It might seem crazy to spend time making over a file cabinet that no one outside of your family will see, but I think there’s definitely a lot of happiness to be gained by beautifying a space that you use and see regularly, even if no one else will ever see it! Case in point: our filing drawer.
Not pretty! A mixed-up assortment of file colors and label types and with no cohesion. I wish I could say this drawer was already totally organized but just lacked style, but alas, as I embarked on my makeover of this drawer, I quickly realized it was definitely ugly and disorganized. The pic above is actually after a massive purge of papers from this drawer. I know from experience (and as an avid reader of organizing blogs and magazines) that the first step to any organizing project is always de-cluttering. So DH and I forced ourselves to physically open and go through each and every file in the drawer. We went through some other office papers at the same time and came up with a pile more than a foot high to get rid of. We took everything with sensitive information to be securely shredded and the rest we happily tossed in the recycling bin.
The next step was to figure out how to organize the drawer. We did this as we went through each file and kept a running list of things that needed a file folder. We found several files that we no longer needed and some that needed a separate file but didn’t yet have one. We ended up with a list of everything that needed a file and then were able to better make decisions about how to arrange the cabinet. We decided to group them generally by type of file (accounts, credit cards, health, etc.) and then roughly alphabetically. (We didn’t have a super tight system for the ordering of the files since it isn’t a huge amount–if we had a larger collection of files I wold have been more of a stickler.)
I opted for printed labels for the hanging folders rather than handwritten ones since my writing is not especially lovely. I wanted the drawer to feel more unified and using the same font really helped that out. I still made a few handwritten sub folders to put inside the hanging ones that we could change easily if needed. The hanging files I ordered in a fun poppy shade of turquoise to complement the rest of the office space:
It is a pretty huge difference in terms of usability already and it really is nice to open up a file cabinet to this rather than the disorganized and ugly drawer we had previously!
Have you undergone any major office re-organization projects recently? Doesn’t it feel great to purge papers from your home office?