Wednesday, April 13, 2011

For the love of binder

A few weeks ago, I introduced you to the Simple Mom 5-week Project Simplify challenge, feeling proud at the time to have purged and reorganized my master closet (the first week's "hot spot"). I also mentioned in that post that the second hot spot was paper clutter, which I didn't have time to tackle then, but hoped to get back to eventually. Well, last week, I kinda, sorta did! I finally got so fed up with the massive amount of papers and other junk all around me that I mustered up the energy to deal with it.

Here are those "before" pics again:

My computer desk – a.k.a., bill-paying, blog-posting, 
mail-reading, facebook-stalking, idea-generating hub.

The counter space that we refer to as our "deskette" (for lack
of a better term.) Seriously, though, what is a better term for
this little mail-collecting, tool-storing, cord-wrangling,
general junk center?

And now, the "after" shots:

"Ahhhhhh" (I feel like I hear a choir of angels singing in

And the "deskette." Yes, there is still a pile of
mail and random cords (all Ryan's), but I did
as much as I could with my own stuff. Getting 
him on board with this whole organization 
frenzy can be hit or miss.

These photos were taken five days ago, and I'm proud to report that both of these areas still look pretty much the same. True, that means that Ryan still hasn't addressed his small (although growing) stack of junk, but it also means that something I did is actually working!

And I am going to give the credit for that to my pal Mary Sievers who gave me the idea for a "Home Management Binder" (which I think she got here from those organizing gurus over at Simple Mom). It is so genius! Honestly, I can't believe I didn't think of it before. Just a regular 3-ring binder filled with tabbed folders – here it is so far, though it is a work in progress, bound to evolve over time.

So pretty! A beautiful sight for an organizing 
nerd like me.

My tabs currently include:
  • Today's Stuff – Stuff that needs to be addressed today, like bills that need to be paid, doctor appointment reminder cards, etc. Ideally, this folder should be emptied and re-filled each day. So far, that hasn't happened, but it does help give top billing to the most pressing things I need to do each day.
  • This Week's Recipes – I've been trying to plan out all of our meals for the week on Sunday night (or sometimes Monday morning) since I do my major grocery shopping after story time at the library every Monday. Keeping all of the recipes for the week in this folder (in the order I intend to make them) makes them easily accessible.
  • Owen Craft Ideas – Stuff I run across that I would like to try to work on with Owen...eventually. Currently, it includes 3 sheets of alphabet stickers that I'm not entirely sure yet what to do with, but I've got a few unsolidified ideas knocking around upstairs.
  • Other Craft Ideas – This one sits empty for now, but a good one to have on hand, I thought.
  • Coupons – I am not a coupon-clipper. I tried it for a time and, for me, it just wasn't worth the effort. I found myself spending altogether too much time at the grocery store trying to find the right item to match the right coupon. Instead, I just try to shop what's on sale. But this folder holds coupons like 20% off at Bed Bath & Beyond that come in the mail (a hot commodity around here!), my VS free panty mailer (who can't use a new, FREE! pair of underwear?), and lots of other random coupons – like a Buy 1 Get 1 Free sundae at, yes please!
  • Home Deco Ideas – Stuff that inspires me when it comes to decorating or fixing up the house. I've got a few paint color swatches in here and a fun frame that was advertised in the latest BB&B flyer that I can't wait to get my hands on.
  • HSA Receipts – A place to store all our medical receipts so that we can get reimbursed for them at the end of the year.
  • To Be Filed – Pretty self-explanatory. Since our file cabinet, which usually resides in the basement that is currently under construction, is presently unavailable, I am just storing these up for when I can get back at it.
In the back of the binder, I have just started collecting random lists (I'm a grade-A list maker!) and other items that I want to keep handy, but just don't want lying around anymore – like an ongoing list of songs to download on iTunes, iron-on transfer paper (don't ask), and quotes and scripture verses that inspire me.

On the front of the binder (currently taped to the outside cover because I don't own a 3-hole punch...yet!), is a sweet little thing called a "Daily Docket." Again, found here over at Simple Mom, I make an attempt to fill this out each day, just to help me get a handle on what I need/hope to accomplish each day. It's so easy to waste precious naptime by surfing around on facebook or other blogs and then end up feeling completely unaccomplished at the end of the day. I've found that this little gem helps me stay focused, as I am a sucker for being able to check items off a list. It includes sections titled, "What's for dinner?," "Today's To-Do List," "Schedule and/or Appointments," and "Notes."

"Isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful?"
- Stevie Wonder

A great way to start the day.

So now that you think I'm a complete nerd for typing up an entire post devoted to my love of binder, I am off to bed. I've got a full day of tasks to complete tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. WOOT! Love the "binder system"!

    I had actually not seen the SimpleMom post on Home Management Notebooks - but I like it! I may have to revamp my system ;)

    Your deskette {paper station?} looks great!