Closed September 2017

Clutter Video Tip: 5 Things You Probably Don’t Know About File Folders

Is your filing keeping you from smiling? Do your stacks give you panic attacks because your files go on for miles? Watch this video to make your filing less tedious and painful and more efficient and gainful (and I promise to stop rhyming). 😉 (Click here to watch on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded player. Or watch the video at


Hi, I’m Lorie Marrero, and today’s Clutter Video Tip is about five things you probably didn’t know about filing and file folders. First, I want to show you a little known office product called box bottom folders, and these are created to hold those bulky, large stacks of paper that you’re trying to file, and where normal folders don’t work very well with the other folders around them. So, these come in various widths; I like the two-inch width for most situations, and you put this cardboard insert into this extra large folder, and then it creases around it, and you have a perfect home for those large stacks.

Now along those lines, let’s talk a little bit more about these hanging folders. People often are trying to label these with the plastic tabs that come with them, and it can be quite tedious to create these labels one at a time. People often don’t know that they can use a product for that that is made to go right through their printer. It’s the Avery 11136 work saver tabs, and as you can see this goes right into printer, you have a Microsoft Word template, and then you’re able to create lots of labels all at once, and then just tear on the perforations and go. People don’t know that that’s available because sometimes it’s not in stock in their local store, so I often have to order these online and you probably will too.

Let’s talk some more about these hanging folders because they have a lot of little myths associated with them. One is that people think there’s some kind of rule about how you’re supposed to stagger the placement of these tabs across these various slots, and you know there really isn’t a rule, and if you want to you can place them any way you like. I do have a suggestion for you as a guideline though that makes it actually a lot easier. You can see a picture here of how I do it. I only use two positions for the tabs and that creates two solid rows of alternating tabs so that your eye can follow the labels more easily in the drawer, and it also eliminates that decision or that uncertainty about where to stagger that tab across on the slots.

And another thing about hanging folders is that I see people often thinking that you must use some kind of an interior folder along with the hanging folder itself, and there is no rule about that. It’s a lot of extra expense and trouble, and unless you really need it, it is not a problem and perfectly okay to stick those papers directly into the hanging folder and go on with your day. Now if you are accessing those papers more often, a folder makes a lot of sense and you can do that, but if you don’t need to, it sure does save you a lot of time.

Speaking of these folders, these are great, they are the classic folder for carrying around little projects that you’re working on, but most people may not realize that there are other kinds of folders. I really like working with these for my most active papers, they’re called document sleeves, and they come in various styles, various manufacturers. This one is made with an opaque or translucent back and it has a clear front which I really like, and it’s closed on two sides so that the papers don’t fall out as easily. I really like these in particular for traveling; I put my travel itinerary and documents inside there, and it enables me to see them and grab them quickly. And this is just a much better choice for your frequently accessed information.

Paper is the number one question that we hear about from everyone, and the members in our program are in our Member Area getting their personal questions about paper answered by our team of professional organizers right now. You can find out more about this at our site at

See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

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