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How To Organize a Filing Cabinet


Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Let me guess you want to stay organized, it simply makes thing easier right? Well if you have a Filing Cabinet you already have the upper hand.

You have the tool to get more organized but sometimes you need to know what the best way to use a tool is, so that you get the most out of it.

It can be tough no matter if it’s your personal cabinet you keep in your home as a way of organizing your bills, tax info or personal documents such as social security cards, birth certificates and all the other important documents.

No matter if it’s business related documents in your home office or at the office in at your other workplace, but it’s not that hard if you know how to go about it. Which is exactly what I’ll show you right now.


First things first, in order to organize your filing cabinet you need to have one, if you don’t which one suits you the best check out this post.

Next up, create a filing system (shocker right). Anything that is is not important, anything that you don’t need...set that aside. This includes:

-Old mail

-Bills you don’t need anymore.

-Old receipts 

-Anything else you don’t find important anymore.


If you’re like I used to be: finding old paperwork you forgot you had that you keep just in case even though it’s not important, set that aside in it’s own pile or throw it away don’t be afraid to get rid of things.

However, if you organize things at your work place, be sure to consult with your supervisor to know if it’s needed or not as some things may be more important than you’d think.


The whole point of a filing system is to simplify things for yourself, to find what you need when you need it. There is a number of ways to do this. Either organize files by name, by company name, by projects, alphabetically, numerically, due dates or your own custom way, remember you want to simplify things for yourself so do what’s best for you.

TIP: Usually bills or client names are best to organize alphabetically.


Keep it simple!

And by this I don’t mean put everything into one folder, but almost. More files equal a lot more clutter so instead,  have main folders that you keep a bit more generic and then keep the files within the folders organized.

So instead of opening up your file cabinet drawer and seeing 50 different files at once, you’ll (for example) see 10 different folders with 5 files in each and suddenly it becomes much easier to find what you need.


So it organized folders sound good right? But what good does it make if you still don’t know in which of the 10 folders the document you need is in? Then it would be the same as looking through 50 files you would have done in the first place.

But there is a simple fix: Label them all. Make sure you make the label large, bold and the text understandable.


If you want to be even more organized, consider using colored folders. It’s easy to memorize what color belongs to what folder and it’ll make you find what you need much faster.

So now you have a organized file cabinet, you know exactly where everything is and that’s awesome. But what do you do if you’re in a hurry and just put your file in one of the folders, not thinking of which one and just ‘’take care of it later’’? And then you don’t have time to take care of it and just keep going?

We’ve all been there but the problem is, now it’s unorganized and you’re back to square one.

Here is how you can avoid that:

Keep a box or basket close to your filing cabinet and use it to temporarily put files that you then move to it’s right folder in the cabinet when you can. Since it’s easier to a whole batch in at once than paper by paper.


So there you go my friend, good luck with your files and keep in mind that every minute spent organizing, 10 minutes are earned.

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