System Check: Organized Hanging Files

Nov 15

When it comes to organizing anything, you need a system that’s in line with your lifestyle and habits. Or, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious, you can change your habits to make a new system work for you. Whatever the case, when you implement a new system, it’s always good practice to check yourself a few weeks / months in to see how it’s working. This check-in point is great for little (or big) tweaks.

One year ago (this week, as a matter of fact!) I reorganized my hanging file system in my home office. I  had files and files and (even more) files of paper. Stuff that I absolutely needed and the fluff stuff. The fluff is the stuff I was keeping for those “just in case” moments. Yes, those “just in case” moments that never happened. Things like “oh, I’m going to tear out this magazine page because my cousin would love this product as a Christmas gift later this year”…But then I would never look in that hanging file when gift-buying time rolled around.

When I implemented this new system I not only made it pretty with Washi tape and labels, I was cut throat about the paper that was sticking around. And I’m very happy to report that one full year and 2 moves later, this system works so well and transfers smoothly. If you’re looking for a simple, pretty filing system, this is a great solution!

Anyway, now that I’ve moved across the country, it was time to sort through the hanging files to remove old utility company contacts, old Arkansas house paperwork, and file away the new California house info and paperwork.

Oh, not to mention…I needed new files for all of the work I’ve done around the house. Check out this mountain of paper that needed to be sorted and filed…

That mesh bin contained papers collected during home renovations before move-in, renovations that have been completed since move-in, new utility company info, new home furnishing purchases, and more. As the papers came in and needed somewhere to go, I tossed them into this little bin and figured I would get to it one of these weeks. One of these weeks when I didn’t have home-related appointments or kid-related appointments.

With the contents getting close to the top of the bin, this was the week!

Filing is so not fun to do. But with my big cup of coffee and favorite music playing, I hunkered down on the office floor with my filing supplies and got to work…

After an hour of purging old files, sorting through what needed to be filed, making piles of recycling, and creating / adjusting labels…

The job was done and here was my new bin….Full of recycling. Woot!…

When I created this system a year ago, I made the labels generic. Yes, there are some company names on the labels. But that is because these are companies I always work with, like ADT, AT&T and DirecTV. but when it came to other categories, for example, instead of adding a specific company name to a label, I used a generic name – like “heat & air” or “pest control”. That way when I moved I could just remove the old company paperwork from the file folder and pop in the new company paperwork….

My main filing headings remain the same; Home, kids, financial, medical….

Taxes, family trust, house papers, simply organized, etc…

Then each of the file folders hanging within those heading are labeled specifically. Again, I only created files for papers I absolutely need to keep…

I’m thrilled to have the huge filing job behind me, but again am very happy to report that this system is working really well. And I love how pretty the inside of the drawer is. Filing is not a fun chore, but when you open that drawer and see those colorful files, you can’t help but smile!

Have a great weekend peeps!

comments +

  1. i'm gearing up to do a massive re-organization of all the junk in my office too. it makes it better when there are pretty labels and files involved though!

  2. Jewel says:

    Hi – you did a fabulous job! I am so in the same boat as you were and you have given me inspiration and motivation to tackle the job! I do have one question though – how did you get the printed letters on the washi tape?

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