So as promised, I am posting today to show off my spiffy new binder. :) About 2 weeks ago, I got the urge to organize every aspect of my home. I started buying new shelving units, more of those colorful fabric square bins from Target that I can’t stop collecting and we re-bunked our girls’ beds and gave their room a little mini makeover (Andrew’s room is up next!) I also wanted to organize my papers. This Summer I kept everything pretty under control but I knew once school started up this past week, I would begin to get buried in papers again. Plus I use to love organizing a new binder in school and it’s been a while. I needed a paper project. :) I searched online for ideas but I didn’t love any of the printables I was seeing. I guess it’s the graphic designer in me. I knew I had to create some of my own with the colors and images I wanted. And so I did just that!
Many of the papers in my binder that I am going to share with you now are from the set I released today. A few others are from a set I am releasing next week. I may not stop there either. If you plan to create a binder and want to join along, I recommend that you do. There’s no need to wait (plus we’re heading into a weekend and really, what better time to start this? It will be all ready for you come Monday morning). Get all of your supplies together and your sheets printed from pack 1 this weekend. I only just labeled my divider tabs yesterday and I can already tell you of stuff I want to change or add. Give the binder a few days to work it’s magic. Once you see what printables you are using the most, what labels your tabs need, etc, your whole organizer will work that much more efficiently. And then by the time it’s smooth sailing, you’ll be ready for pack 2. :)
I’m sure you already know this but just a little disclaimer: no two people’s binders are going to look alike. Of that, I am 99% certain. We all run our households differently. We all have different ideas of what works for our family and what doesn’t. The way I organized my binder may not be how you’ll set-up yours. And that’s ok. I am also not going to share each area page-by-page because A- they contain some important personal information and B- that would be *way* boring.
Now, on with the show!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
my pack of printables, naturally!
a binder (mine is 1″)
perhaps a folder or two or three
a decent printer that will print these wonderfully colored sheets of paper
a hole-puncher (I finally splurged on the $4 3-hole punch at Target. Lovely!)
some of those plastic page protectors
possibly a dry erase marker. I’ll explain why in a bit.
Here’s the tabbed portion of my organizer.
I used two types of tabbed dividers. Why? Because I’m random like that. The patterned ones are a heavy cardstock-like material. They were actually folders. Not with pockets mind you. Just plain, creased folders with thick tabs built into the edges. I cut them right down the seam because the folder aspect did nothing for me. I just liked the pattern on them. I found all of my supplies at Target by the way. These were on the top shelf near the office supplies. They had a few packs with different patterns on them.
I used colored, semi-clear tabbed folders for sub-pockets inside of the bigger dividers. Example: a Daily Planner tab inside the Calendar section. Inside of this red acrylic folder are a few copies of my Daily Planner so I don’t have to print one off each night.
Our very first sheet is an Important Phone Numbers (pack 1) contact sheet. Some people might file this under a Contact tab. I decided to put it front and center so the kids could easily find it.
Of course it makes sense to put your most useful tab first. For me, those are my Calendars. I printed and punched holes in my Weekly & Monthly Calendars (pack 1) as well as my Weekly Menu (pack 2 – one of my favorite sheets!) I also printed off copies of these for my fridge. The kids love checking and seeing what’s for dinner early in the week.
There are some acrylic sub-folders in here too. I guess I could have called this section Calendars & Charts. In one sub-folder, I have Chore Charts (pack 1). I printed off a few copies of these so I don’t have to print every day when I want a fresh one. There’s also a sub-folder filled with Daily Planners – love these! (pack 2) I love having my weekly and monthly calendars to refer to but I find that every night before bed, I usually end up breaking down my following day on a scrap of paper. Now I have a sheet to do just that. Everything has a place. Once it’s filled out, I stick it on my bulletin board in the kitchen in plain view and easily referred to all day long.
Next is a Finances tab. Inside here are copies of my Bill Organizer (pack 1). There’s room to jot down each bill as it comes, the amount it’s for and when it was paid. I had some spare 6×12 page protector pockets sitting unused to I ended up adding one in here and marking it Bills. I am not sure I am going to keep this though because truthfully, I don’t want to mess up my current bill organizing system. I think I will change the label on the pocket to read Receipts. I rarely keep receipts. I think now I’ll start.
After Finances is a tab for Meals. I enjoy cooking but sometimes at the last minute, I just can’t remember what dishes I like to prepare. I get stuck in a rut so to speak, so I decided to create a quick list of all of our family’s favorite meals (desserts too!) The Favorite Meals and Favorite Desserts printables (pack 2) are both stored in plastic page protectors.
There’s an acrylic sub-folder labeled Grocery Lists (pack 1). As with the Daily Planners and Chore Charts, I printed off a few copies and stuck them in this folder to have on-hand when I need them.
I included another one of those 6×12 page protector pockets and labeled it Coupons. You could also use a zippered pencil case for something like this. I would have preferred one but surprisingly enough, all of the school supplies at Target had been picked through and bare. I still may replace my 6×12 pockets with pencil cases once I can get my hands on some.
I realize some people may not want to use their binder to house recipes, but I decided it’s important that I do. If I don’t have a meal stored in my head, I find that I am digging through recipe books, my MAC’s documents and various websites to find my favorite recipes. So time consuming! So all of the recipes I listed on my Favorite Meals and Desserts sheets are going to be stored in this binder, behind the appropriately named Recipes tab. Everything in one place. That is the point of the organizer after all!
I waffled back and forth about sticking the Weekly Menu in this section but ultimately, that’s something I want to look at daily, so it remains in the front Calendar tab.
Towards the back of the binder I added a Kid Info tab. I kept it in the back because this is where I placed my folder and I wanted that to give some support to the papers laying on it. In here is a Kid Info Sheet (pack 1) that I filled out, printed and stuck in a page protector. It has the kids’ allergies, schedules, teacher’s names, etc. I also have My Big Book Lists (pack 2) printed for each kid. This is an easy way to keep track of what they’ve read. There are also Babysitter Info Sheets. Print one and fill out the next time you leave your kids home with a sitter. There’s room for all of your child’s special snacks, bedtime routines, etc as well as a place for you fill in your contact numbers in case you need to be reached.
There are Kid Chore Charts printed, punched and stuck in this section. I did include very minimal chores on my all-inclusive Giant Chore List (pack 1) but that’s more for me to keep track of what the kids should be doing and when (it was simple, weekend-type chores like make your bed, clean the toyroom, etc). The ones I created in pack 2 are a bit more detailed. In fact:
Here’s another idea for all of these printables: print, slip them in a clear page protector or laminate them and write on them with a dry erase marker! You can use and re-use each sheet as many times as you wish. I plan on doing this with the Kid Chore Charts. The kids can easily check off or color in the circle bubbles I included under each day of the week every time they finish a chore.
I included an acrylic sub-folder in this section for Extracurriculars. We always have forms floating around after we register them for sports, dance, etc. This can be a quick catch-all for those.
My hot pink folder at the very end of the binder is for School Papers. I may not keep them all in here because I need to keep important ones stuck to my bulletin board in plain site. Instead, I may make a photocopy of the more important papers and keep a record of them in this binder.
Here are a couple more shots of my family binder. I included two colorful custom covers in pack 1. I used one of those, trimmed it up and matted it on bright blue cardstock. I bought a white 1″ binder with the clear front pocket so it was easy to create a simple cover and stick it in there.
And that’s it! Cute right? Do you feel more organized just reading this post? Have I scared you away? LOL I hope not! I know it’s only been a week but I really have to tell you that this binder and all of my printable sheets have come in so handy these past few days. It’s been smooth sailing in the Miller house!
I haven’t showed all of my printables here – and I still have many more I plan on creating. This binder is most definitely a work in progress. There’s a really cute Pinterest Project Tracker in pack 1 that I can’t wait to use. There’s an Important Dates sheet in pack 2 broken down into months so you can add birthdays and anniversaries you don’t want to forget. I may grab a 3rd pencil case or even one of my acrylic tabbed folders and put it right behind this list to store Blank Cards.
Next I plan to create a tab for myself that will include a Running / Workout Log, perhaps a Healthy Eating Journal and my own Book List. I was even thinking about keeping track of my favorite Product Brands because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stared at the hair dye boxes in CVS trying to remember which shade of black I used last. =P
I would love to hear what you think about my Family Organizer Binder Kit – Starter Pack! Leave a comment here. Perhaps I’ll send you the first two sets - a $16 value - so you can create your own cute binder too! To be considered for the drawing, comments must be left by noon on Sunday September 11th.
Lastly, what sort of sheet would you like to see possibly offered as a free download here? It can’t be anything already included in one of the packs (I think I listed them all above). Anything else you might find useful? I’d love to hear about it!
If you’re interested in purchasing the Starter Pack of Printables because you’re just itching to start your binder tonight, follow this handy link: CLICK (They’re 20% off this weekend don’t forget!)
Make sure to read my product description because I tried to lay out as many details as possible as to what is included. There’s also a clickable link within the description that you may want to follow to download the same font as me. Printables come in both .PSD and .PDF format.
Have a happy weekend!