Paper Tiger Blog


The Paper Tiger Blog contains great ideas on better ways to stay organized, clear your desk, reduce stress and spend less time managing information.

Organizing Storage Areas So That Finding Is Not A Problem

Why wait for spring cleaning to get the basement, garage, or attic organized? You may have storage area projects that need to be decluttered and organized now.

Getting storage areas organized may seem overwhelming, but it can be rewarding to declutter your life. You may have things in an attic, a garage, a basement, a storage shed on your property and some belongings in a rented storage unit. One of the biggest problems people face is not even knowing what they have. So, if you are looking for a particular tool and cannot find it, you may end up buying another one and wasting money. People invest a good deal of money into certain things they may only use once in a while, but when you need it, you should be able to locate it quickly. Even if you already have your boxes stored in an organized manner, you may not remember what is in each one. So how do you organize storage areas so that finding what you put away is not a problem?

You may have thought that Paper Tiger Filing System Software is only for organizing your paper files, however you can index any physical item that you can put a number onto into the database, i.e., binders, books, CDs, DVDs, and even boxes and items on shelves. You can get organized, not have to worry about putting things away, and you’ll quickly be able to find them again!

Organizing Storage Areas So That Finding Is Not A Problem

If you want an organized life, organizing storage areas is a great way to declutter your home and life. The best thing to do for organized living is to get an idea of what you need access to on a regular basis. You will need to decide what items you don’t want to keep in the house, or no longer have room for, and what can be stored in the basement, attic or storage building. You may want to take one room at a time and pull out things that should be stored.

Then when you’re boxing the items to be stored, index them into your Paper Tiger database. Each box would represent an Item number in your Paper Tiger database, and the keywords would be the items in the box. Add as many keywords as you think you’ll need for each item, because some things can be called by multiple names, and when you’re ready to retrieve an item again, you may think of a different name than when you first stored the item. Then when it comes time for finding an item, you can simply conduct a quick Google-like search in your Paper Tiger database and you’ll know exactly where it is located. This will save you countless hours, because you won’t have to sift through everything before finding the needed item.

For all those items that keep piling up in your garage because you didn’t want to think about what to do with them before, sort through them and decide what you will keep, what needs to be donated or given to someone in the family, what needs to be tossed. Of course for those items you will be keeping, decide if they need to be boxed or if they will sit on a shelf stand-alone, index the items into Paper Tiger as previously described. Then take everything that should be donated to the appropriate place.

Take care to avoid storing anything that may not hold up well to weather issues, if possible. These types of items will need to be stored in-house or can go to a climate-controlled offsite storage area.

Keeping an indexed inventory of your belongings also helps other people who may need to gain access to things for you. You’ll have a system in place so that continued maintenance will be much easier and less dreaded, as well as you’ll know where to put things back in the assigned space when they are pulled out.

How to Make Searching and Finding a Snap

There are many uses for Paper Tiger so it would not be easy to give examples for everything, but below are a couple of examples that will hopefully give you the general idea. Just know that if you can imagine being able to put a number onto whatever type of item that you want to inventory or index, you can let your imagination run.

Example:  Shelves in Basement (or Garage)

  1. You can name a Location in Paper Tiger ‘Basement Shelves’ or ‘Basement Boxes’. I’m going to use the example pictured above.
  2. Print out labels from the database to be affixed to the boxes or plastic tubs on your shelves. (Labels will be numbered like Basement Shelves 1, Basement Shelves 2, Basement Shelves 3, Basement Shelves 4, etc. The name on the label will depend on what you name the Location, and the number is the item number in the database…the name of your ‘Location’ and sequential item numbers. For example, if you name the Location ‘Basement Boxes’, the labels would be Basement Boxes 1, Basement Boxes 2, Basement Boxes 3, etc.)
  3. For box #1, click on ‘Add Item’ in Paper Tiger ‘Basement Shelves’ Location. (when you add an item, Paper Tiger will assign a number to that item, so in this case Basement Shelves 1.)
  4. Enter Keywords for all contents in box #1, such as blankets, pink flower cushions, sheet set, shelf 1, 1st row. Going down the shelves, box #2, click Add Item, then add keywords for all contents in box #2, shelf 1, 2nd row. Continue for each box. If you’d also like to assign an item # to things not in a box or tub, you can do that. You can also type in the shelf location for a keyword, such as what I did here: shelf 1, 1st row.
  5. Match Label Numbers and Item Names: Make sure the label number you affix to each box (or item not in a box) matches what you input for the Item Name/keywords in Paper Tiger.

Example:  Boxes of Seasonal Decorations

  1. If you want to keep all of your decorations together, you can name a Location in Paper Tiger ‘Decorations’ and say you have 5 boxes of seasonal decorations, so your Location capacity would be 5, (you can add more capacity later if you add boxes). In the description for the Location, you can input where you will store your boxes of decorations, such as ‘Decorations are stored in Basement on Shelf 2 of 4′, or if you have as many as 5 boxes, it might be ‘Decorations are stored in Basement on first 3 shelves from top of Shelf 2 of 4′.
  2. Print out labels from the database to be affixed to the 5 boxes.
  3. Enter Item Name for each theme of decorations that you have, i.e., Christmas or Thanksgiving or Spring. Click on Add Item, and when you add an item, Paper Tiger will assign a number to that box. In this example, box #1 item name might be ‘Spring’, box #2 item name might be ‘Thanksgiving’, box #3 item name might be ‘Christmas’, etc.
  4. Enter Keywords for each theme, such as in box #1, your Spring items might include a spring flag, bunnies, tablecloth and picnic items.
  5. Match Label Numbers and Item Names: Make sure the label number you affix to each box matches the decoration theme that you input for the Item Name/keywords in Paper Tiger.

See other great ideas from our Not Just For Filing Paper webpage!

Watch this webinar hosted by Meggin McIntosh that shows how she organizes her paper files and the boxes of training material in her storage facility with Paper Tiger:

Organizing and Searching for Paper Files

For those paper files that you need to keep in hard copy format, index the item name and keywords relating to those documents into Paper Tiger. Click here to see more details on how Paper Tiger works with paper files, as well as suggestions on how to file.

Using Paper Tiger filing system, you can have a place for everything, and searching and finding your stuff doesn’t have to be a problem!

Tags: , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Organizing Storage Areas So That Finding Is Not A Problem”

  1. I love the example of using Paper Tiger to keep track of the contents of storage totes. Instead of writing on them with marker or even sticking on labels that may need to be updated as the contents change, it’s much easier to update your index!

Leave a Reply

three − 2 =

Email Newsletter

Post Categories