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A Prettier Filing Cabinet

It’s the little things in life that add up to big things.  This is true for the happy moments, like a perfect cup of coffee on your porch, as well as the not-so-happy ones. Like when you encounter a small annoyance over and over again, which saps your energy and raises your blood pressure a little at a time, until you want to throw something.

Such was the case with our filing drawer. Filing’s not a big deal, right? I mean, you pay bills once a month, stuff them in the drawer and go on with life. Problem was, too much stuffing into the drawer, and not enough cleaning out after the required 7 year holding period, or whatever it is for paper stuff like that.A-Prettier-Filing-Cabinet

I thought it was just me getting frustrated because I had to make a little extra effort to get one piece of paper into a file. You know, when the folders get so tight you have to stick your whole hand in there, jiggle it around to make room, and then quickly stuff the paper in without turning it into something that looks like it was spit out of a dysfunctional copy machine? Well, I realized it wasn’t just me when I heard someone rummaging around in the drawer the other day and after a few minutes, my normally calm husband emerged looking like he’d just spent a lunch hour at the MVD. “Why can’t we just have stuff that works?!” He fumed.

See, part of the problem was that our filing drawer was just that – a drawer. It was one of those little plastic file drawers that we just stuck inside a cabinet in our computer nook. That worked fine for a while, but as our family grew it became pretty ridiculous to try to keep records of everything we need in one little drawer.

This sounds like a problem that can be solved with a trip to the thrift store! (But then, can’t they all?)Filing-Cabinet-Before

I found this nondescript, wood veneer 2-drawer filing cabinet at our local Goodwill. This piece didn’t look like something I’d want to have on display in my house, so I spruced it up with a little paint and new drawer pulls from Hobby Lobby.

With the visual problem solved, I turned to a functional problem that I noticed when I got home. One drawer was missing one of the little rods that the hanging folders slide on, but I figured I could fix that easily. Filing-Cabinet-Missing-BarI found some flat steel bar at Home Depot, which the guy assured me could be cut easily with a hacksaw. Several curse words later, and some elbow grease from my husband, and it was done. Don’t believe everything the guys at the hardware store tell you. But in the end I (we) triumphed, and made the filing cabinet functional and pretty for less than $20!Filing-Cabinet-Works

Here’s how it breaks down, in case you’re curious:

  • Cabinet: $9.99
  • Drawer Pulls: $3.98
  • New bar for hanging folders: $3.48
  • Paint and supplies on hand: $0
  • Total Makeover: $17.45

Filing-Cabinet-After-LogoNow here’s my question to you, dear readers. Do you think it needs a little more…I don’t know…something special? Here are your options:

  1. Leave it as is. Simple is best.
  2. Stencil it with a geometrics, such as a trellis pattern.
  3. Do a painted ikat treatment.

Leave me a comment below with your vote, and don’t forget to check back and see how I use this pretty little cabinet in my upcoming home office makeover!


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Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook