Bold Turquoise

Aug 11 2011

Implementing the File System- aka Mama’s Workbox System (with free printable)

FYI- For those of you wondering how I got this post up after my little post yesterday, The Carpenter and I decided to not go up to the lake unitl this evening, thus giving me a little bit of kid-free time to get some things done!  Lucky you!  Now back to our regularly scheduled programming!

A while back I became privy to an intriguing little organizing system via the one and only Pinterest, and decided that it just might be a perfect addition to my little planing-obsessed world. It is called The File Crate System and was designed originally (as far as I know) by Dawn at By Sun and Candelight (you can click there to get to her entire archive of File Crate System posts).

You see, I was already planning on doing something similar for just our homeschool materials and printables, since I have the entire year planned and needed a way to organize all of it. This system took it to a whole new level for me, however, because it incorporates everything on a personal level as well! Wahoo!


So, what does it actually look like? Well, I have 52 file folders (Yeah! Finally a use for all the cute file folders I have been unreasonably collecting due to my paper and office/school supply addiction!) labeled with all the weeks of the year and the week number of school and subject matter (or school break if we are on one). These regular file folders are then placed in hanging file folders for each month.


What’s inside the folders?  School-wise I have all the printables for that school week (lapbook components, coloring sheets, worksheets, instructions, flat craft supplies, etc…).


Here are the Bible lessons we are working on for the first week and behind those are our geography pages and math work.

I also have things pertaining to the overall workings of our family. For instance, I place bills that need to be scheduled for payment and filed into the appropriate weeks, flyers for events we want to attend, coupons that need to be used by a specific date, etc…

Better get to Bed Bath & Beyond!

I also have a master to-do list that will move from folder to folder each week so I can keep whittling away at it, and a weekly to-do list inside each folder. The weekly to-do list is fantastic because as I think of things all throughout the year I can write them on the list for the specific week that I want or need to accomplish them. This is a great way to make sure I have birthday presents purchased plenty in advance, blogging deadlines met and so forth. It’s fool proof, right?

So, how does it actually work? Well, each Friday after we are done with school I will take out the folder for the following week and replenish our workboxes and folders for the week to come. At this time I will also be able to mentally make note of the family contents in the folder so I have a good grasp of what needs to be done in the week ahead. This folder will then stay on the desk all week, until Friday when it gets switched out. It’s pretty much as simple as that!

I am sure this system will evolve and change through the year to completely fit our needs, but I really couldn’t be more excited about it! I think it is going to be such a tremendous help and I just can’t wait to really put it to full use once our school year begins!


I also do want to mention that my actual lesson plans for the year are not placed in these folders but rather in a 3-ring binder that will be stored behind the folders (see it back there?). I felt like it would be easier to keep all the plans in one central location so I can look at our full scope a little bit faster.


Here is a little glimpse at what a week of my lesson plans for Rhythm look like (I made my own planning forms). I will be going more into detail about these on The World According to Them very soon.

Behind the folders I will also have freezer sized baggies for each country we are studying to organize craft supplies and momentos for each country that aren’t flat and therefore wouldn’t easily fit into a file folder.

There are so many endless options of how you could really make this system fit your family. You could file your menu plans here (unless you do a yearly meal plan, which I am going to talk all about next week!), pre-purchased birthday cards for the year or even tickets to events that you want to make sure not to lose! I would love for you to share some of your own ideas and the customized way you plan for your family! Do tell!

Oh, and as a little reward for making it all the way to the end of this post, I wanted to pass on a free printable to you! Here is my Weekly To-Do List planning form, special just for you! And hey, if you really like them, maybe you could think about tweeting, facebooking, blogging, or even Pinning them! That would be totally awesome and I would completely love you forever!  (To help out, there are a bunch of easy sharing buttons at the bottom of this post- except for Pinterest, that one has to be done the way you normally would.)

[scribd id=62188539 key=key-1ajhvxd7a5ffavdxkjax mode=slideshow]

Tomorrow you can look forward to a post about the basic routine we will be following this fall.

This post is filed under BOLD homemaking, the BOLD homeschool and has been tagged with Tags: , , ,

8 thoughts on “Implementing the File System- aka Mama’s Workbox System (with free printable)

  1. andi

    It is totally making me smile over here how much we are thinking alike! I didn’t know you were going the file folder route for your planning too! 🙂 I was totally inspired by these two posts: ( AND and now yours too! Although you are way way way ahead of me in the planning…

    Have fun at the lake!

  2. Holly C

    Ah, so neat! I will have to remember this…I just started a homeschool group on Facebook for mom’s to talk to each other, encourage, share tips etc., so fun to see how other’s do things and what works best for everyone!

  3. Sherri

    I also was inspired by Dawn and made up a FCS as well. Mine is slightly different too suit myself and our family. I made up 52 weeks such as yourself, but divided them by folder which contain two months at a time. Jan/Feb, March/April, you get the idea and in those files I put things like favorite recipes for Christmas, or special recipes that i make into gift in November/December. Sept/Oct i put in the pumpkin carving stencils, Mar/April I put in some of my St pattys stuff. This way I can remember to look at them at least a month in advance. I love the idea of throwing the cards into them as well. I need to do that. I am also going to staple two pieces of paper on the inside of each folder so that I can have a to do list and a need to buy list. I am forever jotting stuff done and then lose my paper.
    I love the fact that so many ladies have incorperated the FCS differently to work in their lifes and it has given me even more inspiration.

    1. boldturquoise Post author

      Good idea with the holiday ideas/recipes! I decided to keep my to-do lists unstapled from the folders since I want to reuse them from year to year. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Lanna

    So how’s the file crate system working for you a few months later? I think I need to implement something similar to rescue my poor kitchen’s flat surfaces. 🙂


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