Filing Solutions

It’s March 25th and there’s snow on the ground in Pittsburgh.  My frustration is quelled only by the fact that Punxsutawney Phil is within reasonable driving distance (should I feel the need to seek revenge on his handlers for their empty promises of an early spring.)

On the bright side, I am warm and at home thanks to my recent decision to take a “sabbatical” from work and focus on home renovations for a few months.  I consider this time my equivalent of backpacking across Europe.  I’m about 4 weeks into unemployment so far and thoroughly enjoying it.  I’ve been busy painting, reupholstering, shopping, and planning for a kitchen renovation — all of which I hope to share in due time.

In the spirit of spring (though it is nowhere to be found), and spring cleaning in particular, I wanted to share a small project I completed back in the fall.

Organizing is one my life’s greatest pleasures.  It had been about 2.5 years since I had revisited our household filing system.  When we were housesitting last year, I had all of our files crammed into two mismatched filing cases — one that had been mine and one that had been Alex’s.  Last year we also inherited lots of furniture from my mom’s house, including some of my paternal grandfather’s army trunks.  When we moved, I decided it was time to revamp and consolidate everything into one filing cabinet.

I was inspired by this all-in-one office idea from Martha Stewart which utilized a trunk similar in size to my grandfather’s.

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Image credit: marthastewart.com

I decided to make my own version using some of the office supplies we already had, including Alex’s metal mesh file case that we had already been using.  Lucky for me, Target still sold the same case and I was able to buy a duplicate.  I also supplemented with a roll of cork, some labels, and a box of manila folders (made of recycled paper).

This is what the trunk looked like to start:

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For file storage, I simply inserted the two metal mesh filing boxes into the trunk.  I also utilized a metal mesh letter holder to hold longer legal size folders.  A layer of cork hot glued to the inside provides extra storage for notes, photos, etc.

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My filing system consists of recycled hanging folders organized into major sections (with color tabs) like property, finances, etc.  The hanging files themselves are for minor categories( ie: student loans — located within finance section) and manila folders are for individual accounts (ie: one particular student loan lender).

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When closed, the trunk fits neatly under our entry table turned sofa table.  I like the vintage appearance of the trunk and the sentimental value of my grandparents’ names painted on the top.  If I were to change one thing, it may be to eventually add casters onto the bottom.  At the moment, we just drag it out across the carpet to access the files.  That’s all for now.  Happy spring, and stay warm out there!

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