File Box Organizer

by Kelsey Norwood

in Making Over

I am a hopeless list maker. I love lists. However, my list making tends to get a bit wild and I find myself wandering around the house looking for the “right” list because I have so many of them. As of late I have grown a bit weary of having to scour the house to find all the bits of paper on which I have written grocery items, for example, so as not to forget anything at the store. Fortunately, I am quite sure that many of you have the same problem and so I present to you a solution shared with me by my sister in law, who always has really good ideas about nearly everything.


To start, I got a package of alphabetic index card dividers, an index card file box, and a package of sticker labels (all three items available at Walmart for under $10). Then I went to the library to use their typewriter (typewriters may be archaic, but they are still very useful for some things!). I made labels for my index card dividers for days of the week and a few other categories that my lists tend to include items from.

So in my file box right now, my categories (besides days of the week) are as follows:

  • Errands: Anything I need to do while I’m out and about. I have grown tired of returning from a shopping trip only to remember several things that I forgot to do
  • To do: Mostly for long term projects
  • Wish List: So I am prepared when gift-giving holidays roll around
  • Kids: A tab for each child to write down new things they do or funny things they say, allergies, etc
  • VanillaJoy: For all of the ideas I have about my blog. (This category was the most popular topic of my elusive lists. I would write things down on random pieces of paper and then never see my ideas again)
  • Library: To keep track of when books are due

Adapt these categories to fit your personal needs, of course. (And the dividers come in packages of 25, so you could really go to town with the categories.)

I put many different things in the days of the week tabs. I usually make lists at night before I go to bed of all the things I need to do the next day and then I put the list in the appropriate section.

On Sundays, we sit down together as a family and decide our dinner menu for the next week/two weeks/month. Then I file the corresponding recipes under their respective days. This is one of my favorite features of the file box organizer. I look in it each morning and can see what we’re having for dinner that night so I can defrost or prepare things throughout the day as I need to.

This method of organization has really helped me. Please submit your comments below so we can all get more organized!


1 sara December 10, 2007 at 8:35 am

i need to print a chore list we love the site…..

2 Kim R. August 28, 2008 at 12:26 pm

I like the recipe for the corresponding days idea – having a menu planned sure makes the cooking task easier.

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