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A very important filing system and how to make a storage box

Love the Home You Have –day twenty eight–

Filing storage box

by Cybele
Find out more about this Love the Home You Have adventure

by Cybele

My sister-in-law gave me a fantastic piece of advice, because she’s good like that.
I love my sister-in-law, who is not technically my sister-in-law (our family is not renown for following the rules and definitely doesn’t like to let a divorce or two get in the way of a good time). Laura Gardiner aka Rah is awesome and loved by all who meet her. She runs Smarter Admins and if you want to cut the hours you spend at work subscribe to her newsletter.
I’m not naturally an organised person, which is why this Love the Home You Have is so important for me, setting systems and order to get through the year. When it comes to filing – nails screech down blackboard – I needed to phone a friend.
This is when Rah told me about the ICE file for the first time. It’s the in case of emergency filing box containing all our important documents, so if we need to leave  in an emergency, we just pick it up and leave. How very grown up.

In case of emergency file

It’s a home for documents that you would need: proof of identity, passports, birth certificates, civil union, marriage certificate, insurance paperwork, medical records, rental agreements, mortgages, title deeds, pet records and so on.
Rah made some super cute printable tabs for you. Download them here: BlahBlahMagazine-HomeFilingPrintableA4
There’s no reason it should be an ugly box, it just needs handles and a lid. I’m also thinking it’s probably a good idea if it doesn’t look like a filing box that shouts, ‘You-hoo, I contain important documents!’
I was recently deigned the upcycle queen by a friend and it’s a crown I’d love to wear, so it is now my honour to make a file box out of waste. Here is a grocery box, unloved fabric and old belt.DIY decorative storage box
See those fancy ‘brass’ fittings in the handles. It would’ve been sensible to go to the hardware store and buy a couple of brass bolts, but I had some galvanised bolts rattling around in the shed and I gave them a quick squirt with gold spray paint = fancy gold bolts.
The only thing to be careful of is to find a grocery box that fits the filing system frame (I bought the filing frame at Officeworks, but any big stationery place should have them).
I would love to say that you could reuse an old bed sheet, but I don’t think the fabric would be thick enough to disguise the box underneath. I used an old calico cover that had a few rips, but old tablecloths, bed covers would work, too. Also, a different coloured lid would also look super cute, a bit like this box set that means you could use two smaller pieces.

Storage box ingredients

DIY decorative storage box
Filing system frame
Suspension files
Tab holders
Download tabs here: BlahBlahMagazine-HomeFilingPrintableA4
Grocery box with lid (big enough to fit the filing frame)
Manilla folders
Strong glue
Thick fabric, about 2m x 1.5m (the size depends on your grocery box)
Old leather belt
Utility knife or really big scissors for cutting leather
Hammer and nail or leather hole punch
Brass bolts

How to make a storage box

1. Glue manilla folders to the side of the box to cover holes.
DIY decorative storage box2. Mark up the fabric with a pencil and a ruler so you know where to cut.
DIY decorative storage box3. Glue the fabric.
DIY decorative storage box4. Fold the fabric into the box and press to set the glue. Stapling in discrete spots is another good option.DIY decorative storage box5. Measure side panels and cut leather to fit. If you don’t happen to own a ridiculously large pair of scissors, use a utility knife to cut the leather belt. Wear leather gloves and be seriously careful to cut away from you. Straight lines are easier and probably a good place to start, as you can always try rounding off the edges later when you’re feeling more confident. Dampen the leather to make the cutting a bit easier.
DIY decorative storage box 6. Cut the matching handle.
DIY decorative storage box7. Measure and mark with a pencil for the handle holes.
DIY decorative storage box8. Punch a hole, using a hammer and nail. If you need to make a big hole, hammer lots of holes in a little circle for the size you need.
DIY decorative storage box9. My  not very elegant way of sticking a hole in the side of the box with a pair of scissors.
DIY decorative storage box10. Screw the bolts through the leather and side wall holes to fasten the handles.
DIY decorative storage box11. Cut the lid.
DIY decorative storage box12. Tape the lid to hold it together, if need be.
DIY decorative storage box13. Glue the fabric to the lid.
DIY decorative storage box
14. Fit the filing system frame into box and add files.
DIY decorative storage box
15. Cut tabs from the Rah’s lovely printables and fit into the plastic tab holders. Download printables here: BlahBlahMagazine-HomeFilingPrintableA4
DIY decorative storage box
Bele x
What would you include in the list of important documents?

We’re linking up with the beautiful Maxabella for weekend rewind and gorgeous Grace for FYBF

About BlahBlahMagazine

Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine

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  1. I love this idea. I need to make this.

  2. You say the nicest things m’dear… loved working on this project with you and VERY glad that our family lives outside the boundaries of normal 🙂 xo

  3. I can’t wait to catch up on your Love the Home You Have posts. I’m going to start making an ICE file this weekend! Thank you!

  4. Love this idea hun and the belt as handles is pure genius!!

  5. This makes so much sense. I will get right onto it. Probably house it in the box from the fruit man without the fancy schitzing, but the emergency bit will all still be there, right!?! x

  6. I am doing this… this weekend! I think I have a plastic file box that’ll accommodate hanging files. I might cover it with some of the kids art work.
    The thing I’m concerned about losing if we had to get out quickly is all our family photos (last count, there were about 50000, I know crazy, but I haven’t had a chance to delete the many bloopers). So I think I’ll keep my external HD with all my photos, and another with all other digital files in the box too.
    Thanks for that…

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