I spent an entire day reorganizing my filing system into new categories, with updated hanging folders and a brand new filing unit. It was a long process, but one that I’m glad I did. With the help of Office Depot, I was able to transform my filing system into a more manageable unit. My old system was functional but didn’t have all of the categories that I needed. This system (with a ton of space) allowed me the room to add what I needed. Today I am sharing my “zone” system with you. I hope it helps you get your files just as organized. Happy Organizing!
I took the above picture before I started categorizing my files into “Zones”. Color coding your filing system is a great way to organize your files, making it much easier to find what you need.
My filing system is the Pottery Barn Bedford lateral file cabinet.
I use the PTouch (Model 2730) labeler by Brother. It’s my “go to” labeler for all projects.
To organize our paperwork, I used the Smead “Brights hanging file folders. Each box comes with 5 colors.
The label tape that goes with the labeler is the TZ tape. The black on clear 1/2 inch tape fits well for hanging folders.
FILING SYSTEM ORGANIZATION
Categorizing your filing system into color coded zones:
Write out all of your filing needs onto a piece of paper, then categorize each of them into 5 main colored sections.
1. Green – Bills & Banking
2. Orange – Taxes & Income
3. Red – Medical & Pets
4. Yellow – House & Auto
5. Blue – Memberships, School, Vacation & Other
Green – Bills & Banking
- All bills (Account folders)
- Monthly folders for paid bills (Jan-Dec)
- 1 folder for each Credit Card Company
- 1 folder for each loan (Mortgage, Auto, etc)
- Paid Off (Any letters from loans, etc that are “paid off”.)
- 1 folder for each bank account/savings account
Orange – Taxes & Income
- All “current year” tax related documents (1 folder for each – Tax deductions: donations, office expenses, travel expenses, etc).
- All work related folders (I have one for each of our jobs)
- Annual tax paperwork (1 folder for each year).
- Retirement (401K, Roth IRA’s, etc)
Red – Medical & Pets
- Doctor Bills (Paid)
- Benefits Summaries
- 1 medical folder for each family member
- 1 folder for each pet
Yellow – House & Auto
- Homeowners Insurance Policy
- Auto Policy
- House folder (paperwork pertaining to the house you currently live in)
- Homeowners Association
- House related warranties
- 1 folder for each automobile
- Contractors (1 folder for each: painting, landscaping, pool, etc)
Blue - Memberships, School, Vacation & Other
- 1 folder for each school (if necessary)
- 1 folder for each club or membership (YMCA, Zoo, gym, aquarium, etc…)
- 1 folder for each city you frequently travel to (vacation folders to keep flyers, hotel receipts, etc)
- AAA, Sams Club, Costco, etc…
- Hotel Rewards
- All other categories not listed
My bottom drawer is still a work in progress. I have began putting my annual taxes in there. I will also be using it for paid off bills from the previous year. I hope I have helped you sort out the “filing system” anxiety. Its really not that bad once you get started. Good luck! I would love to see pictures of your filing system and how it works for you too. ** If you are unsure of how long to keep paperwork, there are many websites out there that share this information. I follow Dave Ramsey’s guide (for the most part)
Note: This is a paid post by Office Depot. All opinions are my own.