape to complete the project.

file tabsI labeled the tabs.  I had several different kinds of tabs…. but I didn’t want to go and purchase anymore of one specific thing.. so I had no problem that some look just a little different than the others.  I tend to be more practical than anal.

I went through and sorted.  I kept all tax info of course. Also major purchases, policy info, records for kids and dogs and the rest of us for medical purposes.

One thing I did get rid of was all the bill stubs from bills I paid.  I have kept them for years.. and the reason for that was because I went through a divorce. If they want to reconfigure child support… I have had to come up with things that go back 2 years.. in all my bills.  But, since my youngest will be graduating this year, I don’t have to worry about that any more! (yippy!)  But I did keep the visa bills, just to follow up on if need be for a purchase or credit.

organized files

Here is the kids file drawer with only my boys and my file in it.

filesAnd look at this!!!

empty file drawerI have an empty drawer!!  Wow!!

So lets review…

Before File Drawer

After File Drawer

Tell me about your File Drawers!

organizing Mission Monday If you have a blog post on your file system, I’d love for you to link it to my Organizing Mission Monday link party.  This link party will be left open for a month to go with the Mission – Office that I am working on with my link party.
I would love it if you could vote for my blog! You can vote up to once a day! Thanks so much!!

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16 Responses to “Organizing Your Files Drawer”
  1. I love the tips! Thank you!

  2. Roselyn says:

    Hi Sandy,

    I was wondering what types of items you keep in the files for yourself and your kids? I have two kids, but they are young, but I do have lot’s of school paperwork. Do you use it for long term filing or school paperwork.


  3. If I stay on top of my filing, it’s never a problem! It’s when let it go it becomes a problem! Very pretty!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

  4. Sandy says:

    I use these files for immunization records and anything medically I need to keep at hand. Also… report cards and some special papers. Also those certificates they earn. I will clean them out and keep only the most special ones in their “keep sake” box. I like taking pictures of their school pictures and letting the actual papers go. But I do like to keep a couple things (with hand writing or cute stories) for them for each grade.

  5. Becky says:

    Not a fun job, but a necessary evil and very timely for the new year. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I am so glad you put the tabs all in one spot. I read about this trick years ago. It is easier to scan up and down than across and all over the place.

  7. Sandy says:

    yes… as you can see my “before” pictures, I did do them all over thinking it would be easier to see them… but I feel like it is easier to put them in a row and of course it looks much nicer.

  8. Jen says:

    Your before picture didn’t look that bad, but wow, you did your work and look at those results! I am beyond impressed and giddy you linked up your awesomeness to the challenge! High fives to you!!


  9. Sandy says:

    How sweet Jen! Thank you

  10. very pretty purple files! :-) I changed ours to bright blue. and I agree about having the tabs all in one place; it does make it easier (I used to stagger them).

  11. Betty819 says:

    Do you mind sharing what brand/style# is your label machine? I have been thinking about one but I need something very simple to operate. Will it print labels for outside plant markers too? I noticed that you have set your files in ABC order and do you recommend staggering them or keeping them all in one straight line but in ABC order? Having in ABC order would certainly make the files quicker to find.

  12. Sandy says:

    I have an older P-touch Brother labeler. I have used many different ones and have been pleased with many of them. I would do a little research online and look at the different features they have, checking to see what features are most important to you. I would highly recommend you get one with a plug in charger rather than batteries only. (some have both and that is nice) Also consider the cost of your tapes before you purchase.

  13. Betty819 says:

    Thanks for you reply. Couldn’t I accomplish the same thing by typing my file names via computer onto white cardstock? I’m electronically challenged so I’d need something that was very simple to use. I know there are a lot of things that I could use a labeler for. Do you know the model # of yours?

  14. Betty819 says:

    I know this is a crazy thought but seeing your file folders all one color(I think they were all purple?)and the category lebels all one color makes things look more uniform, thus making it easier on the person having to work in the files. Our files are a mixture of colors..all one color would be so much easier on the eyes. Next trip to Staples for printer cartridges, I’m also going to invest in files all one color and change my filing cabinet around so everything will be in ABC order and I think it will make it more efficient too. Thanks for all the great ideas. Sometimes it just needs somebody else to point some things out. My ADD gets in the way of a my accomplishing some things. I’m organized in my head but actually doing it sometimes is a challenge.

  15. Sandy says:

    I also had different colors and tried the labels staggered before. I think this is much easier. Your eye flows easier over the labels. I know there are many different opinions in regards to this, but this is my thought. I’ve tried a lot of different things over the years.
    I also like to have my file in alphabetical order.

  16. Sandy says:

    absolutely! I didn’t used to have mine labeled with a labeler either. There is no reason you have to go to that expense.
    I nice black sharpie & the little white labels that come in your file folders are great.

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