Sunday, February 27, 2011

My big binder of life...

I don't think I've written a post on organizing in about a year.  Shame on me.  The truth is, I love to organize.  I naturally have a system or a strategy for everything I do, which in the light of packing a home, is a gift.  I had to share this with y'all because I'm so glad now, that I've taken the time to keep current on this, and even if you aren't moving, this might encourage you!  I bought an organizing binder a few years ago, and it contained all manner of folders, tabs, pockets, and gadgets.  In fact, if you wind it up, it will even brush  your teeth.  (Okay, so it won't really do that.  I was joking.)

Over the years, I've added and subtracted items from this binder as needed, so that now everything I need is all in one place.  I've got my entire address book, email list, kid information, paint swatches, household information, photographs, a calendar, etc all in one place now.  And the best part... the part I've been waiting to get to... is my "good ideas" section.  It's right in the front of this binder.  I purchased a bunch of page protectors and every time I'm flipping through a magazine and I see an idea I want to remember, I rip out the page and slip it in this binder.  Which leads me to magazines.  Do you have a system for dealing with magazines?
Here's what I do;  I quickly flip through it once, dog-earring any page that I know needs to be scrutinized, or ripped out.  Then I go back to it and savor it slowly, reading articles and poring over photographs and ideas when I've got time.  (Usually around 11:00 pm. Ha!)  Once I'm finished, I've got a pile of magazine papers, and a pile of recyclable magazines.  I usually take a sharpie and circle or point out what originally attracted my attention, often making notes about things I especially liked for future reference.  Cause um... the memory... yeah, well it's not so good. (Not that I've ever stared blankly at a page and wondered why I'd ripped it out in the first place...)  

This system has worked incredibly well for me.  Often, if I see something on a website that I know I won't remember, I'll print out the page and add it right into my binder!
 Over time, I've compiled different categories, such as seasonal ideas, gardening tips, and party throwing tips.  When I'm stuck, or even lacking inspiration, I'll often flip through it, and find fresh ideas at my fingertips.

Um... my one word of advice with a project like this, is if you create a single binder that pretty much holds all the information for your entire life... don't lose the binder!

What sort of system do you use for organizing all your information?


A Lasting First Impression said...

I love this post, I too love to organize. My life is so much better when systems are in place. Love the binder idea, I might have to try that out. I am in the process of re-organizing my recipes and meal plans. Funny that you should post about loosing the binder, I just said yesterday to my husband, "that should I die, I the passwords, account information, and important dates are all in my address book...don't loose it" Just so he knows... : ) Have a happy Sunday.

Natalie said...

I love your binder idea!! I am very disorganized! But I'm working on decluttering my life...which includes getting organized. I LOVE binders! I have several, and have great intentions of using them to get organized. Your post has inspired me. Thanks!!

Natasha said...
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Natasha said...
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Natasha said...

You binder reminds me of the one I used for wedding planning. Great idea to keep everything life-related in it!

The best example of how I keep things organized is my recipe collection... I tried providing a cute little HTML link, but that didn't work so here's the address for the web page:

I'd love to hear your ideas for organizing photos on the computer! That's the task I'm finding the most daunting to attack right now.

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

A file cabinet or two.

alison said...

i can't fit my life into one binder, so i have several...but my favorite is my 'frippery file' where i keep my design/craft/gardening inspiration...i've had it since i was 14...and i'm telling y'all how long ago that is...;)

Two Shades of Pink said...

I keep an idea binder too! But my magazine addiction is bordering on hoarder status since I rip out those ideas for the binder but then become terrified that I have MISSED something from the magazine I am about to throw away and keep it anyway. So I buy those cardboard magazine file thingys from IKEA and continue to hoard magazines while saving ideas to the binder. It's a sickness, really. :)

Alicia said...

I do almost the same "idea" binder is seperate from my addresses/calendar book, but i love the whole rip out the page and save one page rather than the whole magazine thing. i'm not a saver, so that's way too much clutter for me. i love having all my ideas in one spot. great minds think alike, no?! :)

Kerri said...

I am a binder girl too! :)

Transparent Mama said...

We have a house idea book like that, but I never would have thought to make a life binder. I love it.

MrsJenB said...

I like using Microsoft OneNote to keep all of my internet ideas in order - one "notebook" for recipes, one for home & garden ideas, one for crafts, etc. I can save all sorts of things and make notes on them. It's great!

Mandy said...

i do the same. rip it out, stick it in the binder. works like a charm! however...i haven't quite mastered the getting around to doing the ripped out stuff...

KC and the Sunshine Kids said...

What a WONDERFUL idea! We are in the middle of several ummmm *remodel* projects in various rooms of the house as money & time permit. I have great ideas, or see great ideas from magazines/catalogs and have just been stockpiling ALL of them. MUCH easier and less clutter to just take the info I need and recycle the rest. LOVE it!

Joy @ Thrifty Parsonage Living said...

Love the binder! I like to organize as well. I have a few binders myself but you gave more great ideas to add.

Courtney Walsh said...


This is almost exactly what I do with my magazines. I have a big "idea binder" and I read/discard my magazines the same way. I never thought of putting everything into the same binder though... brilliant!

Jennifer said...

This post is perfect for me tonight. I have several binders and need to consolidate. Thanks for the BIG idea.

Amanda said...

I have tons of binders! I'm a packrat, so organization can be a problem. I do have a binder with home decorating ideas though. But the sharpie, I needed that. I have starred blankly at quite a few of the pages I've ripped out, wondering why I had ripped out the page in the first place.

Seizing My Day said...

I had good intentions of putting all my clippings in a binder.. or glue stick them to a notebook or something... instead I have a few lunch baggies full of magazine idea cut outs!! ha ha!! and don't ask about my recipes and my address/phone numbers... I don't want to talk about how unorganized all that is!! ;)
what I am trying to say is... I envy that you are so organized ... and still manage to home school, clean, cook and blog... how do you do it girl?? =)

Kelli said...

I just made a household binder because my memory is awful. I like that idea of keep home ideas in there. I've done that...where I've kept a page and then don't remember why. Sharpie...check!

LeAnna said...

I bought a binder with intentions on doing this! My Hubby told me I needed to start one for our new house, I just need to get some page protectors...

Rachel said...

I love the binder idea, but my problem is that I want to save more than will fit in just one, so I have about 5.

For some reason, I just can't stand ripping pages out of a magazine, so instead I scan them into my computer and have started to create a searchable database. It's going to be a lot of work though.. Your way sound much easier!!

Heidi said...

oh YES! I'm a binder girl too - I've got several for different topics:

home/family info
family favorite recipes
and, now also one for 'business' yay!

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