Methods and Containers to Organize Paperwork

Kim Kubsch

“Methods and Containers to Organize Paperwork” is 21st in a series of articles featuring techniques for decluttering your home.

Organizing your paperwork can be a hassle. It’s arguably one of the most tedious tasks while organizing your home, yet once you have systems in place, you’ll feel so much better and save a lot of time! Even if you want to use less paper or go paperless, we will almost always need some paper.

Almost any system you choose will incorporate folders to help you stay organized. First label hanging file folders with broad categories like Taxes or Medical. Then, within each hanging file folder, create sub-categories with folders to narrow down types of files within the broader section. For example, in your Taxes folder, create subcategories for each year of taxes you’re storing. Sometimes a purely alphabetical system works better. Whichever method you decide works best, some type of container will be necessary.

Here are some of my favorite systems and solutions to keep your paperwork organized:

Clear File Bins: Clear file bins are a great way to organize your paperwork. You can express your creativity by getting colored hanging file folders that vibe with your aesthetic, allowing for colorful patterns in your space. The clear bins allow you to easily see what’s inside and hold you accountable to maintain the system so papers aren’t overflowing. Don’t forget to create label tabs for each folder!

Drawers: A filing cabinet is great for those who want to store a lot of files in a condensed space. Try to dedicate each drawer to a different category or person. For example, use one drawer for personal, one drawer for business. Or use one drawer for a parent(s) and others for children and pets.

File Boxes: File boxes can provide a sophisticated look where function meets beauty. Storage boxes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs, allowing you to discreetly hide files in bins that match your space. File boxes with lids are a great way to keep files safe in a public area. Just like the drawers and clear bins, you can use hanging file folders here, too!

A Very Affordable Storage Option: I like to use plastic milk crate boxes as the most affordable option. They have become quite stylish, with various colors and patterns. Whether you look at Walmart, Target, Staples, or Amazon, you will be able to transport these crates throughout your home or office. Hanging files can be used with crates, too. If you no longer wish to use them for filing, they still have a wide variety of options for storage. If you like a container that does not get dusty and has a lid, one of the above options are a better fit for you.

Don’t Forget to Label: Labeling is super important for any area of your home, but especially with paperwork. Being able to clearly see each folder and what’s in it will make maintaining and utilizing your paperwork system easier than ever.

I like the Brother P-Touch Cube Plus label maker. The Cube makes creating labels on our phones super easy, and the Cube printer is quick and efficient. With a cost of approximately $99, Brother has several other more affordable options.

If you need some extra help but aren’t sure where to start, contact me for a free 30-minute consultation. Contact me at 480-720-8566 or [email protected]

Check back monthly for more ideas about organizing, decluttering, and downsizing!