File organizers such as paper drawers, trays, binders, and accordion envelopes will help you create a system where vital records are easily accessible and neatly stored inside your cabinets or home office. Even in this age of paperless billings and digitized documents, more often than not, we still prefer keeping a physical copy of important paperwork.
This includes our university diploma, school and medical records, learning modules, sentimental greeting cards, and letters as well as government-issued forms like birth certificates, clearances, and marriage contracts. We prepared a guide on how to choose file organizers and 10 excellent products that you can purchase online. Let's begin!
There are two ways on how to organize your documents. First is to create a station for incoming or “active” paperwork in your home’s command center and then second, designate a home for non-active ones such as sentimental items and reference documents that you want to keep for future use.
There are a variety of file organizers that you can use to accomplish these methods. Let us guide you on what to consider before buying one for your home.
Pick a catch-all container like a basket, tray, or hanging file organizer to create a station in your home for “active” documents. These refer to items that you receive on a weekly or daily basis and require immediate reading, response, or filing. These include monthly bills, snail mails or letters, receipts and subscriptions like magazines and newspapers.
A rectangular basket is a good option if you prefer attending to these new documents once a week. Make sure that it is spacious enough to neatly store all incoming paperwork for the entire week. This prevents paper clutter around your house because all new documents will go straight to your designated basket.
Meanwhile, a multi-layer paper tray is suitable for a home office. Its different compartments will allow you to sort or categorize the paperwork right away. You can choose between an assembled tray or a stackable one, which you can easily adjust according to your filing needs.
On the other hand, a hanging file organizer is a great space-saving solution, which you can place near the entryway or above your work desk at home. This is ideal for utility bills, prescriptions and receipts that you keep for tax records.
For “non-active” documents, which are typically kept either for future reference or for their sentimental value – you can choose between a file drawer, a clear book, and a binder. These kinds of organizers are also handy when it comes to working and studying at home so your desk area would remain clutter-free.
The best file organizer for you will be based on the available space that you have and the amount & type of paperwork that you are planning to organize.
A file drawer is perfect for a home office where you can designate a space for a stand-alone storage for your documents. You can utilize a file drawer’s compartments for sorting your paperwork into categories, for example – one layer for dad’s work files, one layer for mom’s planners, and another layer for the household utilities.
A clear book, meanwhile, is an effective file organizer for more personal documents. You can put together a compilation of your birth certificate, baptismal or dedication certificate, diploma and school records, and government-issued forms and clearances. Having all these vital files in one clear book provides easy access when applying for further studies or a new job.
Clear books are also great for organizing school "printables" and modules, especially when it comes to reading materials for smaller kids. Because of the plastic protectors, the pages won’t easily tear and can be wiped clean in case of a water or food spill.
For the older kids who are learning from home, you can opt for properly labeled folders to organize your e-learning materials. You can assign one folder per subject to keep your desk neat and orderly.
Then you can assemble the folder side by side inside a magazine rack – forming your very own homeschool library. You can also use the magazine rack for storing thicker file organizers such as clear books and ring binders.
A ring binder is best for safekeeping sentimental items such as letters, greeting cards, and artworks. Here you can insert as many plastic protectors as you can then fill it up with memorabilia that you can’t let go.
For example, you can use a ring binder for gathering your trip souvenirs like plane tickets or train stubs or scrapbooking wedding mementos including your invitation, gift cards, and photos.
Accordion envelopes have pleated and expandable sides, which offer a more flexible way of organizing your files. It is more compact than other file organizers and saves a lot of storage space. Its sections allow you to sort your documents into several categories and they also have tabs for easy labeling.
The best feature of an accordion organizer is that you can easily close its flip-cover to keep your documents safe. You have the option to carry it around during errands or grab it easily when there’s an emergency situation. It comes in 3 sizes – A4 for letter-size documents, legal-size and A6 for smaller documents such as receipts and appliance warranty cards.
A popular organizing method among moms these days is creating a memory box for their kids. A memory box would contain a kid’s report card, class photos, certificates and awards, writing or learning milestones, as well as favorite artworks – from pre-school years all the way to high school.
This way, moms won’t feel guilty about throwing away or recycling the rest of their artworks and school activity sheets since they have set aside the most special ones to keep inside the memory box. Moreover, memory boxes are a great and thoughtful gift when the little ones graduate from college!
Plastic bins are the most suitable choice for creating memory boxes since these are waterproof and are made of durable plastic. These are also spacious enough to fit odd-shaped craft projects and special notebooks or diaries.
Now that you’re more familiar with file organization hacks and ideas, take a look at your current collection of documents, and identify the categories that you want to keep. From there you can visualize the kind of containers that you will need to store the paperwork neatly.
There are many products for organizing that are available on the market these days and we’re here to help you out – simply scroll down to see some of the best file organizers that you can purchase online.
|Size||FC (foolscap folio, 220 x 340 mm)|
|Size||27.5 x 35 x 29 cm|
2 Pieces per Pack
|Size||FC (foolscap folio / long)|
|Color||Available in Neon Orange, Neon Pink, Neon Green, Green, Neon Purple, Neon Yellow, Black, Blue, Red|
|Type||Plastic storage bin|
|Size||41 (length) x 29 (width) x 24.5 (height) cm|
|Size||39 (width) x 32 (depth) x 85 (height) cm|
|Color||Alpaca Ash & White|
|Type||Hanging file organizer|
|Size||259 x 90 x 295 mm (will fit up to A4 size of paper)|
|Material||HIPS (high impact polystyrene sheet)|
|Size||9.45 x 13.38 inches (can fit up to A4 size of paper)|
|Color||Black with multicolor tabs|
|Size||Available in small, medium, and large|
|Color||Available in White and Tan|
3-Layer Metal Mesh Tray
Tough Box Storage
Dirk Plasti 5-Drawer Chest
6-Tier Wall-Mounted File Organizer
A4 Expanding File Folder
Rattan Eco Tray
Keep All Your Personal Documents in One Envelope
Space-Saving Paper Tray for Your Home Office
Portfolio-Style Organizing of Personal Documents
Best for Safekeeping Your Special Memorabilia
For Your Little One’s Memory Box
Stand-Alone Storage for Vital Documents and Paper Supplies
Maximize the Space on Your Wall
Sturdy and Easy Access File Organizer
24-Pocket Accordion Organizer
Stackable Baskets with a Homey Rattan Look
|Type||Accordion envelope||Multi-layer tray||Clear book||Binder||Plastic storage bin||File drawer||Hanging file organizer||Magazine rack||Accordion folder||Basket|
|Size||FC (foolscap folio, 220 x 340 mm)||27.5 x 35 x 29 cm||FC (foolscap folio / long)||A4||41 (length) x 29 (width) x 24.5 (height) cm||39 (width) x 32 (depth) x 85 (height) cm||Not indicated||259 x 90 x 295 mm (will fit up to A4 size of paper)||9.45 x 13.38 inches (can fit up to A4 size of paper)||Available in small, medium, and large|
|Material||Polypropylene||Metal||Plastic||PP material||Polypropylene||PP plastic||Steel||HIPS (high impact polystyrene sheet)||PP plastic||Plastic|
|Color||Green (tropical)||Black||Available in Neon Orange, Neon Pink, Neon Green, Green, Neon Purple, Neon Yellow, Black, Blue, Red||White||Clear||Alpaca Ash & White||Rose Gold||Black||Black with multicolor tabs||Available in White and Tan|
In the YouTube video above by Home Organizing by Alejandra.tv, professional organizing expert Alejandra Costello shares helpful and easy-to-replicate tips on using an accordion envelope in organizing your important documents at home. This system allows you to quickly access vital records and paperwork, especially in case of an emergency.
Decluttering idle items in your home can be a therapeutic activity. It will allow you to let go of items that no longer “spark joy” so that you can create a more proper home for things that you love and enjoy. Check out our recommended products for organizing the kitchen, the bathroom, the vanity area as well as your home office or study desk.
File organizers can help you create a better flow or system in dealing with active and non-active documents. When planned well, they can save not only time but also limited “real estate” or space in your household. Plus, you are less likely to misplace a utility bill, a prescription, or a receipt.
Moreover, important documents such as your university diploma, nostalgic letters, and artworks also deserve a proper storage in your home. File organizers will allow you to hold on to these sentimental items without the clutter in your home and the guilt of throwing memories away.
Author: Ayeza E. Mangulabnan
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