February 6, 2012

Home Organization: Files

Peter and I have been talking about sorting our files for a number of years now. Seriously, years. We'd say things like:
           We really need to do something about those files
           Let's sort the file on the next rainy weekend
           The files are getting out of control
           Well, maybe it's not so bad

It is such an easy task to put off! We'd add to the files often or at least stack the papers that we needed to file on top of of the cabinet- which is nearly the same as filing, right? Unfortunately, we failed to ever actually assess the contents of our file cabinet.

I decided I would start working on our file cabinet earlier last week. Peter will openly tell you his strategy for the files has been to keep everything so I figured it would be a drawn out project that I could tackle over a few days. It wasn't. After I developed some rules as to what to keep and for how long, the project turned into a major purge followed by some label making, sorting, and shredding. While sorting, I found a receipt from 2003 citing Peter's application for a new social security card. It has since been shredded.

                           Before :: His Style                                                    After :: Her Style      

I loaded up an entire box of papers which didn't need to be shredded for the recycling center. Once I started shredding outdated files, the sheer quantity was staggering.

I labeled the newly sorted files by category and individually. (Please don't be deceived into thinking the files are also color coded, I just used the folders we already had which happen to be yellow, red, and green).
We will be taking great efforts to maintain the organization of files. For one, I disposed of the "catch all" box that used to hold papers that needed filing. Additionally with our newly established rules for what to keep and what to toss, we will not be keeping every paper that comes in the house.


  1. PJ and I went through our files a few weeks ago. I emptied the shredder 5 times and broke it once. It's so freeing!

  2. We need to do that so bad! We need to start with buying a shredder! :)

  3. To be fair, we actually borrowed the shredder. We're finally thinking about buying one now.