Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Organizational Binder ♥ {and a lesson on perfectionism}

I'm really loving my organizational binder this year!! I spent a lot of time making sure it had everything I needed to keep me on track with my daily routine, meal plans, goals, projects, etc... And I do believe it has saved me some time and sanity already. :)

WARNING: Longest post ever to follow:

I must confess I am a recovering perfectionist - so my binder may be a little more in depth than others find necessary - but it works for me!!  I truly am trying to recover from a life-long perfectionist mentality - meaning I have to remind myself often that "DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT!"  Having twin girls the month after my son turned two helped tremendously!! Try keeping a perfect house (or doing anything perfectly, for that matter!) with three littles running around.

But I do love to organize. I remember organizing my toys as a child more than I remember playing with them... crazy!  Sadly, though, I fell prey to the many pictures on Pinterest of perfectly coordinated office supplies, toy bins, etc... and decided I didn't have the time or money to be that organized.  I really lived in survival mode for many months after the girls were born! But we did survive, our house survived, our kids survived, our marriage survived - and we had fun along the way - I wouldn't trade it for anything!! But with Baby #4 coming soon, I decided to kick it back in gear and start living ON PURPOSE! Starting with getting organized and staying ahead of the game instead of lagging a step - or two -  behind. :)

The biggest lesson I've tried to implement this year is that it doesn't have to be "pretty" to be "organized." I love all the pretty organizational bins, buckets, and baskets etc... but my house doesn't have to be "Pinterest worthy" to be organized and functionable.  I finally just got tired of waiting until I had the money to buy matching stuff or the time to make it myself...I had to get more organized.  And it's still a work in progress, but I have learned to do a little bit at a time.

My hall "office" {closet} is the perfect example...I really wish I had taken a before picture. Just imagine papers, supplies, etc... thrown haphazardly wherever they would fit without falling everytime I opened the door. :(

This closet is such a catch-all!! It has to house all my office supplies and files, my paper crafting supplies including my Cricut, printers, shipping and business supplies, gift wrapping supplies, my camera and video camera, extra cords/chargers, stationery and cards, etc... !!!

First, I decided to store only what I needed in this closet.  I have a tote of extras (mostly my scrapbook stuff) stored in the attic. I don't use it on a daily or weekly basis, so I only keep what I need regular access to. 
My gift bags and tissue paper, etc... are stored behind my printer cart because I don't use them everyday. And yes, I'm using a diaper box...and no, it's not covered all pretty like...maybe one day...when I don't have anything else to do except cover diaper boxes... :)  And yep, those are clear plastic drawers...with no pretty paper covering the front to hide what's inside... 

I keep my everyday printer on a rolling cart, so I can store it when I'm not using it.  With no real office space in our house, I really didn't want to see it every day in the family room or my piano studio.  It is a little bit of a pain, but it is a wireless printer, so I only have to roll it into the hall, plug it in, send what I need to the printer and then roll it back.  For works... :)
Yes, the cord usually hangs haphazardly as shown above... :)

Sooo, it's not pretty, but it's organized!! There's no pretty paper lining the walls or shelves - and they actually could use a new coat of paint. But, I can find papers in my file, I know where my stapler is, and I don't have to hunt down stationery or pens to write a thank-you note. :) It works for me and makes me happy. :)

My home binder also makes me happy -  and more productive!!  I've included links to all the printables I found that I like.

1.  I actually designed my own cover - it was super easy!! I used this font I found for free HERE.
The digital paper is a free download from Megan Turnidge found HERE.

2. Monthly Calendar found HERE.  There are tons of free monthly calendars available online. I liked the clean, simple uncluttered look of this design.

3. Weekly Planner Pages found HERE. IHeart Organizing has TONS of cute printables.  I liked her Peek at the Week, but decided to edit it a little in Photoshop to suit my needs better. I use a separate menu planner/grocery list and didn't need that space. I just erased the lines in Photoshop and typed my own text.

4. Daily Docket found HERE. This is my favorite find!! You can read about it on the site, but the functionality of it is perfect for my day to day!! I would love to "pretty it up" some, but for now it has everything I wanted to include in a Daily Planner, so it works!

5. Grocery List found HERE.  She also has a lot of other cute printables you may like. :) My plan is to save these for a month or so and then re-use them to save time on planning meals and shopping lists after the baby comes.  Hopefully, if my idea works, I can just pull out a week and send someone (husband or mom or volunteer helper) to the store.

6. Recipe List found HERE.  I keep a list of all the meals we eat on a regular basis - helps when my brain isn't working properly or I'm not hungry enough to plan my weekly menu.

7. Family Home Projects found HERE.  I keep a running list of everything I'd like to accomplish in our house. I'm actually planning to redesign this to separate my long-term projects from quick projects.

8. Blog Planner found HERE.  Not sure how much I'll use this. I do have plans for future posts, but this is in the back of binder to be referenced as time allows.  As a side note, I LOVE her blog for all things homeschooling.

9. Holiday Planner Cover found HERE.

10. My Christmas Card List found HERE. I actually did away with my separate address book and these pages function as both when needed.

My sections are as pictured below.  I have a section for cleaning that includes my own plain Jane typed weekly list. My Ideas section has my blog planner and notebook paper so I can write down random lists as I love to do. :)  I keep my Goals {found HERE} in the very front so I see them every time I open my binder.

Since I am making better use of my monthly/weekly/daily sections in my binder, I only keep a small monthly calendar in my purse to reference as needed.  I bought a cheap {UGLY!!!} 2 year planner from Walmart for $2 and recovered it.  It was so ugly, I decided it was worth the 15 minutes to make it pretty. :)  I found I wasn't really using all the functions of the "pretty" mom planners available - I used them for three years and only really ever used the month-at-a-glance feature.  It stays in my purse, so I didn't like having to take it out everyday for my daily/weekly to do and then remember to put it back in.

So that's all... I still plan to add things and make adjustments as needed, but for now this works.  Thanks if you are still reading!! Hope you found some printables you like - and I'd love to hear ideas of what works for you! ♥


  1. Thanks for sharing, here's hoping it will help me get organized!

  2. Thanks for sharing all the links! This binder idea reminds me of the book: Large Fmaily Logistics. The author has a similar idea called her Home Management Binder. I guess just filling one handy binder what whatever is needful for each family/mom makes great sense.


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