file folder from The

I recently found some fantastic file folders at These are covered with colorful butterflies, in sync with my work office theme.

I also purchased “atlas” folders for my home office (those which match the border of my desk mat). Because these items are more expensive than the standard manila, I wanted to ensure I used them wisely. This process required revisiting my folder contents, consolidating some files, and eliminating others.

I later typed file labels (whose top stripe matched the respective folder), and refashioned my drawers. It’s amazing how we hang onto useless things that no longer serve our purpose. If you’ve been accumulating for a long time, the sheer inertia of this task may overwhelm you. But the end result is so worth it.

Even if you don’t end up tossing items, simply knowing what’s in a folder (and arranging it in a more organized fashion) is beneficial.  Rummaging leads to discovery, and to a sense of control over what’s been lurking in your file drawers for years. In an attempt to “take back your office,” begin one folder at a time. Devote a few minutes each day to office excavation.

Other nifty products at Paper Source include sticky notes (some in patterns that mirror pre-existing folders). The French steel paper clips are a luxury in which I haven’t indulged – although I must say I’ve been tempted! Personalizing your space with these small civilizing accessories is a great way to inject fun and whimsy into your daily routine. These items many times force you to get your “house in order” to avoid wasting a semiprecious commodity. At the same time, you’re encouraged to take better care of what you already own.

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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