Organized for School Success – Part 2: How to Organize a Filing System

Marianne’s papers are perfectly organized. She has a two-drawer file cabinet next to her desk, and every paper gets put away immediately, in alphabetical order. Her desk is always clear for her to work on. Her son Jason also has a two-drawer file next to his desk. He never puts anything in it, and just keeps piling up papers on his desk. There is never room on his desk to just sit down and do his homework. So, what’s the problem? Marianne is perfectly organized and is probably a left-brained, linear thinking person. Her son would like to be organized, but is probably a right-brained, visual, creative thinking person.

Marianne can help her son Jason organize his files by teaching him to be “organized enough” in a way that works for his visual way of processing information.

Two sets of files
• Jason can label one set of manila folders for his school subjects, projects, sports, and whatever else is current, and keep them on top of his desk. Using colored folders is helpful, because they are more visual, and less boring. It also helps to use a label maker to label the files. He can put them in a “step” file rack, so that each folder is clearly visible to him. A “step” file is a wire rack for horizontal filing. Each section is a little higher than the one before it, so that each folder can be clearly seen.

• Jason can also label one set of hanging folders with the same titles he gave the files that are on is desk in the step rack. These can be kept in a file box, such as a bankers box, without a lid, on the floor near his desk. The reason for no lid is that the files need to be easily seen and easily accessible. When the papers in the files on his desk are no longer current, but still needed for the school year, he can remove them from the step rack and place them in the hanging folders. He can color code them the same as the manilla folders he is using on his desk.
Jason will find it easier to put his papers away because there is a labeled folder right in front of him on top of his desk. He’ll have room on his desk because his files aren’t taking up all of his workspace . Marianne and Jason are now both organized, but each in a way that works for them.

©Kathy Schlegel, Organized Enough LLC (permission to copy as long as contact info is included)