When I first mentioned the file crate system, many of you wrote in excited to hear more – well, today is the day!
I’ve used this system for about 2.5 years, though it’s not my original idea! I simply adopted Dawn from by Sun and Candlelight’s system. Dawn is such an inspiration in the area of organization.
So, let me introduce what I do when it comes to yearly planning…
What is the File Crate System?
The file crate system helps me in two areas:
- planning ahead on a monthly, yearly basis
- tracking paperwork from months gone by
Used consistently this system provides a space for gathering the bits and pieces of our days.
There’s not a lot of fancy supplies needed, just a few simple tools:
- a file crate (I use a drawer in our filing cabinet)
- 52 file folders – check out these paisley print folders on Amazon!
- hanging file dividers (you could use 52, one for each week – I put 4 folders per divider, so to organize by month)
- pen or marker (I used my label maker)
Setup is quick, the longest thing probably being labeling or writing out the dates. Dawn writes in dates specific to a year and refreshes folders annually. Instead, I purchased sturdier file folders and reuse them – so my labeling is more generic: The month and week.
I do keep one floating ‘week 5’ to use for fuller months, but other than this, it’s not difficult to setup.
What Goes Into a File Folder?
Honestly, anything you’d like!
Keep track of birthday cards to send, summer ideas, vacation planning notes, invitations, print outs of events you’d like to attend, permission slips, Christmas gifts ideas, and any other list — the ideas are endless, but definitely should fit your needs.
How I Use the File Crate System
I am currently regrowing in my consistent use of this system.
But ideally, each weekend I’ll have the current week’s folder and take out the upcoming one. Anything needing transferred to the next week gets moved (maybe it didn’t get done, or I filed it early on purpose), I discard/recycle papers no longer needed, or I leave items in to keep for future reference. I then file away the previous week’s folder.
I receive a registration form for summer camp which needs completed by end of March.
I file this beginning of March.
When the time comes, I either fill out the form, toss it if it’s no longer going to work, or move it to the next week if we need more time to make a decision. Make sense?
Ideas for Your File Crate System
I use the file crate/file folder system for dozens of things! Here are a few more examples:
- holiday food planning – ones which the same recipes are used, such as our Passover celebration.
- holiday ideas – notes, lists, book lists, planning sheets from previous years and/or the current
- cards to send (or reminder to send online card/note)
- ministry reminder notes – often I’ve met with someone (prayer, counseling, etc.) and want to check-in at a future date. Placing a note in the file folder of that week is a great way for me to keep up!
- printed emails – if it contains info needed for later
- seasonal plans or ideas
- warranty reminders – if they expire w/in the year
- some homeschooling paperwork – for general planning like field trips
- coupons for retail stores – not grocery, but stores & restaurants; I file by expiration date
- spring or fall cleaning checklists
- to do lists
- and MORE!
Not every system works for each of us. If you’ve stuck with this post and think NO WAY— maybe it’s just not for you!
I hope we each find ways to ease our loads, to make lighter our paths. If you have any questions or ideas – feel free to comment!