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Home Organization Project 51

Question: How can you tell when it’s time to clean out, organize, and sort through household files? Answer: When you go to file something and the drawer breaks because it’s too full.

Household files Go Gingham

Yes, for this week’s home organization project – yes, that’s week #51 of our weekly home organization project – we did our household files. Well, let me rephrase that. We are doing them right now.

After the file drawer broke and we had to take all of the files out to get the drawer back into the cabinet, we both agreed (one of us more readily than the other) that this week’s project should be a major purge and clean out.

Once the Christmas wrapping paper got recycled, I dragged the file cabinet and shredder out to the living room and said, “Let’s make it fun and do the project here. And, let’s have a fire to really make it fun.” I love making tasks fun.

Plus, I’m all about getting this project done because really – how many electric bill statements do we really need to keep? Bank statements? Mortgage statements? Elementary school information – when our kids are both in high school? You know what I mean….

It’s not a very good project, as in there’s no glamor in it and it won’t look pretty. Even I probably won’t open the drawer to say, “Oh, look how good our file drawers look.” But, I’ll know they’re done and the drawer will work.

Household files and shredder Go Gingham

The best part? This may not be done today but tomorrow we can finish it. That’s the plus side to bringing the mess out of our office (here’s when we cleaned out and organized the office supplies) and into the living room. It has to get done. Period.

Hope you had a lovely Christmas! What’s your home organization project this week?

52 weeks of home organization

As part of our New Year’s resolution, we’re cleaning out a different area of our house every week this year. Find all of the “weekly home organization projects” – or click the image below.
Home Organization in 52 weeks from Go Gingham

10 thoughts on “Home Organization Project 51

  1. We did this fun job last year. We wanted to go from a large file cabinet to a small file cabinet. This meant a lot of paper had to go. It was amazingly liberating to get it done! Can’t believe it took the whole year for me to have found a project I beat you at doing! Congrats on making it through your year of organization!


    1. Hah! Wow, you and Jeff are on top of it! Large file cabinet to smaller one – that’s impressive.
      Now I need a year of getting rid of everything that is left over from all of our cleaning and sorting out! There are lots of stacks around that need attention but I’m trying to enjoy the holidays – and ignore the piles. 🙂
      Happy New Year to you and many happy travels this year!! Thank you for all of your comments and reading, Erin! xoxo


    1. Oh, Kris, don’t we all? 🙂 It’s done now but it took 2 days of moving, sorting, and deciding. With an old house, we have space for older files in our basement but my husband and I disagree on how long things need to be kept. No one would offer me a job at the “Smithsonian” – I’m sure I’d toss out important documents when they should really be held onto! LOL!
      Happy New Year to you! Thanks for always leaving comments and your cheery attitude. I appreciate it!!


  2. One caution: Be sure your fireplace flue is open. The inks on some of those documents could be unfriendly to your upper respiratory system.

    I use the heavy-duty many-fingered shredder, so I can do category by category. It does take longer, though.


    1. Hi Karen,
      Yes, the flue is wide open! We’re very careful with the fire going in the fireplace. I only shredded the papers and didn’t burn them – the fire was just to make it fun and warm. Our office is freezing cold in the winter so both my husband and I try and work in the living room – especially when the fire is going. 🙂
      Very smart to use the shredder for getting rid of documents!
      And, I received your email suggestions – I’ll work on answering those and thank you for the ideas!!
      Happy New Year, Karen 🙂


  3. We started going through boxes w/years of paperwork that never was filed. Our filing system fell apart when I was in the military and we’re still trying to get it back on track. The shredder has been getting a lot of attention in the last few days!


    1. Hi Denise,
      Those files and papers keep piling up no matter what we’re doing, don’t they? Very smart to shred your no longer needed papers. It’s best to be on the safe side when discarding documents.
      As I mentioned to Annie, I really like the book, “File Don’t Pile” and refer to it often. I actually gave it to my husband one year for Christmas. He is quite the pile-r!
      Happy filing to you and Happy New Year!! 🙂 Thanks for writing in…


  4. Oh sistah, I know that pain! My file drawers are so jam packed, it is wonder they have not broken. Usually, I do a purge every January 1st or so – but I never got to it last year, so I am overloaded. Can’t wait to tackle this project over the weekend. I have followed a file rotation with a system called Freedom Filer – but I bet you have your own way of doing it. Would love to hear how you manage papers that you need to hold onto and how you decide which ones to toss. Thanks, Sara!


    1. Hi Annie! I’m afraid that time can get away from us easily when it comes to doing things once a year – or even twice. Your system of doing files once a year is smart and we should add it to our yearly routine.
      My file system is probably more old fashioned – I/we keep more than we probably should but you never know….
      The book I love for “how” to file and organize items is called “File Don’t Pile” – it’s written by a librarian and they know how to file!
      Happy New Year, Annie! Much happiness and blogging to you this year 🙂


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