How to Use Your File Cabinet To It’s Fullest Potential

I am always amazed when working with clients to discover what they have stashed inside their file drawers and often it is not . . .  files. Surprise – surprise!

Inside my corporate client offices, I almost always find a file drawer dedicated strictly to candy and snacks. This is ok with me unless the drawer is one that is located within their million dollar real estate area ~ meaning one of the two drawers located inside their desk!

Anyhow – I digress. This article is a case study for one of my clients who works from a home office. I am using this example today because this is a common situation that I find when called in to help clients get their papers and their office organized.

The most common roadblock to keeping your papers out of piles and organized is that hanging files are not used within the drawer. Without hanging files, the papers become piles. There is nothing that impedes productivity more than piles!

There is a very good reason why hanging files are still being used after 100 years! They keep papers vertical which eliminates piles! Yay! Piles are impossible to keep anything organized and create mayhem when you need to grab a paper quickly.

Ok – so moving on to story about my client and her filing system. For starters, her top drawer did have files hanging vertically – yay! The challenge was that it was so jammed packed that it was hard to pull anything out. Additionally, she did not used tabs so nothing was labelled. This meant that unless her memory served her for the approximate location, each section of papers required the “hunt and seek” method for retrieval.

The bottom drawer was more of a pile than a file sort of organization. This drawer was simply folders stacked on top of one another in no apparent order. This strategy kept the papers off of her desk but did not help when she needed to find anything.

So all in all – she did not have a snack stash ad had tried to create system so we were hearing in the right direction!

As with 99% of all clients I helped her implement the Freedom Filer System

In my opinion, it is the best filing system ever invented as it is self- purging and organized both alphabetically and by color. Both of these protocols we learned to organize from way back during our school years. This means, it comes most natural.

And, as far as I know, there is no other file systems that shows you when to get rid of your old papers when they are no longer needed1 Most file systems keep rapidly expanding and never give you a clue on how or when to purge the old stuff!  Freedom Filer does this in an intuitive, easy to follow way!


So we worked tougher and implemented the Freedom Filer system with her papers. Now, all of her tax related documents were grouped together and easily filed as they came into the office. Best of all they were pre-organized and ready for her tax preparation.

Her numerous resource folders were now conveniently at her fingertips, and all non-tax related bills and bank statements were filed and ready to be systematically removed from the drawer and her life within two years!

This is what happens when you have a good system put into place. You will save hours searching for and not finding missing documents and get your taxes ready to submit in a snap!

This is what one of my clients has to say about his filing system:

I am really pleased with how this worked out. The systems allows me to keep my papers organized by categories. I am now continually moving papers through the system and it works great. It has been two years and I have filed taxes twice using this system and have saved boatloads of time and aggravation with this Freedom Filer system that Kathi helped me to implement.”

~ Paul Lorenz

Kathi Burns
Kathi Burns

Would like to feel more organized? If so, Kathi is here to help you.

Kathi’s expert advice has been featured in national media outlets including Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart Living and Better Homes and Gardens, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more.

As the author of 2 books, Kathi has also developed several online courses to help clients get better organized and energized in all areas of their home, life, and business.

Check out all of the systems you can use here

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