Monday, October 3, 2011

31 Days to Organization: Day 3 - Filing Cabinet

I have every owner's manual for every kitchen, hair, and office appliance; every piece of technology and software; and every game system I have owned since I was in the sixth grade. My husband thinks that I should throw away the owner's manuals and other documentation to many of these items--the original Nintendo Entertainment System and my Wilton cake pans, for example. But I refuse(d) to do so. If I still have the item--and even if not in many cases--I still have (had) the owner's manual (and likely even the original receipt unless it was a gift).

Nonetheless, I did recognize recently that our filing cabinet was crammed with not only all of these manuals, but also tons of superfluous and unnecessary documentation regarding our last three apartments as well as records regarding our health and dental insurance. So I decided to sort through these items and try to organize them in some fashion.

I started by discarding owner's manuals for items no longer in my possession. (And yes, since I still have my original Nintendo, I still have the owner's manual for that.) Along the same lines, I shredded documentation we no longer needed regarding our two previous apartments.

Then I grabbed some sturdy decorative file folders and matching file jackets I bought on clearance and grouped all the above documents by category. I put apartment, utilities, and health and dental records in file folders and owner's manuals in larger file jackets. Then I used the Pharmacy font to print the titles of my different categories of items on Avery 48860 EcoFriendly labels. The result is a much nicer looking filing cabinet:

Just in case you want to use or modify these labels, I am including them below.  You can download the PDF and print them on Avery 48860 labels using Adobe Acrobat or you can download the OpenOffice format and modify them with your own titles using OpenOffice software

  • Filing Cabinet Labels
  • OpenOffice

I am sure that as I continue to organize, I will discover other items that need to go into the filing cabinet as well.  I will update this post when I do!  In the meantime, how do you organize your important documents? Maybe you have a drawer for owner's manuals? Or perhaps one of those expandable files? Any great ideas to share?

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