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Aha! Hack: Pine Storage Crate as File Cabinet

While caught in an organizational flurry in my home office a few years back, I chucked everything I didn’t immediately need well out of my way. I tossed paper clips into a giant seagrass basket (not smart), books in precarious stacks (acceptable), and overflow file folders into a pine storage crate on the floor (genius!).

As it turns out, standard-issue pine storage crates are sized for paper, meaning letter-sized hanging file folders fit perfectly. So I shredded most of the contents of my former file cabinet and tucked only what I needed inside a pine storage crate—and I’ve never looked back.

Photography by Meredith Swinehart.

Pine Storage Crate as File Cabinet by Remodelista's The Organized Home
Above: A simple pine storage crate makes for a compact, portable filing cabinet.
Pine Storage Crate as File Cabinet by Remodelista's The Organized Home
Above: The solution saves space. I keep mine on a shelf in my bookcase, within easy reach.
Pine Storage Crate as File Cabinet by Remodelista's The Organized Home
Above: One huge perk to the system is that you can’t fit as much paper as you can in a file cabinet—stay with me—so you might be forced to trim your paper load. (For tips, see Happier at Home: 8 Tips on How to Go Paperless.)
Pine Storage Crate as File Cabinet by Remodelista's The Organized Home
Above: Other storage favorites pictured here include Single MDF Storage Drawers from Muji ($29 each, currently sold out online), a Six-Inch Strongbox (mine is in matte black from Best Made Co., $49.95), and a Vittsjö shelving unit from Ikea ($79.99).

The Muji drawers, along with the pine storage crates, were my picks for our roundup of Editors’ Picks: Our 10 Favorite Organizational Tools.

A Wood Crate in Medium is 13.5 inches long and the requisite 12.5 inches wide; $18.23 at The Home Depot.
Above: A Wood Crate in Medium is 13.5 inches long and the requisite 12.5 inches wide; $18.23 at The Home Depot.
A Wood Crate in Large is also 12.5 inches wide but is 18 inches long; $12.98 at The Home Depot.
Above: A Wood Crate in Large is also 12.5 inches wide but is 18 inches long; $12.98 at The Home Depot.
Letter-sized Pendaflex Recycled Hanging Folders in black are $12.54 for a box of 25 at Amazon.
Above: Letter-sized Pendaflex Recycled Hanging Folders in black are $12.54 for a box of 25 at Amazon.

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