How to Organize Office Files (Part 1 of 9 Home Office Organization Series)

Hi, everyone. I’m Alejandra from Alejandra.TV.
And in this video, I’m going to show you how to organize or how I organize my files in
my filing cabinet. But first, if you’re looking to get organized
you can check out my free video series on my website, Alejandra.TV. The link is below. OK. So one of the biggest problems I see with
organizing your files in filing cabinet is the filing cabinet is so jam-packed with so
many papers like papers are just like hanging out and stuff and you can’t find anything
because you haven’t purged your filing cabinet in so long. And your labels are misleading
in your filing cabinet. So, I’m going to show you how I’ve avoided that problem and how
my filing cabinet is super organized, things are easy to find and I just have exactly what
I need and nothing more. OK. So, this is my whole filing cabinet. There
is a shelf and then there is the filing cabinet. So let me just quickly show you what’s on
top here and then we’ll get to the filing cabinet. So up here, I have my printer. So my printer
is away from my desk because I feel like there is like no good place to put the printer on
the desk. So, what I’ve done here is the printer is plugged in but the actual cord, the USB
cable that connects to the computer, hangs out up here in this little cord organizer
right here. So it’s out of the way. So whenever I need to print, I just come here and I literally
just grab the cord and I plug it in and it’s like, I just print, it’s so easy. So that
just like hangs out up here. I’m just going to put that back. OK. Then I have like two pictures of Mojo
and Ed and I, to kind of like personalize my office a bit and just make it me since
I spend so much time here. All right. So the books up here, so one of
the questions I get is, “Why do you color code your books?” So honestly, it looks beautiful
in my opinion. It’s not very functional. In fact, it’s like not functional at all unless
you know the color of the spine of the book you need which like most people don’t. But
it just looks nice. And I’m not really accessing my books that often so it’s not really a big
deal if it’s not very functional. All right. So the binder is down here. So
I love these binders. These are the better binders from Staples. They come in all colors
and all different types and sizes and stuff. I’m actually going to do a better binder video
coming up soon. So, what I do here is I try and color code
the binder with like the category. So for example, the Christmas binder is green because
Christmas is red and green. And then the recipe binder is yellow because I think of yellow
when I think of the kitchen. But some of the other ones are not color coded by category
because I reuse the binders over and over and it’s hard to maintain that way. So yeah,
the binders are there. All right, so moving down to the filing cabinet.
And actually, let me say one more thing before we move on. One of the questions I get is
what’s the difference between putting your papers in binders versus putting the papers
in the filing cabinet? And really, to me, I feel like it’s a personal preference. I
put my frequently accessed papers in binders because I feel like it’s easier to grab a
binder and find a piece of paper as opposed to reach into the filing cabinet find a file
and grab a piece of paper. So, things that are accessed more frequently in binders, less
frequently, in the filing cabinet. And then also, I kind of break it up into
personal and business. So, all my binders are mostly business-related papers. And then
the whole filing cabinet is all personal-related papers. All right. So let me show you exactly what
my filing cabinet looks like. OK. So this is my filing cabinet. So everything is labeled
files, files, files, files because it’s all files. All right. So, this is it. I’m like
so excited to share this because I just feel like it looks so beautiful and all the colors
pop and everything is just like so organized. So, let me just quickly run through and show
you what I do here. So first off, I use all letter-size folders instead of the legal size.
For me, like I have a few documents that are legal-sized documents but I don’t want to
set up a whole legal system and waste space if the majority of the papers are letter.
So I just don’t keep legal papers in here. They are kept somewhere else. All right. So let me just go through and tell
you what all these colors mean. So red is all of my permanent files. So it’s things
that I’m never going to throw away like in my entire life. Like never touch, never throw
this out. And then orange is things that are temporary.
So there are papers that are coming in and then there are going out and being replaced
with more updated papers. Like your health insurance policy, every year you get a new
policy or you get an updated policy. You take the old one out and put the new one in. That’s
orange. Green over here is all of my financial-related
papers. So anything related to money goes in green. And then light blue, it’s like tax documents
throughout the year. So like — it’s like tax papers you collect during the year and
then give to your accountant in the New Year or use when you’re filing your own taxes.
So that goes in there. Purple, in purple I just keep all these labels
like these labels come in a sheet of — they come in sheets like this. And you kind of
just like pick whatever label you are looking for. So, I just keep all the extra labels
right here in the filing cabinet. So when I do need to out a folder, the maintenance
of creating that folder is super easy. All things you need are right here. It’s not like
you’re running somewhere else to out a folder because when you do that, it doesn’t necessarily
like get done. And then you get behind. So everything is right here. All right. And then brown back here is all
of Ed’s real estate papers so we recently combined our filing cabinets so he has the
whole brown section for all these like real estate documents. OK. And then what I’ve done is I’ve used white
hanging file folders to kind of like make the colors on the file tabs pop a little bit
more. What I used to do is I used to color code the folders also. So like all the red
section would have red hanging file folders. So this is a hanging file folder. This would
all be red. But I made a mistake of doing that and realized that the maintenance was
like so difficult with that. And I changed them all to white to make it easier. So my biggest lesson learned is don’t color
code you folders , only color code the tabs and it’s a lot easier that way. OK. So, that’s what I do. And then what I
do is take a white binder clip to kind of clip the folder together just like that for
some of the folders that are thicker with a lot of papers, just because it kind of contains
the papers more when they’re clipped together. Now, another question I get a lot of times
is what is the difference between an interior file folder and a hanging file folder? So,
this is an interior file folder and this is a hanging file folder. Now, what a lot of
people do is they put these interior file folders inside the hanging file folder and
you have this sitting in your filing cabinet. Now, there is nothing wrong with that. There’s
like — there is not really a right way to file. I don’t do that because I don’t like
these tabs sticking out because I feel like it covers the other tabs in the filing cabinet.
And then I also feel like when there are so many folders inside, if like so many papers
inside, the folder gets too full and it’s too jammed and papers don’t fit nicely inside.
So I don’t do that but it doesn’t mean you don’t have to do that. You can do that. Instead, I just don’t use these at all in
my filing cabinet. And then I just create separate hanging file folders for each category.
So for example, like health records, this is like my health record folder. And then
this is Ed’s health record folder. So it’s two separate folders just like that. And then
I just put like my initials and his initials right there so I know whose folder is whose. OK. So that’s the filing cabinet. Now, when
I was setting this up, I realized that I have like space on the sides right here. So I was
like, “OK, maybe I’ll just put things that I need to create other folders when it’s time
for maintenance.” So, I found these nice bins that just like
fit so beautifully in the side of the cabinet. And this is where I have all of my extra tabs
for the file folders. I have a lot of extra ones just because of like when I was going
to people’s homes and helping them organize their filing cabinet I always had supplies
on hand. So this kind of just like hangs out on the side right here just fits so perfectly.
And then this one over here is the same thing. I have more labels and then I have a bag of
the binder clips just like that for clipping the folders together. OK. So, as you can see, everything is organized,
it’s color-coded. You can find what you’re looking for like very fast. And nothing else
is in the way. And so the last tip for you is to go through and periodically purge your
filing cabinet. Go through the folders, pull out things you don’t need anymore, shred them,
archive them if you do need them but go through it and make sure you’re only keeping things
that you really need to keep. So, is there something that I didn’t share
that you do in your filing cabinet that’s really helpful for keeping it tidy and organized?
If so, leave a comment below. Or if this is your first time watching my organizing videos,
you can subscribe to my YouTube channel or check out my website, Alejandra.TV for more
tips on getting organized. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you soon.


  1. I am a filer junkie! I LOVED every tip you gave! Now I need to do it! I did sign up for your Newsletters also. Just waiting my an email!

  2. You are brilliant! You get to the point quickly & describe everything efficiently! Not like those people who woffle on with all their personal crap & take so long to make a point if they even get there! Love your video!

  3. I enjoyed watching your file organizing methods. I learned a few things that can really help me. I also subscribed. I'm sure you can teach me more. I appreciate it. Thanks for taking the time to make this video.

  4. I just love this…files look amazing. Where in the world did you find white hanging files. I've never seen those. And, yes! I actually have my hanging files color coded, but I also feel like it keeps the tabs from popping, and I really have to concentrate to find the file I'm looking for. Plus, I do use the folders within the files, to further categorize, and this is also distracting from the tabs. Gotta try this. Are those file cabinets from PB? Wish I could afford those. Beautiful.

  5. Hello, If you would could you answer me this please. Where did you get the awesome desk that you have all them books and files in.. I would like to have one like that for my office.. I am getting an office ready for a home bakery.

  6. What do you put in the binders that are accessible regularly and are the colors the same categories as the drawer labels?

  7. Hi Alejandra…Do you use the third cut or fifth cut Freedom Filer? Also, what do you do with large catalogs, etc., that come with home appliances and items like that?

  8. So happy I watched this. I was on my way to buy colored file folders, but white ones or all the same color ones makes so much more sense! Thank you!

  9. I would love to publicise this dude, i came this close to losing a contract I have been working on, I saved it in my mail hoping to send it to my employee, unknowingly for me I had logged out and I have forgotten the password. At the point of death I met a computer guy online who helped with the password, he performs various forms of hacks, from social media hacks to bank hack and also if you need to locate or track a cheating partner then contact via [email protected]

  10. Here is how to NOT organize your books? Because they're not organized? Or, I use my books for decoration and they're not functional? What is this channel?

  11. OMG I just found your chanel I find so much pleasure in having everything in place, everything is so much easy to find and besides is steric

  12. Hi there, I went through your blog for the first time and got so excited to start organize like you did. 🙂 Anyway can you please show me how you put all the documents or receipts in the hanging file folders since so many of them? Thank you.

  13. Alejandra! Hi! You are helping me to improve and beautify my home and office. You have tons of ideas an energy! Continue to share them with us! A big hug from Argentina!

  14. Do you use paper fastener directly into the hanging tabs to keep the files together? Is that a good idea?

  15. Just found your channel and I love it so much 😍. I came across your channel when searching for ideas to to organize my important documents pile and I didn’t know how to do it or what worked for me I really like the idea of having a binder versus a filing cabinet because to me it’s easier to just grab a binder and go then to go into a filing cabinet an look for it, like you said it’s really about what works for each individual person 😀 thank you 😊

  16. I'm confused where to get the coloured tabs? The plastic tabs are clear, how do I get the labels in colour?

  17. What do you do at the end of a year when you purge old items in your filing drawers? You didn't use an interior file folder, so how do you keep records you need to save without the interior file folder? Do they all move to 3 ring binders? Like health records, , insurance info, etc. Thanks!!

  18. Hi can I know how you file the papers inside the hanging folder. do you use a clip or just keep pilling the paper is the hanging folder or use a fastener.. thanks

  19. Maybe I missed it, but do you ever mention why you put your tabs on the front of the folder? Although it is certainly allowed, it is definitely not standard practice. I find having them on the back, and all on the right hand side (as I'm right handed), makes it much easier to flick through the folders with just one hand. Not having them staggered also means that I can insert a new folder anywhere without having to offset the tabs on all folders behind it. But that is of course only a personal preference.

  20. Love this and spending what weekend getting organized. Ok so how long or far back should you keep tax papers?

  21. Did your file cabinet come with the inserts to make it for letter size files? Did you convert it? Loved your video. I’m one who puts folders within the hanging folder, but your method is great. I, too, love using binder clips for so many things. Where do you get the tab sheets? Thanks so much.

  22. helpful thanks. .yes, having coloring folder/tags really helps in organizing documents. . same goes for computer organization – my friends use FolderChanger to organize their documents. Google search "FolderChanger" to find it.

  23. I am opting for the hanging files, they work so well. The problem I have is my husband and I have the same initials. I am trying to not use our full names to save space. Do you have any suggestions. I am C and he is also C and we share the same last name. I think I might put Vital Records in a Binder. The binders are a great idea for frequently accessed documents. I also just ordered Pendeflex Ready-Tab Folders, I think it will be simpler with applying the labels. I am also using the color principals and making my own categories then printing them on Labels. Keeping a list of what is where, then I will alphabetize the spreadsheet and print it so hubby can find things easy.

  24. Mad respect for your organization process and skills!!!! You make Marie Kondo look like an amateur!! Well done!!!!

  25. Good tips but what size binder clips are you using and are you hanging files actually hanging, I couldn’t quite tell

  26. sorry but most books are only going to be read by a person 1 time, if that is the case, then encouraging ppl to get them out, should probably be the 1st goal, second goal should probably be close to the 1st one, objective get rid of what you don't really use, most of the books on that shelf are a one time read… at best…

  27. I can't see where you've answered the one question many of us have asked so forgive me if the answer is somewhere. Where do you purchase the white file folders? They seem to make the filing cabinet so much calmer. I've looked online and cannot find any letter size with 5th-cuts for tabs. Thank you

  28. I don't usually like MILF but I kinda find you very attractive. Anyways thanks for this filing lesson Ma'am Alejandra

  29. Hi, Alejandra , I really wanted to know what have in “Christmas” category. Thank you. I love your videos! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  30. How often do you travel to different houses?
    What states have you been to?
    What are your limitations to coming to a house?
    Do you get paid?
    How soon do you have to call or make an appointment for you to come out?
    Is there a waiting list?
    What do you charge to come out?

  31. How does one colour coordinate books and binder.. how and not why coz I loved it. Even the space taken up by each colour binder is same as tht same colour books neatly each colour on top of each other. Queen of organisation.

  32. Oddly satisfying to look at the books and binders.. neatly colour coordinated. Love it💛🧡❤💚💙💜

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