Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Master Plan - April Project: The Filing Cabinet

Although I'm a bit late in posting, I did finish the April project in April!  This project was the easiest so far and was a nice way to catch up on my schedule.

My filing cabinet was previously a disorganized abyss of paperwork:

As I was cleaning it out, I was astonished to find things such as receipts from almost four years ago.  Had it really been that long since I cleaned it out?  (Apparently, it had.)

Not only was it cluttered with things I no longer needed to keep, my file categories were only partially relevant to my life now.  I had several catch-all folders that were holding way too many types of files, which often made it difficult to find a particular item I was seeking.

I tackled this project in two passes.  The first sweep I went folder by folder in the old files, removing unnecessary items into either a trash or shred pile.  At the same time, I re-sorted the items I needed to keep into new folders with more relevant categories.  (I used post-it notes as temporary labels so that I didn't have to commit myself to the final label until I was done.)

This didn't take too long and got me 90% of the way there.  On my next pass, I went through each of the new folders to organize what was in each folder and remove anything else I felt I didn't need to keep.

I used the same approach for the file structure as I did for my To-Do Box, using the hanging folder labels as my major categories and the manila folder labels as my sub-categories.  Implementing the label maker for the final touches, I was done!

My next post will describe how I determined what to keep and what to toss.  I am also planning to do a mini-project in the future to put together an "In Case of Emergency" file.  (You might have noticed the "ICE" label in the "after" photo...)  Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, so pretty. I see your student loan files in there. Booooo. I will refrain from sharing photos of my loan files. They are scary. Damn you uncontrolled, overpriced American graduate education system!