Friday, March 21, 2008

Binders !

How much paper comes into your house and you feel like you should keep it, but hmmm.... where to keep it all? Binders are the office supply wonder. I know many of you have mentioned using binders to keep knitting/crochet patterns and ball bands and other craft related stuff. Let's talk about using them for all that household paper.

What we're going to keep in binders is long-term stuff. In being organized, I don't believe in making things so daunting that you can't keep up with it, so we're not going to put the coupon that expires next week in a binder. We have several binders in our kitchen/family/office space. The main binder is the catch-all, I have labeled it "STUFF". Emergency and babysitter information is up front. There are 2 kinds of dividers in it - monthly and ABCs. Under the monthly tabs, we file those things that need to be done on a timely basis - annual check-ups, regular dentist appointments, car maintenance, birthday/anniversary lists. Everything else goes under the ABC tabs. Carry-out menus are in a plastic sleeve under "C", as are delivery menus under "D". The plumbing and heating people are under "P" and "H" respectively. Consignment shops list (torn from the Yellow Pages) is under "C". Spas, museum/science center/zoo membership information, trash collection schedule, organization members phone lists. You get the idea - all those pieces of information you need to hold onto, but in a way that's easily accessible when you need it. And to keep it simple - I use plastic sleeves to slide most of this into, because looking for that 3-hole punch might be just enough to keep you from filing that paper away.

We also have a Christmas binder (gift lists, card list, menu, count-down to Christmas to-do list, favorite recipes), a school binder (class list, school schedules, school info), and a "interesting things from magazines" binder.

Do you use binders to organize your household? If so, what've you got filed in there? Or are you going to start one today?

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