Get Organized: File Box Project, Part 1

My husband and I bought our first home (as mentioned in previous posts) and ever since we signed the papers I have been researching some organization techniques. I can’t wait for every single item in my new house to have “a home”, a place where it belongs. I have been very inspired by many different projects but need to prioritize and make moves to actually do some of the projects I have been reading about.

I decided the first thing I NEEDED to do was to create a filing system for all of our paperwork. Piles of papers give me agita (Italian slang for stress or aggravation) so with all these new documents making their way into my life (home insurance policy paperwork, medical bills, utility bills, etc.) I needed to get organized.

I first decided that I would be purchasing a file box instead of a filing cabinet because we do not need anything too big at this point. I purchased a blue filing tote from office max for $10.40. (The exact one I purchased is not on the website to tag for you but this one would work just fine as well).

The next step was to write out all the categories for which I would need folders and then lump them into groups. I ended up with 10 groups.


Once I had the groups all labeled I researched some file folders. I found these (Smead Hanging Folders) which made perfect sense for me! I purchased 2 boxes of the “brights” variety ($11.78 for each 25 folder box) and 2 boxes of the “jewel tones” variety($12.97 for each 25 folder box) to total 10 colors for 10 groups. I bought these from Amazon and got FREE Super Saver Shipping!

Next, I created a key to tape to the front of my box with all the names of the groups and their folder color. I did this in Microsoft Word by inserting a 10×2 table into a document, putting the colors in one column and their group name in the other, see below.IMG_0338

The next step was to use a label maker and actually create the files. I used the Brother P-touch H100 labeling system, which I got on sale at OfficeMax for $24.99, regular $34.99! The link I attached is actually cheaper, from Amazon for $22.93.  I had to buy 6 AAA batteries for this little guy but I really like it and will be using it very often! So worth it!

I attached the labels to the inside of the file tabs and inserted the tabs into the folders.


Finally, I filed my paperwork into the folders and then I cried because I was so excited!! Just kidding, of course, but I feel so good about how this came out!

I am still waiting for the boxes of the jewel tone folders to come in the mail so I still have a little more work to do and will post a picture when the entire project is completed!

I put the folders I am not currently using behind the labeled folders and I put the unused tabs into a baggy for safe keeping. I put the baggy into the tote with the files for now but when I move into the house I will put them into their own “home”. I cut the rectangular pieces of cardboard from the boxes in which the folders came, to use in the future; they are good for other projects. I like to be resourceful!


Total cost for this project, excluding printer paper & printer ink for the key and batteries for the label maker: $84.89!

*Tip: I am planning on attaching a list of brands and some notes about this project to the inside of the box in case I need to order more folders or makeover this bin in the future.

This was so fun! I will be storing this bin in my office closet next to a safe with all the very important documents (birth certificates, SS card, passports, etc.)

Check back in for the photo of the completed project!


10: Objects from The Container Store

Objects from The Container Store

This post is about 10 objects I want to buy from The Container Store to organize my new home!! I have not bought or tried these items yet, so if you haven’t tried any of these items either, we are in the same boat!!

1. Tea Bag Box: This looks like something that will really help me save some pantry space. I like “switching it up” with tea so I have several different kinds. This little box will be a great way to keep different varieties organized and contained!

2. Expand-a-shelf: This neat product will be perfect for all the different cans I have in my pantry. This will help me see what I have and take advantage of vertical space.

3. Boxes: These little boxes are for CD or DVD cases but they could really fulfill any purpose. They come in all kinds of pretty colors! I am not sure if I will end up purchasing any of these but I like them and am considering using them in my office for cards or stickers. They come with 3 dividers inside. I like the black and white one!

4. Battery Box: This little box would help me see my current supply of batteries and keep them in order. I love this little guy!

5. Photo Box: This really cool box will find a home in my office very soon to house some pictures I just ordered from I will be organizing mine my year but you could do it by event, vacation, or whatever you want!! I can already see this bin on a shelf in my office closet. + Additional *PHOTO TIPS* at the end of the post. 

6. Stacked bin: I am planning on using this under my bathroom and kitchen sink to take advantage of vertical space. They come in 2 sizes to experiment with. They seem sturdy! I am going to put putty or Velcro on the bottom of the legs so it doesn’t slide around once it is in place.

7. Drawer Dividers: These dividers will be perfect from my utensil drawer! They adjust to fit any depth.

8. Cabinet Shelves: I can imagine myself using these in my kitchen to keep my plates organized. I hate piling plates of different sizes on top of one another. These are pretty darn inexpensive too.

9. File Folders: I have been reading that these are THE BEST! I think I will be giving these a chance!

10. File Tote with handle: And this tote is where the pretty little file folders will live. I like the little compartments in the lid (I would put leftover labels in there).

*I write the year and sometimes details about the photo on the back in case these photos are found millions of years down the line. I want them to know the year they were taken and a little about each photo! This is time consuming but I want to do this for my daughter; it is important to me!

**Also, I have all the photos saved on a USB drive (which I will put in my safe) in case something happens to the printed photos.

Once I purchase some of these items and put them to use I will try to post photos! If you have used any of these items, please comment or share your photos!!

Happy Organizing!