So how is the organizing going so far? Are you feeling like your moving in the right direction? In this post I will continue to give you step-by-step directions to conquering the overwhelming paper mountain. If you want a refresher, read part 1 of this series here.
- Think of how you divided up your papers. In your mind, picture how you think about the details of your ancestors. Do you think about them by the types of records you have? Do you think about them by individuals or couples? Your answer to this question will determine how you will further subdivide your piles.
- Do you want to color code? This is by far not a requirement, but some people really find it beneficial. For the most part, I’ve only ever heard of people using color coding when they divide their papers by surname. Most people will divide their surnames into four or eight categories; these categories correspond with your four grandparents or eight great grandparents. The four or eight colors that you choose are really up to you – just be sure that these are colors that you can always find at a store. You don’t want to try to expand your organizational system someday only to find out that the colored supplies you need are no longer being made.
- Do you want your organizational system to be archival? This is not a cheap option but rather an investment in your papers so that they will last into the future. The archival safe organizational supplies that you use will keep your papers from yellowing and fading over the years (although, eventually the papers will yellow and fade – the point is to extend your paper’s lifetime).
- My aunt used to have this three drawer black filing cabinet. The two bottom drawers are made for holding your files, while the smaller top drawer can be used to store the box of extra file folders. The only reason she got rid of this cabinet is because she needed a bigger one.
- If you don’t have too many files yet, then I would recommend getting this stackable filing drawer. I like these because they are lightweight and easy to store out of the way.
- Archival file folders are the way to go if you want to try and prolong the life of your files.
- If color coding is your thing, then these colorful file folders are for you.
- I love binders and I use them for just about everything from school, calendars, bills, and organizing my paper files. I really like this heavy duty one inch binder, although you could always get a two inch or three inch binder. However, if you use a binder that is more than three inches wide then it will be bee too heavy and the pages will be hard to turn.
- If you get binders, you’ll also need dividers. I highly recommend getting over sized dividers so that you can see the divider even if you are using sheet protectors. You also might want to consider getting archival quality sheet protectors to prolong the life of your files.