I’m almost finished filing my papers, and my file box is full now. Stuffed, actually.
This file box has been so handy to me. I bought it ten years ago, at a Wal-Mart, for $2.50. I bought another one just like it, so I had a pair of file boxes, both full of papers organized neatly.
One year later as I looked at it, I realized that my only reason for keeping most of those papers was because I had organized them. I had made labels, and sorted them, alphabetized them, and saved them. Organization made the papers look more important than they actually were. So I tossed the ones that I didn’t need to keep, reduced my files down to one box, and determined that all my files would always be limited to one box, from that day forward.
It’s been that way ever since.
I like this box because it’s lightweight and portable. Have you ever needed to move a full file cabinet? This box works no matter where I live, even in the places where I didn’t have a desk. I like that I can carry it to the living room and go through the papers while watching TV.
My life is more complicated now than it was ten years ago; I have paperwork for four people instead of one, but the papers still fit in the box since most documents can be stored digitally without keeping a paper version.
This file crate has rails so you can slide hanging file folders, and if you have more than one, it’s stackable.
My next step is to do the routine maintenance of pulling the files that no longer apply and putting in a few new files.
My files hold more than documents. Here are some things I store in file folders to reduce clutter around my house:
I file gift cards and member cards in a file folder with plastic sheets that are made to organize business cards. I like being able to flip through the pages easily and find the card I need when I’m planning to go shopping.
To keep coupons from getting lost or scattered all over the house, I have a coupon file, and I just drop them in the box.
Portraits and pictures that are too big to go into a photo box with other loose photos go in a file to keep them safe and uncreased. It’s not acid-free or archival quality of course, so I’ll find a better long-term solution for the important ones, but this way they won’t get lost in the meantime.
Some of the kids’ artwork that we might want to keep goes in a file after we’re finished looking at it, sometimes just to give it a place to be other than the kitchen counter. Later we’ll look through a few pieces and decide what to put in the kids’ portfolios.
We don’t save everything. (Here’s what we do with the artwork we don’t keep.)
I have some travel documents and memorabilia that I haven’t brought myself to look through yet, and when I do, I might make them into a collection.
I have a box for personal memorabilia where I save cards and letters. (Here is how I keep the sentimental things to a manageable level.)