Organize

How to Use Binders to Stay Organized

May 15, 2017

binder, binders, home management binder, homekeeping binder

The organizing system that I use in our home consists mostly of binders rather than files. The binder that I use regularly is a home management binder. Both my home management binder and the other binders I utilize keep all of the information that I need on a regular basis easily accessible and at my fingertips.

Using a home management binder can be helpful in keeping your daily life organized. I previously wrote about utilizing one in a previous post entitled, Using a Home Management Binder. This system works well, but sometimes the amount that you need to include in your binder can cause it to burst at the seams. That’s where multiple binders come into play to help organize your important and frequently accessed paperwork.

Using binders to organize your life saves you time from having to dig through the filing cabinet. The binders can take up residence in the room that they are being used in most frequently. How can you use binders to help you stay organized?

Binder Supplies 

  • Multiple binders in various sizes depending on what you’re storing in the binder. I like to choose different colors in a variety of sizes so that I know what I’m reaching for by the color and size.
  • Dividers should include some with pockets for items that can’t be punched to store in the binder.
  • Top loading sheet protectors for important documents that you can’t punch or to use a dry erase cover for binder pages that you use daily or weekly (daily planner; cleaning schedule; menu planner).
  • Hole punch
  • Label maker

email, email inbox, organization

Home Management Binder

  • Yearly Calendar –  An overview of the entire year.
  • Weekly Planner – Keep track of what you need to complete during the week.
  • To Do – Your to-do list can be kept weekly, monthly or yearly.
  • Cleaning – A cleaning schedule that lists each task and the day that you complete it. You can also keep seasonal cleaning lists of things that need to be completed around your home.
  • Home Projects – A master list of the home projects that you want to complete.
  • Contacts – Contact information for friends, family, and neighbors.
  • Website User Names and Passwords – A list of your usernames, passwords, and the email associated with the sites that you access for personal use.

meal planning, meal prep

Menu/Recipe Binder

  • Shopping List – A list of what you need to purchase for your weekly meal plan.
  • Meal Prep – Plan out your meal prep for the week. If you map out several weeks at a time, you can then rotate the weeks for a variation.
  • Favorite Recipes – To help with your food prep, keep your favorite recipes in your binder, so they are easily accessible.
  • Recipes to Try – A list of recipes that you would like to try. You can add them to your meal prep rotation.
  • Kitchen and Freezer Inventory – A list of what you have in your pantry and freezer so you can incorporate items into your weekly meal plan, and use things promptly.

garage sale, yard sale, sale

Finance/Budget Binder

  • Bills/Stamps – Store the bills that need to be paid in a pocket divider along with a book of stamps so you can send them out when you need to.
  • Bill Tracker/Checklist –  Bills that you have to pay and the dates that they are due. Check them off as you pay them each month.
  • Account Information – Your bank account information and the account information for the bills that you pay each month.
  • Debt Management – If you are paying down your debt, keep track of your debt payoff so you can see your progress.
  • Donations – Donations that you make each year, along with the receipts.
  • Expense Tracker – Your daily/weekly/monthly expenses.
  • Legal Documents – Copies of legal documents such as your will, power of attorney, loan documents, and safety deposit box information. (The originals should be kept in a safe location such as a fireproof safe.)
  • Property Records – A copy of your mortgage, deed, and property tax information. (The originals should be kept in a safe location such as a fireproof safe.)
  • Retirement Planning – Information about your retirement plan and login information for easy access.
  • Tax Information – When it’s tax time, don’t go searching for all of the documents and receipts that you need. If you keep them in your binder, they will be easy to find when you need them.

Manuals/Warranties Binder

  • Manuals and Warranties – Keep these in the binder along with receipts of purchase and receipts of any work that has been completed. Heavy duty top-loading sheet protectors can be used to store the manuals.
  • Car Maintenance Log – Keep a log of the maintenance on each of your cars.
  • Home Maintenance Log – Keep a log for the maintenance that you have done on your home.

Medical Binder

(Keep a section for each of your family members.)

  • Insurance Information – Copies of insurance cards/information.
  • Medical Information – List of doctors, medical conditions, surgeries, and other medical histories.
  • Health Tracker – If a member of your family has an ongoing medical condition, track their health each day.
  • Medication Trackers – List of medications and what they’re for, dosages, and refill dates.

Birthdays and Anniversaries Binder

  • Important Dates – A page that lists the birthdays and anniversaries for your family and friends.
  • Cards – Either keep a small stash to send out or buy cards for the month and store them in the dividers with pockets. You can have one divider per month.
  • Contact Information – A list of personal contact information that includes addresses of those you would send the cards.
  • Stamps – Keep a book of stamps in your binder so you don’t have to search for them when you need them.

Holiday Binder

  • Holiday Date Page – A printout of the dates for the yearly holidays.
  • Decor – Plan out your decor for the upcoming holiday along with the dates of when you are going to decorate and put things away.
  • Meals – A detailed plan of what you’re planning for your holiday meal, along with the recipes that you will need, and a guest list.
  • Gifts – A list of who you are buying for, gift ideas, sizes, and order information.

Fitness Binder

  • Fitness Schedule – Track what your goals are and what you’ve completed each day.
  • Water Tracker – Make sure that you are getting enough water each day.
  • Measurement Info – Keep your measurements so you can track your fitness progress each week.
  • Food Journal – A journal of your meal plan and what you’re eating each day.

School Binder

(Keep an entire binder or a section in one binder for each of your kiddos.)

  • Information from school – Keep information from the school, and your child’s teacher(s), including website information, and class syllabi, so it is easy to access.
  • Schedule – A sheet that keeps track of your kid’s practices, and school activities.

Blog Binder

  • Blogging Content Planner  – Plan out your posts using a content planner to detail your ideas. You can also brainstorm future blog post ideas.
  • Editorial Calendar – Track your upcoming posts and stats for your blog and social media posts.
  • Income and Expenses – Separate pages for your blog and business expenses and income.
  • User Names and Passwords – A list of the usernames and passwords associated with your blog and business.
  • Contacts – A list of business contact information.
  • To-Do List – A list of items that you need to accomplish, or goals that you would like to achieve.

binder, binders, home management binder, homekeeping binder

Multiple binders can help you organize your important and frequently accessed paperwork. Determine what binders will work for you and put them together to help keep important items easy to access.

Until next time,

P.S. – I need your help. If you could take a couple of minutes and fill out a quick survey about being organized and Living a Simplified Life, I would be truly appreciative. Thank you so much! You can access the survey here.

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binder, binders, home management binder, homekeeping binder