Wednesday, October 26, 2011

31 Days {Day 26} The Home Management Binder

Do you have scads of papers everywhere?  A paper for today's to-do list, another one for your monthly calendar, yet another for that daily schedule you're trying to create and piles more papers that you feel are important but just don't have a place to keep them?  Add to those piles your latest grocery store ad, the gym schedule, your child's school schedule, etc, get my drift. 

Yes, I know, I had the pile system too.  My "place to keep them" was the kitchen counter, which turns out is not a good place if you actually want to get some kitchen-type things accomplished, like say, cooking.  
So, to help cut the clutter and get organized, about a year ago I created our own
Home Management Binder.

This binder holds all of those things I mentioned and more...and it sits nice and pretty on my kitchen counter, but is also portable.  Very much unlike those unsightly and often huge stacks of paper.

In fact, here's a pic of it sitting ever so nicely on my counter right now...

Don't I give the illusion of being organized?
No, seriously though, this system has helped me and that's why I wanted to share it with you.  

How do you get started?
Well, you've already got the stacks and stacks of papers, now you just need a few more things. 
1. A binder
2. A pretty piece or 2 of scrapbook paper
(to slip under the clear plastic cover on the front and back of your binder to pretty it up)
3. Subject divider tabs
4. Clear page protectors
5. Plastic binder pockets
6. Plastic binder envelopes
7. 3-hole punch
8. Label maker or pen to label each divider

Put it together.
1. Decide which papers are important to you and put them in the binder.
They should be papers you use on a regular basis and/or papers that you need to refer to for decision making. 
2. Use a subject tabbed divider for each section (i.e. monthly calendars, school schedules, etc).  Then place those papers behind the coordinating tab.  You can either hole punch the pages or use page protectors.
3. Label the tab by subject (i.e. monthly calendar) using a label maker or pen.
4. Use binder envelopes and pockets for all the extra papers, like invitations, that go along with your calendar or for holding paperwork that's too thick to hole punch, like a school phone book. 

Here's what I have in my binder:
1. Daily schedule and to-do list
2. Monthly calendars
3. A binder envelope behind the calendars to hold anything that I may need to refer to on my calendar (invitations, field trip info, my annual mammo script to remind me to schedule it, etc)
4. A Master To-Do List
5. A binder envelope holding any relevant paperwork for things on the to-do list
6. The lastest Neighborhood Association Newsletter
7. A Project List listing any household projects needing to be done
8. A Daily Blessings page to list any moments in the day that I want to capture, like funny things my kids say.
9. School Info Section
 (calendars, teacher and classroom info, school daily schedule, etc. all divided by child)
10. YMCA schedules and program guide
11. Menu Planning Section
(grocery store ads, blank paper to plan out meals and grocery list, list of menu ideas)

These are just a few ideas of what you can do with your binder.  There's so much you can do.  Just make something that fits for you and your family to banish the stacks of paper and bring some peace to the house.

Below you'll find some extra resources to help you with your Home Management Binder.  

Click on these to download free notebook printables...
Life Your Way: Home Management Printables
Organized Home: Home Management Notebook Printables

And here are some great books I've read that help with this as well...
"Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living" by Tsh Oxenreider
"Steady Days: A Journey Towards Intentional, Professional Motherhood" by Jamie Martin

Any other ideas for things you can put in the HM Binder?
Do you think this would work for you?
I'd love for you to share in the comments.

 Have you missed a day in reading 31 Days of Seeking Peace in the Midst of the Mess ?  

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