Studio Update: Crate Wall File Organization

Happy Memorial Day! Hopefully you’re all getting to enjoy the outdoors today with family and friends. We spent the weekend in Tahoe celebrating our 5 year anniversary…


via Instagram

The weather (and scenery, as usual) was perfect.

We even got a chance to get together with family we haven’t seen in years and meet new relatives…

via Instagram

Love that place. If you’re ever in Nor Cal, it’s a beautiful drive there and a must-see!

Before we left for the weekend I took some time to sort through all of our files and reorganize studio storage wall.

Way back at the beginning of this blog, I did a complete organization overhaul and ditched our old file cabinet in favor of a binder filing system:

I even made these printable binder templates so you could use them too:

This system has been working great for 3+ years. We always know exactly where everything is and it’s super easy to file papers/receipts away as they accumulate.

Now that we’ve moved across the country, bought a new home and undergone some renovations, it was time to update the filing system.

I started by laying everything out and determining what I could purge/combine/reallocate:

Several of the magazine boxes contained filler or things I no longer use, so those were the first to go.

I corralled all of the receipts I’d saved from our current house into these convenient expandable folders:

On our last trip to Ikea, I picked up a few of these wardrobe boxes which I thought would be perfect for storing bulkier papers and items:


I used one for manuals/warranties, one for business supplies, and another for all of our important house documents.

I didn’t change up the actual binders much as they were doing a good job already… here’s a peek at the inside of our Florida house binder to get an idea of how it works:

I use these page tabs to divide the sleeves into different categories:

Once I had everything organized, it was time to make new binder labels. I wanted to tone down the colors and keep it more neutral/sophisticated, so I opted for a simple striped background with a classic serif font (Bodoni):

Once everything was printed and trimmed, I just slipped the labels into the binder sleeve:

For my magazine files, I picked up these bookplates at Office Max:

They’re adhesive so I could easily apply them directly to the surface:

Then I printed out labels, cut them to size and slipped them into the bookplates.

And now this storage wall is good to go!

The top serves as a shelf to store my smaller packaging supplies.

Narrow ledges on the wall above it display charts and prints waiting to be packaged.

The lower profile design works great in this small space—it visually opens up the room and allows for a wider passageway around the desk.

Simple, clean and clutter free… just the way I like it!

Are your files in need of spring cleaning? If you haven’t tried the binder filing system yet, now is the time! I’m even offering up my printable templates to help you get started.

You can download the blank templates in both binder sizes:

Click to download BLANK TEMPLATES
Or download these pre filled templates here… use as many or as little as you wish:
Or if you like the old colorful templates, you can still get those here.
The templates are designed to print on 13×19″ paper (the label height is 11.375″, a little too large for standard 8.5×11″ paper)—but if you don’t mind them being slightly shorter, you can print them full size on 8.5×11″ (you’ll have to break up the labels on the pre filled template sheet to print full size—use borderless printing if possible). I recommend either card stock or heavyweight paper for best results.
Hopefully this will keep you busy & productive this week! It’s a big time consuming undertaking at first, but once you get a system down and everything filed away into its place, it’s such a relief. I promise.
I’m wrapping up with the finishing touches over the next few days, and I hope to have my final Studio Reveal Tour by the end of the week—make sure to come back and check it out!

15 thoughts on “Studio Update: Crate Wall File Organization

  1. I just love your studio! I loved the studio in your Florida house, and I love this! In fact your studios have been an inspiration for my craftroom/office :). Do you have some special surface on your desk or do you use a cutting mat?

  2. Love the studio and I can't wait to see the reveal. A question for you, I have been searching everywhere for those Martha Stewart bookplates but cannot find them. Staples has them but only in the Vertical view, not the Horizontal view. Do you think they could be used either way? I was thinking that a Horizontal plate could be a Vertical plate by changing it's orientation. Am I missing something?

  3. Funny you bring that up… I bought two packages and just noticed yesterday that one set has the opening at the top and the other one from the side. It really doesn't matter either way!

  4. That's what I thought. I can't wait to go get them now. Apparently, they've been backordered forever and now are in stock again. I wasn't able to locate them at Office Max, only Staples.

  5. I'm so in love with your office, I can't stand it! The organization is fabulous and has totally inspired me to re-do one of our spare bedrooms into an office/studio/cat paradise! I've been clearing out and selling our old bedroom furniture to make room (and money) for the new space. I'm so excited!

    A slightly related question: I've noticed you have two adorable little furballs of your own (I do as well!), and I was wondering how they are with the natural fiber rugs you have throughout your home. I would love to incorporate some sort of similar rug in the new space to bring in natural tones (and to cover some stubborn carpet stains that we moved in with), but I'm wary of the cats wanting to scratch and claw at it. I recently got a large natural basket to store blankets in our living room and our older cat loves to sit on top, but it took the ten-month-old kitten a while to figure out that it is NOT an appropriate scratching post… Little guy is a scratching addict! Luckily he eventually learned to use the multiple scratching posts instead.

    Did you have to teach your cats not to scratch on the rugs, or do they mostly leave them alone?

  6. Thanks Hilary, glad you found some inspiration! Susie does claw the rugs but I don't try to stop her because they hold up just fine! The jute fibers are woven super strong and don't pull apart at all. I've had other rugs in the past that didn't hold up so well so I've replaced nearly every rug in the house with these! They are the best. And they also deter her from scratching up the stuff I do care about, like our furniture.

  7. Thank you for getting back to me so soon! Those rugs sounds great and very worth the investment if they can withstand clawing. Awesome! Do you use the same rug in different sizes throughout your home? You've mentioned the Maui rug in a couple different posts, and just wondering if that's the one you're referring to. Love the look of that rug!

    Also, how is it on bare feet? I've read that some of the natural fiber rugs can be a bit rough/pokey to the touch, and I would love your thoughts on this. 😉

  8. Yep, the living room, dining and my office are the same size and our bedroom is one size larger. It's fine on your feet—sure it's not super plush but it's definitely not uncomfortable IMO.

Comments are closed.