Monday, October 8, 2012

OperationOrganize: Paper Filing System

Today I'm going to share with you the filing system I created as part of my OperationOrganize: Office/Craft Closet Storage Project where I'm trying to make order of our terribly dysfunctional office/craft closet described in this post.

Do you see the purple bankers box in this picture?
This is what I had been using to file all our papers.  As you can see it was often covered up and difficult to access.  Papers would pile up waiting to be filed away in this box.  This system was not organized and was not working for me.

Then this wonderful piece of furniture came into my life!

What is so wonderful about this end table?  Let me tell you!
  1. Has a hanging file drawer.
  2. Has a nice little cubby where I will probably place a cute basket someday to store something.
  3. Matches our coffee table.
  4. Offers dual function:  end table and file drawer.
  5. Cost me only $10.00.

Once I had my wonderful new end table/filing drawer I was ready to begin organizing all our papers.

Here are the supplies I used. 
  1. Colorful Hanging File Folders - I would have loved for them to all be the same pretty color, but couldn't convince myself it was worth the splurge.  These work just fine.
  2. File Folders
  3. Alphabet Stickers - I am pretty sure I've had these since sometime in middle school.  It was well past time for me to use them!
  4. Avery File Folder Labels (not pictured) - I love using these because they ensure perfect lettering on my file folders.  I'm a bit OCD and these are just wonderful to have!  They give the perfect finishing touch and have so many uses!

A close up of the cute alphabet stickers. : )

It took a good little while to label all my hanging file folders and file folders and then organize all my papers into them.  Not to mention the time I spent fussing with the computer/printer trying to print my file labels.  We recently bought a new desktop computer and I don't think it communicates well with our ANCIENT printer. (Okay, so it's not really ancient, but 9 years is old for a printer!) However it was so worth the time!

Here's a little sneak peek as to how I organized some of my filing:

In order to help me remember where to return each folder, should I need to take it out of the drawer, I began each label with a word that started with the letter it would be filed under.  For example:  All our utilities are filed under "U".  I labeled them "Utilities - Gas/Electric," "Utilities - Internet," and so on, always putting the word "Utilities" first.  I used the same concept to file papers for each of our family members.  These are some of the files I created under my name, filing under "J":  "Jessica - Important Documents," "Jessica - Health Records."

Here are some other files I labeled using this system:
  • Credit Card:  Best Buy, Discover
  • Insurance:  Auto, Health, Home/Rental, Life
  • Loans:  Auto, Student

Also, to help me remember what letter each particular file is filed under I created these sheets:

These are especially useful as I am wonderful at coming up with a great, reasonable system for filing papers, but have a horrible time remembering how my wonderful system works and where exactly I filed everything.  On each line I listed the file folders that are filed under that particular letter(s).  This way if I forget were I filed something, I have an easy reference to look back at.  This also helps my hubby easily find a file he may be looking for.  Right now I keep these sheets in hanging file folder "A" because it's in the very front and we don't have anything filed there.  I will probably move them to their own hanging file once I have something to file under "A."
Hopefully I've shared some tips and tricks that will help you organize your ever-growing paper pile or improve your current filing system to make it work better for you.
Happy Organizing!
Linking @:
The Sunday Showcase Party @ Under the Table and Dreaming
Our Favorite Things Link Party @ My Life's a Treasure
Making the World Cuter Monday @ Making the World Cuter
Made by You Monday @ Skip to My Lou
Tutorials and Tips Link Party @ Home Stories A to Z
Meet Me Monday Link Party @ You're Talking Too Much
Craft and Tell @ Cherished Bliss
Take-A-Look Tuesday @ Sugar Bee Crafts
Tip Me Tuesday @ Tip Junkie
Titus 2 Tuesday @ Cornerstone Confessions
Lil' Luna Link Party @ Lil' Luna
Home Decor and Organizing Link Party @ Organize and Decorate Everything 
The Creative Spark @ Clean and Scentsible
Wow Me Wednesday @ Ginger Snap Crafts
Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday Party @ Delightful Order
The 36th Avenue Party Time @ The 36th Avenue
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
Finished Friday @ All Our Days 
Feature Yourself Friday @ Fingerprints on the Fridge


  1. Wonderful find. That's a great piece for $10.00. You put together a great system also. Thanks for sharing at my Our Favorite Things Link Party.

    1. Thank you, Kerri! I love sharing what I've learned/created in hopes that it may help someone else out. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I'm a new follower. I just found your blog through the Home Decor and Organizing party over at Organize and Decorate everything. What a great find that end table is! And I absolutely love the system you came up with. I can't wait to spend some time reading through your other posts!

    1. Hi Alli! Welcome to my blog! Thanks so much for your sweet comment and for becoming a follower. I'm so glad to have you! Hope you enjoy the blog! :)

  3. How I love to try this out to. I never thought file dividers would be a big help on keeping your files look great.

    1. Celine, the file dividers are so helpful! Hope you're able to try this soon and that it works well for you! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! Have a wonderful day!