Learn To Be Organized with Expanding File Folders

If you’re like the average household, juggling the logistics of home, business and family can send you into “information overdrive.” Even in today’s technology-driven society, paper continues to stream in through the door, cluttering up our desktops, countertops and nightstands.

Jamming papers into a cabinet or desk drawer is certainly one way to deal with managing papers and space, and quarantining documents into a central location seems like a perfectly logical quick fix. But be warned, a mysterious black hole seems to materialize when it’s time to reference that important invoice or return form.

So how can we eliminate the mystery of the missing papers and reduce clutter? Don’t put it down, put it away! With the right tools, it’s a simple concept that can actually become habit forming.

File Folders

Organization made easy

Rather than setting down the pile, slip the papers you want to keep into a portable file organizer. For papers you don’t want to keep, toss them right away.

There are many file organizers available on the market. Smead makes an easy-to-access expanding file organizer that is freestanding and comes in designs and formats attractive enough to keep in the open, on a shelf or in a storage closet. Expanding file folders take up minimal space, are portable, and can serve as a short-term solution to organize the inundation of paper arriving daily.

Quick reference tips

Typical expanding folders have 12 pockets for indexing, providing plenty of categories to sort the current-year household and home office paper trail. Below are tips for categorizing your Smead expanding folders for household and home office organizing. Simply label the pockets, and have it ready for the day’s flood of papers.

Household Filing

  • To Do for responses to upcoming events, invitations or flyers.
  • Purchase receipts for the year sorted into subcategories, either by store category or by purchase type such as:
    • Clothing and accessories
    • Electronics
    • Interior household supplies and equipment
    • Gifts
    • Decorating
    • Home improvements
    • Exterior supplies and equipment
  • Take-out menus for delivery services, pizza coupons and menus from take-out restaurants.
  • Children’s school papers for events, fundraising, field trips, etc.
  • Appliance guidebooks and warranty certificates.
  • Auto repair receipts

Home Office Filing

  • Unpaid bill statements
  • Employment documentation
  • Paid bill statements and receipts for the year, sorted into subcategories:
    • Mortgage statements or rent receipts
    • Utility statements
    • Credit card statements
    • Phone statements
    • Healthcare statements
  • Insurance policies for the current year
  • Property tax statements and estimates for the current year
  • Office supply receipts
  • Office equipment warranties, receipts and guidebooks
  • Computer software and hardware installation diskettes and CDs
  • To File as a temporary holding place requiring long-term filing (auto title, financial planning documentation , etc.)
  • Great tips. They seem so simple, but this kind of organization will help save a lot of time. It can also help you appear more professional and on-the-ball should you ever meet with clients in your home office.