For the Love of Color Coordinated Filing

By Marca

I LOVE filing.
There is no sarcasm in that statement.  It is all true!  While last week was my most difficult challenge this week I am in my territory.  The file.  I love to file and file everything.  My office was a tribute to the colorful filing system.  I wear dull, basic colors, but there is no brown or manilla folders in my cabinets.  I love these colors and wear them daily, but I am visual and my files need to pop out of the filing cabinet in an array of color and beauty.  I could go on about my love of coordinating with color, but instead, I thought I would give some tips on the one organizing topic I have in the bag (so to speak).

Here are some tips for making colors work in filing system.

First of all, the majority of your brain's sensory perceptions are visual, regardless of whether you right or left brained.  So, making a visually image of your filing for your brain helps you to recall and quickly locate important stuff.  I can still tell you the categories and their colors and locations of my classroom files for literary genres.  It has been at least 5 years since I taught the class, but I can tell you where the files were and what they were.  It is the visual image made clear by the colors that categorized them.

Secondly, colors are pretty!

Okay, so here are some color file tips that work for me.

1.  Make it simple!  Don't get too in-depth or have too many colors.  5 is a good number for most homes' filing systems.
2.  Choose colors that you like.  Make it aesthetically pleasing.
3.  Categorize your colors.  Some filers use the colors in a repeating rainbow and there isn't any rhyme or reason to the color coordinating.  It is pretty, but doesn't really help you find files quite as easily.  For example, here are what my files look like:
  •  Adoption:  This is a huge portion of our files and includes our current adoption files that are for specific things, i.e. homestudy, immigration, family documents, receipts, dossier copy, etc.  All these files are red and in the adoption section.  Why red?  There is a reason.  Red is a special color in China.  It immediately comes to mind.  
  • Medical School:  Matt has a lot of stuff for his schooling that requires more than one tiny folder.  There are the loans, reports, correspondence, etc....So, all this follows in blue folders
  • Finance:  Finance includes all taxes, credit cards, check statements, investments, etc
  • Family member's StatsThere is a file for each of us in the family with current copies of official information including socials, passports, birth certificates, adoption decree, etc.  Also, a separate file for medical statements, records etc for each of us.    

You get the idea.
4.  Make clear tabs in block black lettering so that you can easily identify a needed file.
5.  Have one filing cabinet for all these important files to live in an organize fashion.

6.  Finally, aside from your main filing cabinet, have a fire proof filing box that includes all those really important documents.  I keep the original adoption decree, birth certificate etc, marriage certificate in this safe along with the actual passports to name a few.  I also have a traveling file book that has the necessary documents (copies of passports, immunizations, etc.) that we might need for a trip. 

Because we always need certified birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc for our adoptions I keep a plethora of these in our files as well.   

Here are few options from Amazon to peruse:

1 comment:

  1. You simply MUST show me your filing system one of these days. I have a feeling I could learn a thing or two!