Jan 20, 2014

DIY Hanging File Organization

I have been in desperate need of some more office/studio organization especially when it comes to my filing system or better yet lack thereof. My current filing system consist of some plastic file boxes and manilla folders and is in no way shape or form working for me. It's such a mess that I haven't really filed anything in about six months.

Yep, I have no idea where anything is. I discovered this problem over the weekend as I searched for some receipts for taxes. Nothing was in order. My fault, entirely! I'm a slacker when it comes to paper organization. I have a horrible tendency to throw things on top of the fridge or shove them in between the seats of my car as I'm checking the mailbox. But it's truly become a problem now. Now that I have a business and a blog that brings in a tiny bit of income I need to have a proper filing system. I need to be able to file business expenses, receipts, and proof of income. Not to mention I need to have my family's files in order as well. Our taxes, bank statements, and medical forms need some serious attention.

Over the weekend I quickly jumped on the task of sorting and shredding through our current files. I narrowed it down to the important stuff. Bank statements, taxes, all of my shop and blog information, and I made 12 files (1 for each month) to file important things for that month. If your like me, figuring out what to keep and toss may be challenging but I ultimately kept everything within a year range and tossed everything else. Except important tax documents. I kept the last three years. I found that information here.

Now sorting and sifting is the hard part and once that was over with I just had to file everything. I knew I wanted something handy and pretty. But for someone on a thin budget a filing cabinet was  out the question. Even the small cabinets, with two drawers, are over $50. I just can't afford that right now. I'm trying to put every penny into savings for experiences not stuff, remember. And I have a big shopping trip planned for things I have had on my wish list for a while. So a file cabinet just doesn't meet my must haves or my wishes right now. And yep, I did check the thrift stores. Still around $20 to $30 bucks. So, after considering my options for a filing system I came up with a solution that fits my space, budget, and my need for creativity.

I have had this hope chest for awhile now and it's set in our office space filed with junk and doo dads. Mostly tech stuff and random papers. When we cleaned out our office space and made room for my in home studio I cleared out the chest. An empty chest makes for a great place to store files and office supplies.

I purchased two small tension rods for $6.00 and a pack of hanging files for $7.00 {with a coupon). With the chest, files, and tension rods I had an instant filing system. Yay!

These hanging files came with plastic tabs. I printed some colorful inserts and fixed them up.

I color coded them!


I have plans to add some more tabs and maybe another set of files as my need grows. The tension rods work great at keeping the files up. You may need to add some command tacky or something stronger if you have a ton of paper weight.

This file system cost me around $13.00 and works great for my needs. I still have a ton of space in the chest so I'll be adding some additional storage needs. But for now I'm so excited about my new filing space.

What are you DIYing in your office space? Any projects like this? I need to add some additional files, any thing I need to keep besides what I already listed?


  1. Found you through the link up! I feel exactly the same way about keeping my papers organized, it always seems to get out of control! Nice solution, it looks great, and awesome that you did it for so litle $$!

  2. I am getting ready for an office/craft room makeover and this tip will make my husband so happy! Thanks!


  3. Hi, how do u make your tab..??? Thanks. you can email me at dehaitz@live.com.

  4. Or you could purchase an actual steel hanging file folder FRAME. Staples has a pack of 2 for $9.50. I've seen them for under $5 each. They are sturdy and they stand alone, so could be placed anywhere you want, even if it's not in a drawer. Set one on a shelf; in a closet; on the floor next to your desk.

  5. What a great idea! I was looking for a way to inexpensively turn a desk drawer into a filing drawer. Done and done.


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