This article by Sherry Borsheim, a Paper Tiger Expert of International Association of Business Organizing (IABO), provides a list of things to look for in file cabinets and tips to setting up your filing system to get organized, stay organized and be more productive!
Also check out Sherry’s Organizing Bootcamps which will give you a JUMP-START on ORGANIZING your office, home and life. She will give you her trade secrets and steps to setting up your organizing systems, including recommending Paper Tiger filing system software for document management, to be organized and manage the information and stuff in your life.
Most offices and homes still have a lot of paper. Going completely paperless is not for everyone, and there are some papers you must keep in original format. Papers can often pile up because your filing cabinet or file system doesn’t function properly. Poorly functional, inexpensive file cabinets can cause more frustration and stress, and stop you from filing altogether.
Before you buy, build or set up a new filing system or file drawers, assess your current filing cabinet requirements. Including how easy it is to retrieve and file away your papers. Review my top tips that you must know before you buy your next filing cabinet or build filing drawers in your kitchen or home office.
When your file drawers and filing cabinets are not functioning properly, you are less likely to use them, and papers will pile up.
The next time you are looking at a file cabinet, designing a file drawer, or buying a container to store your filing system in, ensure it is easy to use and retrieve papers from, well made, highly functional and fit in with the design of your office or home.
To reduce back strain and the twisting motion when you are sitting at your desk chair and reach for a file set up your files facing towards you. Not all file drawers will accommodate this, but you can buy “front to back” file bars for many filing cabinets that allow you to switch your files so they face you when you open a lateral file drawer.
Also, if you have a desk drawer, see if you can turn the files so they face you when you open the drawer while sitting at your chair. These two ergonomic tips make a huge difference for ease of use and reduce strain on your back and shoulders.
Spruce up your drab file cabinet with wallpaper that inspires you and fits into your décor. Casey Green at Fossil and Design Sponge shows you step-by-step how simple and fun Casey’s wallpaper do-it-yourself file drawers project is!
You can purchase hanging file frames from Staples that will fit securely inside most file drawers. You may need to cut the file frame down to fit your drawer. It’s a bit of a workout doing this and requires some muscle. Personally I use a hack saw with a blade for sawing metal. Wire cutters are not strong enough.
If the file frame is too large or doesn’t fit, then the next option is to buy hanging file containers like the picture here. You can drop several of these inside the file drawer so you can use hanging files or file folders and they stay in place without flopping around.
A product like Goo Gone or rubbing alcohol will remove stickers from metal file cabinets and will clean them up so they look attractive again. Always test the product first in an area that won’t show.
Sherry Borsheim is the president of International Association of Business Organizing and Simply Productive. You can visit Sherry, access her free article archive and grab lots of free stuff at http://www.BizOrganizing.com. Sherry lives in Vancouver, BC Canada with her husband (her high-school sweetheart).
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