I am often heckled for how organized I am. I regard being organized as a way to survive in this busy, crazy, world. As I reflected on some of my favourite organization tips, I quickly realized how much I rely on binders to keep me organized. 3-Ring, D-Ring, 2-3 inch, and multi-coloured… here are some of the ways in which I use these treasures to keep my household organized.
Make a personal phonebook
I have a binder which is divided into various sections; personal phone numbers & addresses, services (e.g. hairdresser, dentist, and vet), work numbers (co-worker’s phone list) and a section with plastic sleeves for take-out/delivery menus. The binder is in an easy-to-access place so I can quickly reference any phone number I need. The personal phone number and address section were done on an Excel spreadsheet. That way, if I need to add someone, I simply add a new row in the proper alphabetical place on the spreadsheet. It’s quick and easy with no fussing about formatting.
A tip (I can’t remember where I heard it from but I think its genius)…. Every time you have to look up a phone number in the yellow or white pages, highlight it. If you’ve looked it up more than twice, add it to your phone book.
The information binder
I have a binder which is divided up into the following sections:
Banking and investments
Each section is filled with plastic sleeves and holds the applicable paperwork. Therefore, if I need to call my gas company, I take out the binder, open it to the utility section and I quickly have my gas company’s phone number and all of my account information readily available.
The user manual and warranty binder
I have a 3″ binder that is filled with plastic sleeves. When I buy a new appliance or household item that has a user manual and/or warranty, I add it (and the matching receipt) to a plastic sleeve in this binder. This has been so handy for times when my phone went on the fritz or when I’ve had to return an item to the store because it malfunctioned before its warranty expired. I’ve also given appliances to friends and they were thrilled that I still had the instruction manual.
The magazine binder
I actually started this when I was pregnant. I was addicted to all of the parenting and pregnancy magazines. There was always at least one or two good articles in every magazine, but I didn’t want to save the whole magazine. So I began to tear out articles and put them into plastic sleeves in a binder. I then organized the articles into common sections (e.g. nutrition during pregnancy, labour & delivery, tips for dad, etc.).
My general interest binder has sections on health, beauty, finance, fitness and relationships. I love revisiting old articles in the magazine binder!
The computer binder
I have a binder (once again, with plastic sleeves) that holds all of our computer-related information. Start-up disks for programs, activation codes and instruction manuals are a couple of examples of what I archive in the computer binder.
The family health binder
I started this binder with my daughter’s information but it has now grown to include all the family members. This binder is divided into sections by family member. Immunization records, eye and drug prescriptions, health care numbers, insurance policies and claims/forms are filed in plastic sleeves. Also, if we receive any medical-related information (i.e. information about my daughter’s dairy allergy) we add it to the binder as well.
I hope these tips have inspired you! Feel free to share any of your organization tips (especially if they’re binder-related). After all, I’m always looking for an excuse to take a trip to Staples.