Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Organizing Paper Clutter. I Made a Binder.

Here's the skinny on the Household Binder: GREAT, great, great tool to stay organized!!  Until now, I thought these binders were mostly used to help you keep a clean house.  But, helloooo, you can CUSTOMIZE it to your own needs!  See how I did that...
I have seen many, many, many of these "Household Management Binders" over the past few years of reading mom and craft blogs.  At Organized Home, they are called Household Notebooks and you should hop over there to get the whats, whys, and hows about making one!  They also have a ton of free printable pages.

Anyhoo...Seems that these binders are the thing to have in your house. Preferably the kitchen. And while I have thought about making them in the past, I just never thought they addressed my needs. A typical binder is divided into sections such as: babysitter info (don't have a sitter and don't go anywhere), budget (I use Quicken for that), emergency phone numbers (um, iPhone), menu planning and grocery lists (already have a system for those), to do lists (I already make a zillion of those!), and then several sections for cleaning (crickets, crickets).

I have this calendar in the back cover.

I needed a solution to the my piles of papers in the kitchen (and my bedroom dresser, but I don't want to get ahead of myself!).  See, I didn't need help with a budget, or emergency contact numbers, or a cleaning schedule.

This is me:   
I get papers from school and I never know where to put them. So I make a pile for school papers. Then I get something in the mail that I need to keep, and it goes in another pile. Coupons get stuck in a drawer, then I forget about them. Important papers go on the fridge. I have *lots* of important papers.  One pile might be things to get done today. Another pile is for things that can wait 'til next week. So, piles all over my kitchen. Then my husband comes home and mushes all my piles into one big- but neat- pile. He thinks he is helping, but he just messed up my system! Which means, digging through the really big pile to find everything and re-sorting it all later.

I have tried folders. But too messy.

OK, that's all I have tried. : )

So these home management binders really got me thinking...I could apply this same concept to my paper mess!  Check. It:

Here are my categories:

I Bought Supplies.
1.5" Binder
2 packs of pocket dividers
document protectors
3-ring pocket thing that I have not really used for anything yet.
After using this book for a couple of weeks, I also need a zipper pouch for my coupons.

I Selected Categories.
My binder might be the only one without a section for cleaning- HA!
I started by jotting down the categories I thought I might use. I set up my binder and followed these preliminary categories for a few weeks before committing to a set of categories that I know will work for me. I committed to them when I busted out the label maker and printed the labels.

This binder (just Up&Up brand) is very cool, because it has two pockets in the front and back covers.
~~ I use the front cover to stow little "now" things- receipts, to-do lists, etc.
~~ The back cover holds things that need no attention- just need filed.  (Mail, paid bills, or receipts) They are in the back and I will never look at them until I go to empty the pockets.

And the Binder Pocket (by Up&Up) might be useful for the coupons

Notice, no cleaning schedule???
Not that I don't need to clean. Ha! I need to clean. But seriously, I am not going to, let's say, wipe down my doors every Thursday, or dust on Mondays. Heck, I can't even commit to cleaning the kitchen floor on a regular basis. My method is, when it needs cleaned, I clean it. I tend to clean the kids bathroom in parts. One day I get the toilet, when I notice that someone peed on the seat. Next day the sink because it is covered in spit. And when I notice the bathtub has a ring of dirt around it, I clean it real quick before I give the kids a bath. See? It gets done. Just not on a set schedule.

So that's my new system. I have always been pretty good about going through the mail and immediately sorting the "recycle" from the "pay/keep". I also flip through catalogs and toss them into the recycle right then or same day. I just needed a system (and not piles everywhere) of the important papers.

I feel so organized now. I said "feel". No, I really am better organized now : )

Linking here:
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  1. Wonderful idea! If you get a chance, I'd love you to link up! ( Thanks for sharing this!

  2. You are a genius! What an adorable binder.
    I would love for you to post this on my Fall In Love linky party today.

  3. wow! so simple, yet genius! i do the exact same as you did...piles everywhere for different things. maybe now i'll be more organized! :)

    i would love for you to come link up this or any other amazing project at my creativity party going on right now!

    thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Such a great idea! I'm so disorganized already, and it'll only get worse when my little one arrives. I need a household binder but then I also need a crafting binder and recipe binder. They're all on my to-do list for while I'm on maternity leave. This has been really helpful though!

  5. Great idea, anything to help get the house and home in order!

  6. Thank you for sharing this! I saw it on Someday Crafts. I've had a home mangement binder for years, but like you said, I've used it for cleaning lists and such. I plan to incorporate some of your ideas in it now.

  7. Hey Thanks Ladies for all the comments! This little book has been very helpful. I really loved going to Target and looking through all of their pretty office supplies. The dividers have pockets and I think that is the most helpful item I bought- two sets!

  8. I love to feel organized and in control of my situation! Thanks for the tips!

  9. This is genius! I am putting this in my to-do folder. Thanks for idea! I am a new follower from Blue Cricket Design. Vicky @

  10. What a great idea! I love your cleaning schedule, just like mine! If it's so dirty I can't stand it anymore, then it gets cleaned!

  11. This is GENIOUS! You sound SO MUCH like me on EVERYTHING!

  12. OMG!!! I just cracked up at how your husband comes in and "mushes all my piles into one big- but neat- pile." That's EXACTLY how our filing system works!! LOL!! I love your binder idea and I am going to go and find a super fabulous binder like yours and start organizing my "piles"!! Thank you for sharing your system!!!

  13. OMG!! You crack me up! You are funny! Going to have to follow you now!
    I found you through pinterest. Thanks for the laugh.


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