Jan 12, 2013

File it Away

Not sure about everyone else, but New Years totally puts me in the mood to organize.  No joke.  Something about new beginnings and fresh starts makes me want to de-clutter and streamline my life.

One of those areas that always gets an organization overhaul after December 31 is the financial filing system. The box full of eight-year-old records gets sifted through for any important documents or keepsakes that we might've missed when we boxed them up all that time ago and everything that remains gets shredded and tossed.  All of my 2012 files lived in two storage boxes in our Expedit shelving right next to my head for easy access.  I pulled all of those out, condensed what needed to be saved for records and transferred them to a box in the closet.

Put it right back in the empty 2005 box, just changed the label.

As I was sifting through all things 2012, I groaned for the 627th time that the hanging files I had been using were really annoying.  They kept the lid from closing tightly, some of them had pockets inside where things would get stuck, and some of the labels didn't match anymore.  "College Records-Colleen" has been out of commission for almost four years now but I still had a hanging file for it.  What's up with that?  So I decided enough with the groaning.  It was time to switch up the way I file my records to make my life easier.

First I did one of the things I am best at in life: I made a giant list.  I put every type of utility bill, loan, and financial or confidential paper I typically save on the list to help me see if there were some areas where I could consolidate files or maybe just needed to sort them in a different way.  Sure enough, I had a lot of that.  In my old filing system, I had a folder for my school loans, one for Steve's school loans, one for our car loan, one for our credit card, one for random retail credit cards we rarely use... you get the picture.  Why have a bunch of hanging files when they could be consolidated under the heading of Credit & Loans?  So I ended up re-categorizing where I'd store some of our records, and decided that instead of hanging files, I'd use expandable files and tabbies on top to do my organizing.

Office supplies- yum.

It's so much better!  And the best part is that it fit in only one box, meaning I gained a whole cube of storage space!  So I used that to my advantage.  I put the "to be filed" box up at eye-level so I'd be more likely to put things in it and remember to file them (ha!).  I also moved my pens and scissors a little closer to me so that I could see them more easily.  And I scooted the records box more towards the middle of our desks, since I don't need access to it more than twice a month.  I am loving the final result.

Somebody needs to get on the dusting, pronto.

I can find things easily.  I can put things in easily.  And I also love that I can do this:

Need to dig through a file?  Just pull it outta the box!

I'm feeling pretty good about this organizational upgrade.  The Type A in me wonders if there's an even easier way to do it.  What's your best file organizing tip?


  1. Please, please, please come help me do this filing system at home! I need help, since getting married and combining our files and nothing feels good! Yucko!

  2. Replies
    1. Well let's do it then-- I'm game!