Thursday, July 30, 2009

Filing system makeover

I hate to replace a better built, more stylish piece with one that is simply functional, but that's what I decided I had to do with our filing cabinet. I brought a beautiful vintage reproduction cabinet from Pottery Barn (a gift from my parents years ago) to our marriage and for the last 3 years, we have been stuffing 2 people's health insurance records, auto maintenance, taxes, and all sorts of paper that may or may not be important to save into 1 drawer. Add to that a husband working on his Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies and you have a lot of files that need go somewhere. To my husband's credit, he started organizing his own files in a plastic file box--but I just can't stand it. Who likes a plastic box sitting out (besides a one year old who loves to try to open it every morning). So, goodbye Pottery Barn, hello Habitat for Humanity Re-store! I found this filing shelf system for $15 and look! it holds the entire contents of that plastic box plus more:
It just needed a top to hold our desk lamp and a wire basket we keep due bills and supplies like stamps in, so I bought a piece of hardy board for $5 and had it cut to fit right on top of these posts (my mom's brilliant idea).
Then I covered it with some gorgeous fabric I bought 4 yards of (a cheap remnant--I took the whole thing without a plan for what I would use it for). I used a staple gun and just wrapped the sides like you would a present.

Finally, I used industrial strength velcro to keep the board in place and secure from little monkeys learning to walk. I love the results! I added a storage box for more office supplies on the bottom shelf and secured the top from that same crawling monkey with some more of that industrial velcro (come to think of it--this may be my new way to baby proof). It's very easy to lift the top to access files and the whole thing is on wheels. I'm debating whether I will make a front panel of fabric with ties to close the whole thing in--I do still have yards of fabric, but my husband is starting to wonder if I'm going to make cozies to cover everything in our house. There is actually one more cozy in our future--stay tuned.

What I love most about this new shelf top is how nice my Father's Day gift to my husband looks displayed on top. I found this little vintage sugar bowl (very cheap--without a top) in Midway, Ky and I filled it with vintage ceramic letters M, A, I, and F for Matt and Ari's initials (they share the same middle and last names). I think it's so sweet.

If you've dressed up an office space recently--let us know what you did!


  1. I love the file idea and the bowl with letters too! Great job! If you are crazy for cozies I am crazy for label making. I use my label maker for everything! It's such a nice feeling being neat and organized!

  2. I know--I want you to come and label my house. We'll do an organizational house swap:)

  3. I thought this was suppose to have sides like the bookcase? Nevertheless, it's darn cute and looks great in the corner.

  4. I love my, err . . our new filing "cabinet."

    The sugar bowl of letters will always be one of the best father's day presents ever.