Order in the House: 10 Smart DIY Filing Solutions

Banish the bills and jettison the junk mail with one—or more—of these 10 expertly crafted filing solutions you can make yourself.

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  1. Cereal Box Stationery File


    Make a stationery file with a couple of cereal boxes, scissors, pretty paper, and glue. It’s the ultimate accessible recycling project, easy enough for even the youngest DIYers. Who wouldn’t want to have this to look at on a desk?

    Related:  Create a Home Office That Works for You: 10 Expert Tips


  2. Vintage Shutter Mail File


    Organize and file all those piles of mail by mounting an old shutter to the wall. Just slip those envelopes into the slats; it’s a funky design accent that serves a very practical function.

    Related:  10 Ingenious Alternatives to a Traditional Home Office


  3. Shower Caddy File and Hanger


    Hang a shower caddy on the wall to organize small notepads, mail, or publications. In the kitchen, use it to hold cooking magazines and hang your apron and pot holders. Mount it next to the door to keep school folders and house keys at the ready. Use it in the craft room for magazines, scissors, and other small items.


  4. Chest for Files and Supplies


    Reconfigure a chest or toy box into storage for your home office. Two drawers' worth of hanging files sit neatly on metal file frames, and there’s still enough room left to tuck away some office supplies. Close the lid, and you’ve got seating for a guest who will never be the wiser.

    Martha Stewart

  5. DVD File in a Box


    Reduce the storage space your DVDs require by removing them from their cases and slipping them into slim paper or plastic covers. Then house them all in a narrow box, using note cards as dividers to keep them in alphabetical order. Now you’ll know exactly where to look come movie night.


  6. Picture Frame Mini File


    Beautify that all-important pile of little notes and receipts with a wall or desktop mini file made from an old picture frame. Simply wrap some fabric around the inside backing—use several strips of decreasing size to create pockets—then secure with glue. Hang it on the wall by the door for outgoing mail, and you’ll never again forget to bring a bill to the mailbox.


  7. Basket Full of Files


    If a traditional file cabinet is not your style, you can create the same type of storage inside a basket. Just put a metal file frame inside and hang your files as you would in a cabinet. No one ever has to know that the pretty basket on your shelf houses all your old tax receipts. 


  8. Desktop Bracket File


    Mount some shelf brackets onto a board to relieve your desktop of those dreaded piles of files. Paint it pretty, and it will easily and attractively help you sort and keep neat all those files that must stay close at hand.

    Related:  6 DIY Standing Desk Projects to Keep You Healthy While You Work


  9. Business Card File on a Ring


    Using just a book ring and hang tags, create a mini Rolodex for all those business cards you collect. Label a hang tag with each letter of the alphabet, then just punch a hole into each business card and add it to the ring where it belongs. All those cards in one place—easy to access and easy to tuck away.


  10. Dish Rack File


    A dish rack makes the perfect organizer for corralling all those school papers into a home command center right by the door. Create a file for each kid and perhaps files for ingoing/outgoing bills and mail as well. A notepad and pens in the utensil pockets make it convenient to take phone messages or leave reminders for other family members. Mornings just got a little easier.


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