Welcome to my series on home binders! I hope that you find it beneficial. Over the next several weeks I will be going through my home binder organization, what I use for tools to help make my home binder successful, and hopefully some useful printouts for you to incorporate into your own binder.
When you start to put your home binder together, you will need a few basic parts to do so. The first is, of course, a 3 ring binder. I use a 3 inch green binder – which I talked about here. Although, these are also nice, and would allow you to put a nice piece of art in the front cover. Whichever you choose is totally fine, remember, this is your home binder. You are the person that will be using it the most, so make sure it is something that you like.
The next important piece of the puzzle is page dividers. Get more than you need, because once you start using this system, you will think of other categories you want to have separated. In fact, when I started, I had one binder. It included tabs like “holidays” and “homeschool ideas.” Of course, once I started using my binder, I realized that I was a little obsessive, and could use a couple more binders. So now, I have one specifically for Christmas, and one for each of my kids for homeschooling.
You will also want to pick up some pocket folders which can go into the binder. These are extremely useful. You can use them for coupons, for recipes that you pull out of magazines, encouraging pictures of things you would like to in your home; anything, really, that wouldn’t easily be hole punched and filed in your binder. As an example, I tend to pull a lot of recipes out of magazines. Pictures of recipes, actual recipes, lists of good food combinations. And then, once every few weeks I really go through the recipes, see if it is something that my family will like, and then I usually try it – loosely following the recipe. If the family likes it, I will write the recipe down on a recipe card, and then toss the page. I tend to get rid of as much paper as possible, so even if it is a pretty picture, if I can make it once a decent way, I write down roughly what I did, file that in my recipe box, and toss the paper.
Finally, some loose leaf paper is essential. I love making lists. I can probably make the same list 10 times in one week if given the chance – part of the reason why I started keeping the binder. The paper is good to have to jot down different ideas, projects you want to accomplish, foods that you want to try, books you want to look for. Having the paper already in the binder means that I don’t have to go looking for a notebook when I am in the middle of going through my binder. It allows me a little extra time to keep moving. I will often start writing a bunch of things down – like blog ideas – it will become a web of sorts, and then I will take that paper later on and sit down at the computer to write. It may seem like an extra step, but if I don’t write things down the moment I am thinking of them, they tend to disappear from my mind. Most mamas talk of pregnancy brain, unfortunately mine never came back – especially after the second was born!
Next week I hope to talk about chore lists (for me), planning out my day, and some other good starting categories. Is there another piece you think may be missing from my list? Please share in the comments!