Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Erasable Organization Binder

Some of the blogs I follow talk about binder systems and planners to help keep moms organized.  They have great printouts and resources – really, they’re neat.  However, they just don’t work for me.  If I print out another piece of paper, it’s going to get lost in the great paper vortex of clutter that end up in the recycle bin, and does nothing to get me organized.  I have used a few different methods for taming the paper and clutter and I think that I’ve finally been able to combine them into a system that may just work.

A few years back, HandyMan and I worked at a great summer camp (who I’m now working for again, remotely from NY- how cool is that!)  Oops, sidetrack.  Anyway, the camp had daily and weekly to-do lists that they would put into clear 3-ring page protector sleeves and we’d mark stuff off with dry erase markers.  It worked great – print once and use over and over and over.  Taking this idea, I created a weekly template with a rough schedule and the three categories that my tasks generally fall into: Chores, Menu/Meal Prep and Projects.  I also filled in permanent "chores" on the weekly schedule, as well as time blocks that are taken by the same activity every week.

The second component is a folder system.  I realized earlier this fall that the majority of the paper clutter that accumulates in my kitchen was from the mail.  In October picked up a folder thing that had a bunch of folders all bound together.  When I would go through the mail I could sort it into the folders (Bills/Attention, Filing, Shredding, Work Related, Banking and Other) and the pile of mail was neatly contained.

So, when I combined these two systems here is the resulting contents of a 1-inch, 3 ring binder that was reclaimed from a box of old college notes:

::Write-On Pages forNBook3

  • Shopping Lists & Errands (because stuff always gets scribbled down somewhere before it makes it on the “take me to the store” list)

  • 2 – 2 page spreads for Weekly Planning

  • ThrivingMama blog notes page

  • Cleaning lists (also incorporated in the weekly page- but not as detailed)

  • Blank pages in sleeves for random notes that pertain to online tasks – to eliminate all those little slips of paper.

::Folders for the categories I talked about before.

::Cute dry erase markers that have magnets so they stay in the middle of the binder.

All this fits neatly in a binder that I can stick in my corner of the kitchen counter and access easily.  I debated putting something decorative in the front cover or leaving it blank to use as an extra note surface – I opted for both:


As I mentioned before, the binder, as well as the card stock, and sheet protectors were things I had around the house.  The folders and the markers were compliments of a Staples rewards certificate from recycling my ink cartridges.  So, no money really out of my [current] pocket to implement this system - so if in three months it falls by the wayside for a different system, no loss.  For me, that works for me too!

This post is linked up at's Works for Me Wednesday.

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