Why Have A File Cabinet?

I didn’t always own a file cabinet.  During my 25-year business career, I always had multiple file cabinets in my office, but I never even considered owning one at home.  I viewed file cabinets as clunky metal things that didn’t fit into any type of home décor.

A few years before I left Corporate America , my supervisor worked with an efficiency expert who got all her papers in order.  She was so impressed that she authorized all of her direct reports to do the same.  I was already pretty organized, but thought, hey, why not?  I’m always up for learning how to do things better.

I did indeed learn a great method for organizing papers, and I started thinking about how this could help me at home.  I purchased a lateral wooden file cabinet in an innocuous wooden finish and got started pulling together all the papers in my home.

Until then, I had been storing important papers in manila folders that lived in my bottom desk drawer.  I had binders of financial papers on my bookshelf, tax records in the closet, manuals in kitchen cabinets.  I went hunting through every nook and cranny and pulled out all of my papers.  Then I customized the method that I had learned at work to accommodate the categories I needed at home.

My motto became, “If it’s paper, it goes in the file cabinet”.  I was amazed how this simplified my life.  I freed up so much space in other areas of my apartment.   And I developed the ability to find any paper I owned in less than 60 seconds.

Of course, with freedom comes responsibility.   To keep my file cabinet in trim working order means constant vigilance.   When I see that a particular folder is getting too fat, I pull it out and purge old papers — or sometimes divide the contents into two categories.  This ensures that I can continue to easily find what I am looking for when I need it.

My lateral file cabinet has been replaced with a fine-looking pair of hand-painted Chinese file cabinets.  They are so attractive that I keep them in the living room.  The day of the clunky old metal cabinet is behind us.

Do you have papers all over your home?  Consider getting a file cabinet as a focal point for all your papers.  It will simplify your life — and we can all use more simplicity.

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