25 File Organization Ideas for a Small or Home Office

25 File Organization Ideas for a Small or Home Office

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Your business likely has plenty of files on hand related to clients, finances and daily operations. Ideally, you should have a system set up to keep these files sorted into categories so they’re easily accessible but not cluttering up your desk. These systems can range from the very simple and traditional to high tech and creative options.

File Organization Ideas

Here are some file organization ideas to consider if you work in a small office or from home.

File Cabinet

Your standard file storage solution, you can fill it with labeled folders to sort all of your important documents and keep them easily accessible in one place.

Flat File Cabinet

25 File Organization Ideas for a Small or Home Office

A flat file cabinet like this one from Safco provides a similar organization structure, but allows you to lay your files horizontally rather than vertically. It just depends what type of files you have and how you prefer to access them.

File Drawer

Maybe you don’t need a whole cabinet just for files. If you can condense them down a bit and keep the rest in digital files, you could simple add a file sorting system to the drawer or cabinet under your desk.

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File Boxes

Another more compact solution, you can also get boxes that have file folder inserts so you can easily transport them or store them in different spots around your office.

Hanging File Folders

25 File Organization Ideas for a Small or Home Office

Or you may want your files to be more easily accessible. If that’s the case, you could buy a small structure like this Pendaflex products to organize your files as you would in a filing cabinet.


If you mainly keep digital files, you might consider a system like Neat. It gives you a way to easily track expenses and even integrates with bookkeeping software.


OneDrive is Microsoft Office’s solution for digital cloud storage. You can use it to keep your files accessible from anywhere. So you can access them even if you’re telecommuting or using a mobile device.

Desktop File Sorter

25 File Organization Ideas for a Small or Home Office

For easy access to all of your important files and other office gear, you can get a simple desktop organizer like this one from Poppin.

File Folders

If you only keep a small amount of physical files on hand, then you may be able to get away with just a few labeled folders that you can store in a drawer or even in your briefcase.


A slightly larger system, you can fit files of a few different categories inside one binder and still transport and store them very easily.

Project Organizer

25 File Organization Ideas for a Small or Home Office

This product is similar to folders and binders. However, it offers a bit more information that you can fill in about specific products so you can keep everything organized very specifically. This one is from Staples.

Color-Coded Folders

Whether you use a cabinet, drawer or some other kind of receptacle, you can keep all of your files organized in folders of different colors so you don’t even need to get very close to read labels.

Wall Organizers

If you don’t want to take up space on your desk or floor, you could invest in a small folder system that mounts directly on your wall so you can access everything at eye level.

Mailbox Organizer

25 File Organization Ideas for a Small or Home Office

This type of product is often used in classrooms or offices where multiple people may have ingoing or outgoing materials. However, you could also use it as an organizer if you have many different types of files and need each of them to be pretty easily accessible. This product is from Wayfair.

Letter Boxes

If you don’t need to access your files all that often but need to keep them around just in case, you might hold onto some small letter boxes. Store them in these and keep them out of your main workspace so they don’t take up valuable real estate.

Magazine Racks

If you want a solution that’s a bit more decorative, you could turn magazine holders into a simple file system. Just label each one and keep them accessible in your office.

Letter Bin

25 File Organization Ideas for a Small or Home Office

For a more visible system that still doesn’t take up much room around your desk, you could use a hanging letter bin like this one from Pottery Barn.

Google Drive

If you’d prefer a cloud based solution for your files, Google Drive is a free tool that allows you to set up folders and create documents. You can also pay for upgraded storage beyond what’s available in the free plan.


If you prefer to go the traditional software route, opt for a product like MyOrganizer Ultimate that you can install to track documents, reports and expenses.

File Cart

25 File Organization Ideas for a Small or Home Office

If you’re often on the go, then consider a portable file organization system like this rolling model from iBuy Office Supply.


Another cloud based solution, Dropbox can be especially useful for teams that need to access or share data and files from anywhere.


Paperless 2 is a software for Windows systems. It helps you get rid of those hard copies of files so you can keep everything organized on your desktop.

Desktop System

25 File Organization Ideas for a Small or Home Office

A larger option than a simple desktop file organizer, this full system from eBay still fits on most desks and has places for plenty of files and other office supplies.


If you keep files on hand that are especially sensitive, you may want to invest in a locked safe. You can keep files in folders so they’re still organized, while ensuring that no one outside your organization can access them.

Digital Desktop Folders

If you want to keep it really simple and don’t like having a lot of hard copies on hand, you could simply set up folders on your computer’s desktop where you sort files. Then keep them in categories so they’re easy to find when you need them.

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

2 Reactions
  1. The organization has to extend to your computer as well. You’ll never know if you already have so many files.

  2. There are plenty of people looking for organisation tips right now! Your business should definitely be included in your tidying up efforts. Thanks for sharing your ideas! This is really helpful.