Saturday, April 2, 2011

Getting Organized - Household Binder Finished!

I've been struggling for a while to get all of our mail and important papers organized. I hadn't been able to find a place that I can put papers so they won't get lost, but also remember where they are. I've been wanting to have an organized way to keep our coupons, cards, invitations, and other papers so they don't all have to be on the refrigerator or in piles on the counter.

Well, with some inspiration from Jen over at iHeart Organizing, I did it! Here are a couple of pictures of our new family binder:

I got this binder at Target - very pretty! It's really full, as you can tell, which is why it won't stay closed.

I used Jen's coversheet for the binder, and in Excel I changed some of the colors to suit my style a little more - and of course, made it customized to our family... And we can't forget about our pets!

Her free documents were really helpful in making this binder! She still has them up on her blog for free until next Friday (April 9?), so if you're in need of some organization, I recommend checking them out. Click here to look at them! (The free documents are in the right sidebar, pretty close to the top)

If you've never noticed, we love our pets, so I had to make sure to have a section for them. I held onto this note to our house-sitter, and this way I can use it again. Jen actually has a great pet instruction sheet too, I'm planning to print it off and include it here for more thorough instructions.

 Each subject is on a divider that has a pocket, like this one for coupons, so I can insert papers and keep track of important things.

A look at some of the categories in the binder. After I wrote them I realized that it would have been a good idea to organize them alphabetically as I wrote them out... too late now. I might still alphabetize them, but I love how the tabs go down the sides of the pages... It might drive me crazy if they're all over the place. I also would have liked to have a label maker in doing this, but hand-written had to do.

Not only has Jen's blog helped me to be inspired to organize papers, but I recently read another post about laundry room organization that's gotten me ready to organize our laundry! Wish me luck - I'll be back sometime soon to let you know more about this project!


  1. Awesome job! I'm still working on mine. I love those dividers with the pockets. So handy!

  2. Great job ! I want those dividers too !

  3. Hi, I only just found out about the binders so haven't created one myself but decided to peruse around and see what everyone came up with and get some great ideas!

    First time that I've stopped by your blog-I really like the design :)

  4. Hi! Awesome job with the binder! You mentioned that you got them from Target? How much were they, and did they come with the transparent sheets inside, or were those sheets purchased separately?

  5. Hi all. I love staying organized as well. I had a binder with sheet protectors to hold all of my kids, pet, and husbands information. That binder became pretty heavy and I had a hard time taking it everywhere. I found at a thrift store a plastic folder (spiral) for $.99 and it came with attached sheet protectors. On the first one I inserted ALL of my husbands documents such as immunization record, medical/Dental records, Birth certificate, high school diploma, military certificate of Honorable Discharge and DD214. In the small enclosed pocket in the front I inserted his photo, pic of drivers license, military Licenses, social security card, and passport. Next one is mine, so I had the same items in the same order so that I can become used to the process and know exactly where to look for them. My next ones were my oldest sons and their documents with the difference of a U.S. passport with Japan as their place or birth, Japanese birth certificates, and foot prints. In the front enclosed see through pocket were the same items and a pocket size school picture. The next one was for my youngest son. He has all important information. The next sheet has my dog's documents in it. The next one has our rental agreement and copies of our payments. The last one has all other payments. I used to have them separated into sheet protectors but since they became very thick and took too much awkward space I removed them (especially the old) and inserted only the new ones leaving the old ones and the receipts of payments in my office drawer. This folder is all see through and is perfect for my family members. When we move state to state I take it to enroll my kids in a new school and all their important docs are in one sheet protector. It makes it very easy to access. My husband needed his ss card last paystub, diploma, and military certificate and we automatically knew where to find them. No more looking in different places. Which he called "the black hole", our house before it was organized. Lol.

    Email me for a pic of my binder since I can't post one here.

    1. It is just my way of doing it and keeping it organized and able to fit it in my purse or to leave it in my truck. When I first started I had all the items they posted above, coupons, lists and lists and never ending papers for random things. How will I stay organized if the binder had more items and became so heavy, I had to keep a list for the items and reminders of other lists,ugh just too much for me to keep updating daily. I've seen some binders with manuals of household electronics, receipts for ALL purchased items including groceries, and random pictures. How will you remember certain things unless you went through allllll of those slips and lists daily. Just too much for me to handle since I was a military member and always busy and on the go. So the previous post explaining my own organized binder was perfect for me. Just one pocket sized pic of my kids that was made at school that had some important info such as age, eye color, hair color, height, and weight( in case they go missing etc.) and since the whole folder was see through I decided that our Japanese marriage certificate would be my husbands last doc in his sheet protector. Mainly because when you close the binder its the paper that you will see on the outside. I thought it was cute and perfect because it is a family binder and all of the following sheets wouldn't be needed if it didn't start with our marriage....:)
      (anyways as I said on my previous post, email me for a copy of it if you would like)