{Op Org: Home Organization Binder - Part 1}

February 16, 2012

The blog community has influenced my life in so many positive ways, and I'm thankful I created Southern Bliss Blog a little over a year ago.  The friendships I have made are everlasting, and the knowledge I have gained has truly enriched my life in so many ways.

One of the greatest influences thus far in my blogging journey has been the inspiration to organize.  Some of my favorite blogs are organization-related, and the advice offered by them has definitely spilled over into my own life.  I believe that being organized at home, work, etc. has such a positive impact on the way one lives his or her life, and I have decided to make it an ongoing goal of mine to always strive for well-rounded organization.

In my quest for an organized life, I decided to document the steps I have taken in an effort to hopefully inspire you as well.  I'll call the series "Op Org" {code for Operation Organization}, and the first project on my task list is...
The Home Organization Binder
Now whether you have a family of 5 or a family of 1, I promise you this binder will be beneficial. I implemented this in our home, and it has been such a huge help in keeping our little family organized.  Since this is such a large project, I will divide the blog posts into separate parts.  Part 1 is building your binder, and some recommended steps are below.

Here are the items you'll need to begin this organization project:

* One 3-ring binder
* Binder tabs
* 3-hole punch
* Page protectors
* Post-it notes
* Label maker or fine point Sharpie Marker
* A bin or basket for your 3-ring binder

Gather all the documents and informational brochures that you refer to on a regular basis. Although they may be scattered around the house in different areas, pool them together to prep for the next step. Some examples may include:

* Business cards
* Carry-out menus
* Community calendars/schedules
* Emergency info and phone numbers
* Insurance info
* Pet care instructions
* Reference papers from school/work
* Important family dates
* Phone directories/phone numbers

Now sort all the similar papers together...Take-out menus in one pile, phone numbers in a second pile, and so on and so forth.  Shred the papers you really don't use anymore, file any long-term reference docs, and create an action bin for papers that require your immediate attention {bills to pay, letters to mail, etc.}

The remaining papers in your piles will aid in completing your next step.

It's time for the fun part...Creating all the categories that will make up your binder using your tabs and a Sharpie Marker or label maker.  Everyone's binder needs will be different depending on your lives and your families, so feel free to include any and all tabs necessary to organize your household.  Here are some suggested categories:

* Activities - Calendars and schedules for kids' activities, volunteer work, personal & work events, etc.
* Child & Pet Care - Info and instructions for sitters.
* Emergency Info - Provide easy access to all your emergency info.  Include all contact info, ways to get in touch with family members, first-aid info, etc.
*  Entertainment/Leisure - Books to read, movies to watch/rent, websites/blogs to visit, etc.
* Family Members - Separate sections for each family member to keep individual specific info together.
* Important Numbers - Use this section to store numbers that you may reference regularly-Doctors, schools, hair stylists, dentists, daycare, etc.
* Insurance & Medical Coverage - Keep all your insurance info in one handy spot in your binder.
* Menus - Take-out menus, local restaurant info, etc.
* School Information - Keep all your kids' school docs and handouts in their own page protectors for easy access.
* Upcoming Events - Calendars/Schedules of all upcoming family events.

My tip:  I wrote out all my potential category names on post-it notes and rearranged them on my binder tabs as needed while deciding on my category list.  Once it was finalized, I created my tabs and removed the post-its.

Now that you have picked your categories and labeled your tabs, it's time to place all your info into the sheet protectors and divider pockets so you can finish your binder.  Once your binder is complete, place it in a container/basket in a handy and convenient location for easy, daily access.  For instance, I keep mine in our mail basket on the kitchen counter so it's easy to get to, and I'm always reminded to keep it current and up-to-date.

This will conclude Part 1 of my Home Organization Binder process...In my next post I'll show you our Beverly Family Binder, and I'll also provide links to my favorite printables from around the web.  I hope you have enjoyed these tips, and I can't wait to see your creations!


** I referenced Aby Garvey's amazing site Simplify 101 for awesome tips on organizing your life.

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Kayla S said...

Thhanks for writing