No, I do not mean throwing all your important papers randomly into a cardboard box like the chick-baker in Stranger Than Fiction. But since tax time has come and gone, here are a few suggestions to keep your papers handy for next year with and without a filing cabinet.
1. Filing cabinets
Available as vertical (tall) or horizontal (low and wide), filing cabinets come in different finishes, sizes, and prices. Depending on your budget and space, you can get ones that look like wood instead of metal, plastic ones, or traditional metal ones in various colors. You could even paint or wallpaper them. You can get short, 2-drawer ones, tall five-drawer ones, or horizontal ones you can stack. There are traditional, deep, square-drawers, as well as newer skinny (shallow) drawers available.
You can store your filing cabinet in your office, in a closet, or even a garage as long as it is weather-proof. You can incorporate your file cabinet into your room design by using two short ones as desk legs, using several short to medium-sized ones as a craft table (and where better to store your craft supplies!), using your filing cabinet as a side table, or simply tucking it away in a corner.
And filing cabinets do not have to be just for files and papers. They can be used to store blankets or clothes (just make sure they are not rusty on the inside!), books, craft supplies, electronics, and more. This person turned their old filing cabinet into handy garage storage, and this person used theirs as a tiny kitchen island. Yet I digress. If you don’t have a need or room for a filing cabinet, you can still organize your papers with…
2. File boxes
Up until a few years ago, I had no idea these existed. Remember my closet office? Those black cabinets are filled with these handy boxes which I have labeled “Utilities”, “School”, “Medical”, “Taxes”, etc. I love that the boxes have handles, and take up “depth-space” which this particular closet has, instead of width. I also like being able to pull out just the file box I need at the time, much like this vintage file cabinet.
But there are again, a wide variety of file boxes. You can get cardboard storage boxes, plastic ones with lids, crates with dividers, slim ones with handles so you can take your files with you (presumably for mobile businesses; I don’t suppose you feel like you can’t leave home without your water bill), and “open top” boxes like I have. These all accommodate hanging files, but you could also use…
4. Paper Boxes
As you can see, there are plenty of options for getting your papers in order. The choice on what to use mostly boils down to your style, budget, and space.
Send me a line if you would like assistance customizing and implementing your perfect paper-storage solution at: firstname.lastname@example.org