Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tips and Tidbits Tuesday - All Hail the BINDER

Good morning everyone! Today's tip and tidbit has to do with getting our lives in order and organized. My wonderful Pastor's Wife gave me this binder and I have been toting it around for about 3 years now and I'm telling you if the house caught on fire and my kids were safe this is what I would grab. I bring it with me everywhere. It is always on the front seat of my car, on my kitchen table, on my desk...it is essential, in my opinion, to sanity! So here is how you do one.
First you will need a binder of any kind. It will need to be a wide one though so that you can continue to add and add stuff to it. You will need sheet protectors, subject dividers, loose leaf paper, inserts with pockets, various calendars (whichever you like) which can be downloaded from http://www.printablecalendar.ca/ which has my favorite selection. You can also go to one of my favorite websites http://www.flylady.net/ and print what she calls her "Control Journal" and get the same thing. My version is a scaled down control journal because I found that after I mastered certain things I didn't want them to take up space, but you can certainly print her stuff and use it!!
Now organize your binder into sections that fit your life. Here are mine: Calendar (Monthly and Weekly), Menus and Groceries, School, Birthdays and Christmas, and Budget.
First I have in the front pocket, all of my bills that need to be paid, bills that have been paid this month with the conf. numbers and dates written on them, and any little whatevers that I need to hold onto for whatever reason.
Next I have my monthly calendar where I can see a full month at a time. I print out enough for a full year in this section so that when the dermatologist sets my appt. 3 months in advance, I can jot it down and trash that little card.
I also have to have a weekly calendar that I can look at each morning while I have my coffee and see what I have to do for the day or the week. This is where I will write down things like grocery shopping, my daily activities, I always write in the margin of the day what I'm cooking for dinner, what my husband is working (got a shift worker over here) and any thing I need to remember like things at the kids school, etc. This will often overlap with my month to month calendar, but it is a necessity for my to-do lists that I have to write to keep me sane.
My next section is Menus and Groceries. In this section is where I will have my menu planner and past menus, so that I can look back in times of the nothing to cook crisis, but this is also where I write my grocery list, keep my coupons, jot down where I will be going for what, etc. This is my CVS and Walgreens section as well and where I keep my sale papers and my scenarios for my shopping trips there!
After Menus and Groceries is my section for "School" which is where I keep everything I may need for the kids...field trip info, supplies I need to pick up, important notes, etc.
My next section is Birthdays and Christmas which is where I will plan out my kids birthdays, write everyone down like who we sent an invite to, highlight each name when we know they are coming, where I am getting the cake, invites, etc. Again, just helping to keep me sane. And this is also where I will jot down ideas for Christmas gifts and highlight as I get them. In an effort to have all of my shopping done, except for my kids, by Thanksgiving this year, this will really come in handy!
The final section in my binder is Budget. This is where I keep track of our household budget, goals, finances, my checkbook registry is shown below. This is what I use to track all of the money coming in and out of our house. There is certainly room for other sections in your binder that would be more personalized for you, but just to have one that goes with you everywhere is LIFE CHANGING!! I look over my menu in carpool, I balance my checkbook at the park with the kids, I have everything I need with me all of the time to take care of any household business I should need to!
I am thinking of re-vamping my binder with cutesy paper, a cutesy fabric cover, and better dividers. This has been with me for 3 years and has honestly seen better days. You could certainly put yours together however you wanted to, and I just hope to give you this tip today so that if organization is something you find to be a trouble spot in your life you can utilize this...IT IS A MUST HAVE!!
If you are interested in doing one please feel free to email me and I will be happy to help you!


  1. I love this idea! I am going to put one of my own together this week. This does look like a huge help and I need some help in being more organized that's for sure! :)
    Thank you for sharing this!


  2. This is great!!! You have inspired me...Maybe I can put some of my scrapbook stuff to some good use!

  3. Girl you are speaking my language with this organization! I love it! I will be copying you for sure...

  4. That is AWESOME about the facebook thing!! I am SO glad that Satan has been thwarted! I'm totally doing a dance in my spirit right now!

    By the way. LOVE the binder! :)


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