Thursday, September 21, 2017

Finally File Storage

When we moved up from Florida,
we either sold or gave away many of our belongings.
That included a desk which contained a file drawer 
and an extra stand-alone file cabinet.
Between the two pieces,
we managed to store all of our paperwork in them.
New house, new strategy.

Anyone who knows me, knows I can't stand clutter.
It gives me a great deal of satisfaction
to be able to find what I need when I need it.
I wear the "chronically organized" badge with pride.
After trying to find a particular type of file cabinet,
this one seemed to be the closest to what I had in mind.
I wanted one that had two smaller storage drawers on top
with one file cabinet on the bottom.
When it arrived, it was a lot smaller than I had hoped for.

The two smaller drawers would be ample enough.
Here I store my checkbook, extra checks, address book (yes, I still use one of those),
my budget ledger, some extra pens and cartridges for our label maker.
These are items I use regularly, 
so it made sense to store them where accessibility was key.

The middle drawer was a good place for our tape dispenser, stapler,
note cards, scrap paper, and our label maker.
I'm planning on adding a divider to tidy it up
and purchase a stapler that doesn't need quite so much space.

The cardboard boxes have been housing our files
since we moved in December.
It was really driving me crazy.
Every time we needed something,
we had to dig into one of the three boxes that held our paperwork.
One of the reasons the office was one of our first projects,
was so that we could have better access to our files.

We reused the file jackets that we had in our last house.
They were still in good shape
and fit in this new cabinet.

With a pillow to cushion myself,
I set to the task of sorting every scrap of paper we had.
The files were already in folders,
but I went through them again to ensure that we weren't keeping anything 
unless it was absolutely relevant 
to our present home and family life.
There were also a few things
that needed to be placed in the safe
(original birth/death/marriage certificates).

There were some plastic folders that will be saved for another project,
and these were placed in a new location.
Of course, the handy label maker was right by my side.

Folders were placed in the drawer according to frequency of use.
For instance,
all of the bill paying accounts were placed near the front
since we deal with those each and every month.
Health folders (one for each of us)
and job-related files were placed in the middle.
Automotive and things like property taxes were placed at the back,
as we don't need to address those quite as often.
I may eventually get around to color-coding the files,
but for now, it works the way it is.
The most important thing is to label everything and  
place the inserted papers in time order
(from oldest in the back to newest in the front).

What was no longer needed was placed in the shred pile
or placed directly into the recycle bin.
Any paperwork that contained social security numbers or account numbers were shredded.

It may be small,
but we were able to fit all of our relevant papers in it.
It's great to have a place where everything can be easily and quickly located
for bill paying, record keeping or looking up information.
This week we've been working on a new desk top
to place next to the file cabinet.
We are working toward a more streamlined look,
and we'll share that project upon its completion.
We also have a new solution 
for all of our owner's manuals.
For now,
I'll just be enjoying this labor of love.

Other organizing posts:
 Files, Organized
Manuals, Organized
Kitchen, Organized
Recipes, Organized
Master Closet, Organized

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