It’s definitely possible to get organized with file folders. Here’s my system and how I decide which folders go in a filing cabinet. Since this system has worked very well for me over the years, I thought I would share it with others.
While some file folders go on my desk and others go on a bookshelf, some can be stored in a filing cabinet. Here are some guidelines on how I decide on what goes where.
Files that go in my filing cabinet:
Basically, items that don’t need to be seen, will go in a filing cabinet. The question I have to ask when putting things away in a cabinet is, “Will I remember that I have this and will I know where to look for it when I need it?” Then if an item passes this criteria then it can be filed away out of sight.
Here are some items that fit that criteria:
- Paid bill receipts
- Previous year tax returns
- Vacation ideas and resources
- Bookkeeping files for the church that I work for
- Family bookkeeping files
- Extra paper
- Colored paper
- Photo paper
- Extra ink cartridges
- Sheet protectors
- Business receipts
- Tax information needed to prepare next year’s taxes
These items don’t have to be sitting out on my desk for me to remember I have them. As a result, I can look for them there when I need them since they are in their home in the filing cabinet.
Although all of life can’t be organized and life gets out of control sometimes, having everything where you need it when you need it does make life run smoother.
Here are some file names to put on folders:
- Tax Information
- A folder for each child
- A folder for each appliance – dishwasher, washer, dryer, furnace, etc.
- Credit card statements
- Bank statements
- Pay stubs
- Bills paid – One for each utility – gas, electric, telephone, etc.
- IRA or Mutual Fund information
- Vacation ideas
- Resume information
- Medical records
Don’t think too hard about what to put in files and where to put them. Just get some manila folders and label them. Then put papers in the right folders immediately and get those extra papers out of your way. You will find your own way and get a system that works best for you and your family.
What Type of Filing Cabinet Should You Get to Help Stay Organized?
Filing cabinets are easy to find. Office supply stores, discount department stores, and thrift stores have them on hand for purchase.
If you have a home business, I recommend a 4 drawer filing cabinet. Meanwhile, filing cabinets don’t have to be ugly either. This white filing cabinet looks like a pretty piece of furniture.
Colored file folders help keep things even more organized. As an example, you can use green folders for money related items, red folders for medical information on each family member, and yellow for miscellaneous files. Blue can be for appliances and orange can be for vacation ideas or school information for each child. Be creative and use what works best for the way you think.
Plain file folders are just as useful and are cheaper. On the other hand, if you still like the idea of color-coding, you can use markers to color the tabs.
If you find that you are misplacing things or not finding things where you think they should be, think, “Where is a good home for this item?” Also, get rid of things you find that you are not using.
Keep working at it and you will easily learn how to get your life organized. Then use what works best for you and your family.
It really doesn’t take that much effort to organize your life. Check these articles for more information on how to get organized in life:
- How to Declutter your Home in the Simplest and Easiest Way Possible
- How to Get Organized & Achieve Goals with Post-it Notes – Article and Free Printables
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