Monday, January 25, 2010

Labeling lunacy

Like everyone else this time of year, I feel the need to declutter and organize. So I started this weekend with the task I've been dreading the most - organizing our home files. We had half done it over a year ago, but never finished and what was finished got out of control. I've put it off because it's overwhelming. There are categories and sub-categories and sub-sub-categories and AAAAHHHHHHH, I need a nap.

So I made a serious date with my label-maker. And I went bananas. I did the files for our properties.

I did our everyday personal files. I'm serious about fun this year. It's got its own file! I put info and magazine clippings about restaurants we want to try or places we'd like to visit in there.

I put all of our appliance and electronics manuals in an accordion file labeled by room...

I also better organized my home inspiration tear sheets. When I'm going through magazines and see a room or house idea I like, I rip it out and save it. I finally corralled them all into a file box labeled by room.
I also did this with my recipe tear sheets, using categories like Soups, Veggies, Desserts, etc. And I've decided I'm going to make one new recipe every week and share them with you.

Too much time on my hands? Maybe, but it feels fantastic to have finally tackled the scary files. Now the goal is to keep it organized and not let it get chaotic again by filing things immediately instead of letting piles build up, and purging info that is no longer relevant regularly.

How do you keep important information organized?


  1. The only thing I'm kinda organized with is our bankpapers, and medical records... everything else is kinda.. somewhere else in the house (?). Anyway, ever since my parents left I have tried two new recepies a week, and I don't even like to cook! But, I guess I don't mind it that much if I'm not pressured by time. Like for our late dinners, around 1.30am(!) I start preparing dinner at 8 already. It's so much fun to do something new, try it and good luck!

  2. I have a "to-file" folder that gathers itmes (paystubs, bills) that I know need to get filed... eventually. About once every month or so I pull down the file box and do a large batch of filing.

    I hate appliance/electronics manuals. We have them in a drawer in our kitchen and they just keep piling up. I think a purge of those might be in order soon. I feel you can find manuals for most anything on the Internet nowadays

  3. I always mean to keep my information better organized, but right now it's all cluttered in our one filing cabinet drawer. I'm thinking about getting a standalone pretty expanding file to keep 2010 in so that I am keeping up like I need to be!

  4. I have to say I'm pretty jealous of your label maker. And even more jealous at how organized all your files are now! I have a massive pile of stuff to organize, that I am avoiding. But I'm glad I saw this, I definitely want to make a file for my inspiration pictures, and FUN!

  5. You can never be too organized. It's actually rewarding when you're done--but no one is ever "done" organizing. I keep it exactly like you keep it, EXACTLY. When something is too much for a file cabinet, I separate it into a 3 ring binder with folder tabs, such as stuff for home improvement projects, or stuff for the baby, etc. Really important stuff I also scan and file electronically so it's searchable through the computer.

    One thing to keep in mind is destruction boxes. After years, you will have too much stuff filed. So bank statements, pay stubs, and tax stuff over 8 years old goes into a box that will get destroyed on a certain year. For instance, last year I cleaned out the file cabinet and threw everything in a box labelled "destroy after 2011" and threw it in the attic. This year I'll make one that says "destroy after 2012" and do another cleanup.

    I like your dessert file versus all the others.

  6. Thanks for sharing guys! Seriously, I love knowing how other people keep track of important stuff, because it's hard!

    Vic, it thrills me to know that our systems are similar, because you're the most organized person I know. Makes me feel like I'm on the right track! And I love your way of getting rid of stuff. I'm going to adopt it.