My friends call me a neat freak, OCD, even obsessed and you know what, they’re right! I’m totally obsessed with having everything in it’s place, staying organized and being a so called “neat freak”.
About a year ago Michael moved in and that meant all of his stuff came with him… into our two bed two bath condo. After he sold his condo he got rid of most of his stuff by selling it, giving it away and tossing it, but I still felt like he had a lot of stuff, especially paper stuff!
He had folders, I had folders, we had countless stacks of paper and they ended up in a pile on the floor in the second bedroom. After we got the big stuff squared away, the daunting task of going through all of the files was looming. I wanted all the paper stuff in it’s place, but why couldn’t I just crinkle my nose like I Dream of Jeannie and be done with it?
After many weekends of looking the other way I finally sat down one Saturday morning and started getting rid of what we didn’t need, keeping what we did and some how coming up with an organized system we would both be happy with.
The Color and Tab Coordinated System
After spending some time looking at what we had and doing some research online to find a structure I liked, I decided to move forward with a color and tab coordinated system. It is broken up into four sections: financial, insurance/vehicles, personal and home. Each of these four categories are color coded by the hanging tab labels, within these categories it is broken down into subcategories, these are the bullet points listed under each section below. Then in each hanging folder I added detailed manilla folders customized to fit our needs that filed away all of the paper.
- Financial – green label for hanging folders and left-hand tab manilla folders
- Credit Cards
- Medical Bills
- Insurance/Vehicles – blue label for hanging folders and left-hand tab manilla folders
- Personal – yellow label for handing folders and center tab manilla folders
- Personal (add a folder for each member of your household – even your pets!)
- Medical Records
- Home – red label for hanging folders and right-hand tab manilla folders
- Decorating Ideas
If you’re looking to setup your system like this, click here to download a printable sheet for the hanging folder tabs. Once you have this setup, figure out what items need to be added in the manilla folders and use the Avery File Folder Labels template.
One of my favorite things about this filing structure is the way the folders are coordinated with each section, it truly makes it easy to navigate and quickly find or file away information.
- Financial – green labels, left hanging tabs, left tab manilla folders
- Insurance/Vehicles – blue labels, left hanging tabs (I moved them over one notch to make it easy to see), left tab manilla folders
- Personal – yellow labels, center hanging tabs, center tab manilla folders
- Home – red labels, right hanging tabs, right tab manilla folder
Most other filing systems that I have tried aren’t color and tab coordinated to keep the different categories distinct, I think this is why I love this method so much! Try it out and let me know what you think – happy organizing!