August 23, 2012

Organizing: A Better Way to File

A few nights ago, my husband and I were searching through our file bin for some papers. It was a disaster! We found what we needed, but had to pull every file and look at every paper because everything was so unorganized. This got me in an organizing mood.
So, the next day I decide to tackle something easy (I tend to avoid bigger projects until I have time and all the supplies needed), the "junk" cabinet. This is where we stash office supplies (since we don't have an office), school stuff, cables, random papers, etc. My husband made a binder for all his police stuff and I thought it should be labeled. Thus began the online search for a free printable binder label! I came across this lovely gem, and I'm so glad I did! I read Jenna's story, that was featured on iHeart Organizing, which inspired me to tackle the ugly file bin that sits on the floor in the dining room/living room/office (haha).

Last year this bin from Target was a much cuter, cheaper version of a file cabinet that solved the issue of our papers being in piles all over the house. Looking back, I should've bought the black one. Now, this bin has become a mess! The papers are just tossed in their folders and everytime I need to find a paper, I have to sift through the whole folder.
Our ugly file bin. Notice the peeling edges.

The disasterous inside!
 I had some spare white binders sitting around, so I put them to use! I also had to go buy more to empty out the green monster, but this was a start! I e-mailed the label PDF to myself and downloaded it. I had to do it this way because I was unable to download it any other way. Then, I added text to it on Photoshop, saved it, and printed it out! You could also just write on it, but I prefer to print. I would advise you print on cardstock, if possible, because I had such a difficult time getting the labels into the spines of the binders on printer paper haha.
I also printed on some Post-It notes using this template. Although I had to *alter it. I wanted to use 2x3 notes instead of 1x1 or 3x3.
*If you want to alter it, when you open the document for editing, in the upper right hand corner there should be something regarding the dimensions of the boxes, change the height to 2" and width too 3"
I used the Post-It notes as labels for my dividers. I like to be able to re-use my dividers for other things so I try not to write on them. Of course, you're more than welcome to write on your dividers :)

I took each of my folders from my file bin and sorted through the papers. For instance, I combined our previous "Banking" and "Credit Cards & Loans" folders into one binder. I took the papers out of the folders and made piles: bank A, bank B, bank A loans, credit A, credit B, etc. I then sorted each pile by year and then by date (newest first-oldest last). I hole-punched the papers, put them in the binder, and voila! What papers were too small or important to be hole-punched I slipped into a protective sheet. I did this to the whole file bin until everything was in binders.

Don't make fun of the pink binder featuring my sexy hubby! Haha
 Although the binders may take up more space than that green monster, I can find and file any paper I need with ease! And it looks much cuter!
Please feel free to share if you do this on your own! :)
Best of luck to you!

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