Fun with Filing
January 7, 2010
Ha ha. Got you on that title. Filing, fun ? Filing paperwork is about as fun as doing your taxes or getting a root canal. Filing paperwork is zero fun as my daughter would say, especially if you’ve let it get way out of control, like I have. Filing is the exactly the opposite of fun. That is, until you come across some very pretty organizational tools.
Hello my lovely.
I saw this deliciously darling file tote at the local stationery store and had to have it. Notice how it knows how chic it is by calling itself a “pretty file tote”. Kind of like that 80’s Pantene commercial where Kelly LeBrock used to say “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”
I don’t hate you “pretty file tote”. No darling, I adore you, especially after you saved me from such wicked despair.
Self proclaimed “pretty file tote” inspired me to tackle what was tormenting me for months – a ghastly pile of paperwork to be sorted. I’ll spare you the photo of what my haphazard box of disorganized papers looked like a few days ago. Let’s just agree It was the definition of a filing nightmare. Besides, if I showed you, self proclaimed “pretty file tote” would gasp audibly and refuse to be associated with such a mess.
Enter attractive office supplies, and my dearest darling love – the Brother label maker.
I had a pretty good plan awhile back. I was really good at discarding junk mail the moment it crossed the threshold. I separated and recycled it the minute it came through the door.
The leftovers were the true problem. I had a mediocre system in place before, “Bills” here, “Catalogs” there. I had all the birth certificates and legal documents kinda sorta pretty much organized. But way too much miscellaneous paperwork was slipping through the cracks. The “mail to be sorted” multiplied like rabbits overnight. It became my nemesis. I would pass by it late at night, fist in the air, and mutter through gritted teeth “Curse you, vile mail to be sorted box”. Yes, I hated it that much.
My previous system was like any invention. Often it takes the first edition to reveal the kinks in the design in order to work them out. I think I’ve finally worked them kinks out.
I’ll agree to reveal my plan, but you’re all sworn to absolute secrecy. Never mind that I’ve published this for the world to see. Details.
First, I highly recommend you arm yourself with a label maker. As you can see, we have a mutual attraction to each other.
I love my Brother label maker. He had me at hello.
He helps me do this . . .
And this . . .
Boooooo. Taxes. Blech.
One of my biggest organizational problems was saving, organizing, and then finding receipts. Thanks to “pretty file tote”, my dilemma is solved. Now, I get kind of giddy filing receipts.
And I can’t be the only one who adores this up close and personal shot of pretty labeled file folders. Totally Flickr worthy.
My next organizational stroke of luck was finding these portable letter size hanging files at Tar-jay. Okay, they’re plastic, but that’s just fine with me, because they will be completely hidden from view. Plus they’re cheap.
I printed up some Avery labels . . .
Slapped them on the side of these portable holders . . .
See, they’re not completely hideous. Apple green lids ? Me likey.
They store ever so perfectly inside a standard depth cabinet.
And they stack too, just in case anyone wants to store them vertically.
Don’t forget when sorting through paperwork to get yourself another muscular helper. Mr. Shredder is short, compact, and destructive to any document in danger of revealing my true identity.
But oh no, I didn’t stop there. Important keepsakes and lesser used texts aka ‘foreign language’ *hangs head in shame* get their own personal bin.
Coupons get their own basket, cause I’m a big collector.
I have a teensy addiction to fabric swatches, so I corral my collection in this bin I picked up last year at Michaels.
Recipes go in a simple three ring binder. I’m dreaming of laminating them all someday to keep them from getting sticky, oily, or smeared from, dare I say it, drool.
All that loose change was driving me crazy so I repurposed this candle holder.
Note to self. Must train husband to deposit spare change here.
There’s just nothing better than these acid-free photo boxes for storing all those pictures !
Kid workbooks and art get stored in these fun magazine holders and art boxes from The Container Store.
We make a big production out of storing their drawings here. Call me a mean mommy, but in the dark of night I sneak in and separate the sillier doodles from the truly charming creations. They haven’t caught me yet. Sssshhhh.
All of their toys and stuffed animals are kept in these colorful bins and baskets with homemade labels.
My home office supplies are kept tidy in this highboy I refinished last year.
I whittled down the magazines to just my favorites, and store them in these baskets in my home office.
Computer software, cords, and scrapbook supplies all are hidden in a series of these pretty and functional woven basket boxes purchased last year from The Container Store.
I keep CDs and other small items in these fabric boxes.
I read once that organization simply requires a ‘home’ for everything. It helps if that ‘home’ is somewhat attractive. At least for me.
Sooooo, what’s left in my house after this mad organizational spree? The linen closet.
But for the sake of fantasy, let’s just pretend that my linen closet looks like this. . .
and my bathroom closet looks just like this . . . mkay ?
What’s your best kept secret for clever filing and storage ? C’mon, spill the beans. We all want to know.