Wednesday, October 8, 2014

day 8: home organization binder...

Hello and welcome to my series on 31 days to more order.  Follow this link to find the complete list of topics and posts in this series.

In my mind, today's post is a continuation of yesterday's post on a place for everything.  The topic for today is creating a home organization binder.  This is an organizing tool that I have used for the past five years to keep important information centrally located.  The basic premise I follow is that all important information pertaining to my family and information necessary for running my home in located in one binder.  I used to tell my husband that if I left and didn't come back, just look in the binder.  I was kidding, mostly.  Keeping all important information in a central and easily accessible location has created a lot more order in my home.

Here's the steps to follow when creating your home organization binder:

Decide what you will put in your home organization binder.  Typically it is the information that is important but doesn't have a central home so you put it on post it notes, in drawers or counters or it is floating around in your brain.

How to start.  Make a quick list of the categories of information that you need to organize in your home.  Here's a list to help you get you started:

In case of emergency
Contact Information - family, friends, doctors and dentists
School Information
When we are out - information for babysitters
Home Maintenance - service company information
Morning or Afternoon Routines
Meal Planning

Really this list is limitless.  Just brain storm on information that you need centrally located but right now doesn't have a home.

My binder contains the following categories of information:
emergency contact information
directions to our house
family contact information
school & busing contact information
school calendars
sports schedules
the kids morning and afternoon routines

Gather your supplies - Once you've decided upon your categories and gathered your information together you will need to get your supplies together.  Here's a basic list of supplies:

1. 3 ring binder - I used a plain white binder that I already had and covered it in pretty scrapbook paper and stickers.  Since I have my binder out on my kitchen counter I wanted it to be cute.  There are so many fun and cute options to choose from at your favor office supply store.

2. Protective Sleeves - I wanted all my information protected so I didn't have to keep printing out the sheets.  I slipped all my pages into non-glare protective sheet covers.

3. Tabbed Dividers - I bought the kind you can label and change.  This way if my binder changes and it will, I can change the tabs.

4. Pre-printed sheets (if using) - If you have printables or other sheets you will be using for your binders.

Use your binder.  If you don't use the binder you created, it will have been a waste of time and money.  I created all the sheets that I use in my binder just by typing them into a word document.  But there are plenty of bloggers who have free printables to get you started or even a full home organization binder kit you can buy.  I looked at some of these for a starting point but in the end just created my own sheets.  Also, because I'm particular about how my sheets look, if any changes need to be made I update the sheet on my computer and print a new one.

Find a place for your binder.  As we discussed yesterday, everything important should have a place in your home to help create a sense of order.  Find a central location for your home organization binder and keep it there.  This is also a good thing to let babysitters or other caregivers know about so they have all the information they need if you are out.

I remember telling a friend of mine about my home organization binder and she looked at me like I was crazy.  She said, 'My head just exploded thinking about putting one of those together.  I'm just not organized like you.'  Which was pretty funny to me because in my mind, I had just explained a solution to organizing important information in a central location.  Once I showed her what I meant, she realized that it wasn't complicated and was a great way to store information.

Do you have a home organization binder?  If so, have you updated the information lately?  I always find that the start of a school year is a great time to review and update the information in my binder.


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