Wednesday, April 13, 2011

28 Reader Space: Jenna's Fantastic Filing System

Why do you organize?  Just pause for a minute before reading on, take a moment to think about it...

What did you come up with?

For me?  It's to make life easier.  To simplify.  To spend more time doing things I love {more organizing, lol}...

Organizing can really change the way you live your life.  And the best part is when you find a new system that works so well for you, that it's easy to maintain and you enjoy using it!

That's what was fortunate enough to happen to a very smart reader of mine.  She created a new system for her paperwork and now there is no turning back because she is hearting her time investment so much, that she gets excited to file!  Who knew right?!

Jenna wrote:

Hi Jen!
I was recently introduced to your blog and love, love LOVE all of your organization ideas and style. Your posts are so motivating and I can't wait to implement many of your ideas into my own home. I read your latest post about the binder challenge and it reminded me of a solution I came up with for our office. 
We recently moved across the country and a couple weeks ago I finally got around to organizing all of our files. Before we had a traditional hanging file cabinet with that was cluttered, overstuffed, and nearly impossible to find what we were looking for. An idea came to me to just use binders {one for each category} and sleeves to neatly store and display all of our papers {and other odd shaped things that would normally get lost in a hanging folder}. My husband was adamant about sticking with hanging files but I knew once I had everything organized, he would never want to go back.
Fast forward to today... and I cannot tell you how much simpler my life is! Filing is something I honestly look forward to now, and I even get excited when I have to look something up. It feels great to know that everything is in its place and so easily accessible {not to mention nice to look at while I'm sitting at my desk!}
I have included a before picture during the organizing process with all of our papers sorted for each binder, an inside shot of how I've utilized the sleeves within the binder, and a few outside shots of the new setup in my office. I also bought an adorable wall file holder from the container store to store urgent papers, with matching aqua striped file folders from Walmart. I would urge anyone who has trouble finding or sorting important papers to utilize this method, it's honestly a life saver!
I have more pics, info and cost breakdown of the process here in my blog:
Take care and keep the ideas coming! :)

Alright my friends, my favorite part!  Sharing the awesome story through photographs!

Here is Jenna getting her sort on!

Here is an example of the inside of one of her binders:

And here she is keeping all those binders all orderly and tucked away!!

Don't you just LOVE the pretty paper?  It made a huge difference I must say... here are the binders before she spruced them up a bit:

Completely organized!  And effective... and then with the help of a little paper... POOF!

Purely Lovely!

Um, I would want to keep those binders at my finger tips all the time too!  SO MUCH FUN!

And I am completely smitten with the other things she has done to make her space pretty and effective as well!

Great job Jenna and THANK YOU for sharing your solution to filing with us!  It's an incredible alternative for those looking to stray from traditional filing systems or for those that just don't have the space for a filing bin or cabinet!

It's also proof to what I consistently preach.  Life is easier through organization.  Simple as that.  And it doesn't have to be pretty to be organized, however, organization is more fun when it's beautified.  The end.

What do you think of Jenna's system?  Don't you just get crazy happy for individuals when they find incredible solutions that change the way they live!?

And a button for you:

IHeart Organizing

So what did you come up with?  Why do you heart organizing?  Anyone else spruce anything up with some pretty paper lately?

Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life.  Please send your story and photos to and I would heart to feature them right here, on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and un-editted.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!  More Info HERE.


  1. I think it looks so pretty! I agree with you Jen. I am a busy mom of two and I work full-time as a lawyer. I need organization in my life as otherwise I tend to feel overwhelmed. I don't have as much time as I'd like to get to the organizing but I admit I am like you and love to do it when I do have time.

  2. Morning love! I won't have a new organizational project until the move next month but expect lots of IHeartOrganizing inspired fantabulousness super soon! I linked up an old organization project that has stuck! My drawers actually have stayed that neat for months! I'm so proud =) The bra and bikini arrangement is key, it stays so neat and Its super easy to find anything I need!

    Hope you're having a fabulous day! Jenna did a fabulous job with her binders and organizers! Amazing project! <3

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  3. Oh my gosh! It's amazing what a little colorful paper can do. I love it!! Great job!

  4. Excellent!! *starring this in my Google Reader so that I can come back to it as a reference!*

  5. I love this idea! I am going to have to do this. I also headed on over to Jenna's blog and told her how much I loved it and became a follower. :) Yay for organizing!

  6. Great idea to use a magazine file for the owner manuals!!

  7. That looks fabulous. I need organization BAD! iHEart Organization, but I DON'T have it. LOL. I will be looking to your blog for inspiration...and one day... :D

  8. I love this! I'm so jealous. I wish I had the space to create a nice little filing area.

    Tiffany @ The Nest Effect

  9. Love this, and it looks so pretty too!

    Jen, I would love to know your solutions for organizing manuals (i.e., electronics, kitchen appliances, computer programs, etc...). That seems to be a stumbling block for me. Any help would be appreciated!

  10. I actually am with Jenna on this one - magazine files are the perfect solution! I have thought about using a binder but it really doesn't make sense... magazine files are great for magazines, many of the product manuals are like magazines... BINGO right? I have also known individuals to use filing totes/boxes/cabinets to house product info. And one othe options is some type of decorative storage box such as these:



  11. Jen-thanks so much for sharing all these great reader spaces. They are always inspiring. This one I LOVE. We are moving next week and all I have wanted to do for 4 years is ditch our filing cabinet. Now I know what I can do to replace it! It will be a glorious day when I get to sell that "file pit" at our yard sale.

    Thanks so much for all you do!!

  12. When are you going to announce who won the SHOES?! So excited!

  13. Great job Jenna! I love it!

    Jen - Could you do a post on where & how you store your gift wrapping supplies? I can't find a good place in our house to keep mine!

  14. wow. looks amazing! :)
    I am looking into a way to keep our files organized! . This is great.

  15. Wonderful job on a fabulous idea! It may give me inspiration to get rid of an extra desk we have in the office. Then I can afford all the pretty new things for the office! Thanks for sharing Jenna and Jen!

  16. I love Jenna's idea and want to do it soon! I have used a similar idea for my work-at-home files for almost a decade, now. But for the personal documents such as birth certificates and so forth, I'm concerned about fire -- we currently have all of this personal kind of information in hanging files in a fire-proof safe, but the files are over-packed and bent and "beat up." Some of our information could be re-ordered in the event of a fire, but our children are internationally adopted, and they have documents that are in every way irreplaceable, including handwritten notes from birth parents and so forth. Any thoughts on organizing this kind of documentation at home in a secure way?

  17. @Anonymous,

    I would absolutely go with a safety deposit box in your situation with all those valuable irreplaceable items. I use a fire safe for most of our super important docs, however, they all in same way or another could probably be replaced, however, for those items with high sentimental value, a safe deposit box is probably the best solution.



  18. Where is that wall mounted file folder holder from? I need one bad! :)

    Beautiful space, I wish my studio was that clean ;)

    Charlie @

  19. So lovely! I would love to know where that wall mounted file folder is from as well. I want one for my office! So girly and beautiful!

  20. I really like Jenna's filing system. It is indeed a fantastic Office Filing Systems. It is reliable and non-cluttered at all.

  21. Love your blog! I have gotten a LOT of work done since I started reading it (in between the hours I spent reading it, that is!)

    For those who wanted to know about the wall mount file holder, here's the link. There are OTHER accessories, too!

  22. I just love this idea. I wish I could make labels on paper that look like that! Any suggestions?

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  25. I just came across these lovely binder labels she made. I wish I knew where she got her papers and how she made the white text labels.

    1. I got my wish a few moments I posted my comments above. It is so nice of Jenna to offer free download binder templates at her site. Here's the link,

      Thank you Jenna!

  26. thanks for posting this!!! Your blog is a lifesaver!!!!

  27. I did this just by going to hobby lobby and finding the paper I wanted to add to my folders and labled them from my printer. I had a filing system, but my husband said that if something happened to me he wouldn't know where to find anything. So I made binders clearly labeled just as this woman. the exact same thing. I labeled each folder and tabbed all the insides for sub-labeling. I showed them to him and now if he really needs something and I am not around, all he has to do is pull out a folder. I showed him how simple it was, where to find things, where the fire proof box was stored. Now he feels better and so do I.


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