Saturday, January 31, 2009

it's round up time!

It's the end of January and The Org Junkie is ready to round up those disorganized spaces. This year she is focusing on smaller areas of the home instead of entire rooms.

January's "challenge" (as I like to call it), was the filing cabinet. And, oh baby, was this a good one!

There were two main problems I wanted to get figured out to make this area a little more user friendly and pleasing to the eye (even though no one else sees it on a regular basis since we keep it in our bedroom).

Problem #1:
I'm a label making freak, so my files were already labeled, but the issue was that the two drawers we had were stuffed full of who knows how many years of what, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I wonder if we ever look at.

To make some room, I did some purging of things that I knew I wouldn't need anymore. I also took out all of the household kinds of things (paperwork for appliances, etc.), along with the HUGE folder of tax information all the way back to 2003 and filed them away in a smaller filing box we had already been using for even more stuff (which was also a mess!).

**Added bonus tip** I ended up putting all of the files that hold the receipts for the bills we pay on a monthly basis, since these are the things I file the most. I wanted them all grouped together because I was tired of searching for them since they were all spread out because everything is alphabetical order. Wish I would have done this a long time ago!

BEFORE - filing cabinet (top drawer)

AFTER - filing cabinet (top drawer)

BEFORE - small filing box
I ended up throwing away half of this stuff, thank goodness!

AFTER - small filing box
includes information for our van, tax information from years past
and all household information (indoors and outdoors)

Problem #2:
The biggest problem I have with the filing cabinet area is that I don't have a good system to file papers away in an organized fashion. Therefore, many times it looks like the picture below. Piles of papers, and random things to put away. It stresses me out to see piles, but yet it keeps piling time and time again. I knew I needed some kind of system to help me not have to deal with the filing right away if I was busy, but yet avoid the piles.

BEFORE - filing cabinet area
this isn't even at its worst!

I found this wire filing basket that I had already purchased in our computer armoire in the living room. I hadn't been using it for anything special other than a place to put papers out of the way, but I knew I could make better use of it in this area instead.

I made a couple of files to start with and as I go along, I may find other things that I might need to add. The two files I have are 1) 2008 tax information, so that whenever we receive something we need for filing our taxes, we can just plop it in the folder, and 2) "to be filed" papers, so instead of letting things that need to be filed stack up and be in the way, I'll just slip them in the folder and they're all together for the day I decide to file them in the large cabinet. There is also a space in the wire organizer for magazines.

The small black organizer is for my husband to put all of his receipts and various notes he finds in his pocket, car, etc. That way they're not just floating around everywhere and he knows (and I know) right where to get them if we need them.

And, of course, nothing feels complete without a picture to spruce up the space. This is my husband and I snorkeling in Hawaii on our honeymoon.

Nothing like seeing a clean, organized space and dreaming of vacation, right?

AFTER - filing cabinet area
Although these were small changes, they were necessary changes and I look forward to being able to keep a clean area not only here, but also on the dresser next to the cabinet. Oftentimes all the stuff would spill onto the dresser, and it was not pretty. It's been almost a week since I've finished this project (I did it in two phases), and there is yet to be clutter in sight. That's a success if you ask me!

For more filing cabinet transformations, visit The Organizing Junkie's January Round Up.


Christy said...

Looks great! It was definitely worth the effort. I like your wire organizer -- good way to contain the paper clutter! Thanks for sharing.

Heather said...

wow that looks awesome. and i love that pic, looks like you had alot of fun.
Getting organized is such a big relief.

vicki said...

Great Job! You are an inspiration. I will have to get myself organized. :)

Missy said...

Looks like you've been busy. It looks great and I know it feels good to tackle an organizing project and get it done. I'm a pile hater myself!Can't stand them. Yet I have them. You've inspired me to get busy by seeing all your organization. Hopefully , I can get to some things that need my attention soon.

heidi @ ggip said...

That looks great. I have several projects that need to get done. I 'm going to think about joining for next month's round up. :)

Kasey said...

Looks fabulous! you did a really great job. Could you give my husband a tutorial on how to do this?

oh, I love your wreath! It looks super cute and I love it!

we are still without electricity! can you believe it? I happen to be at my sisters and I am taking the chance to catch up before I have to leave in a few minutes! I miss my blogging world! have a great week, bye!

Laura said...

So fantastic!! I'm especially loving the organizer on your filing cabinet AND the fact that you already owned it so it didn't cost you any $$. How cool is that!

You did a really great job!


Bobbi & Noe said...

I had the same exact problems as you! ;)
Looks great~

Elisabeth said...

I need to do some cleaning in our file cabinets but my husband should be there too so he can tell me what he wants to keep. But to lure him into doing the job is a whole different story!

Great job!

blog template by