This post is part of a series called 31 Days of Life. Contained. Want to catch up on the entire series? Click here. Want to stay connected and not miss another post? Follow me on facebook.
Appointment reminder cards, field trip information slips, school policies, and everything else under the sun somehow lands on my kitchen counter. The temptation to crudely stack it all together and shove it in a drawer is strong, to save the headache for another day. But tomorrow means another day, another mess. Drawers don’t seem to help with this dilemma, unlike yesterday. All of my drawers seem to have a dark crevice which sucks every piece of significant material into a deep and dark abyss. Never to be found again, without much, MUCH blood, sweat and tears.
So I created something special, a sunny, happy place where my papers live all happily in a row. And it was life-changing.
I call it The Mom Binder.
Sure, I like to be all tech savvy and punch pertinent data into my phone and/or other electronic devices. Paperless? I love the thought. Realistically? Sometimes, I still like to be old-fashioned, to see and hold something tangible. And to be honest, sometimes I just like proof that I was indeed correct.
The card clearly stated that my teeth would be cleaned today at 9 am, so here I am.
You know what I mean. I like reassurances that I didn’t transfer the original details incorrectly. I have been known to do that. I am human. I do make mistakes at times. Knowing all of this about myself, I try to hang on to a limited amount of specific originals.
However, in spite of my best intentions, occasionally I misplace things. It’s that mean ol’ black vacuum in my drawers. It’s not supposed to happen. Mom is supposed to know where everything is, at all times. I battle with this swirling theory every day.
Evidently this mess in my hands now. Where did those papers go?
Zip needs her signed field trip permission slip for the pumpkin patch –today. It was last seen floating by the kitchen counter three days ago. Nice, but where was it put? Her tear-stained face pulls at my heart-strings, but I just can’t find it.
Great. Now I have guilt. Visions of my child sitting forlornly in an empty class room fills my mind.
I can feel your empathy through the screen. Whether you are a mom, housewife or simply the sole secretary of your household, you know exactly what I’m talking about it.
This binder has organized this mountain of mess in my life. All papers that come across the kitchen counter and table are properly sorted. Trash, scan and save are now the three choices available at any time.
To organize my binder, I grabbed some color dividers from Target’s after school clearance last year as well as some plastic sheet protectors. And since I would be looking at it often, purchasing a pretty storage binder was also at the top of my list. Next came the fun part, the part that made me feel all grown-up and secretarial -putting it all together. Here are the categories I used:
This is for appointment printouts, cards and/or postcards that we receive, reminding us of the day/time scheduled. It also holds any informative materials that our family may have need of further done the road.
Clearly this one is for anything church related. Music ministry, youth group, AWANA -you name it, we need to know about it. I also have each different ministry’s calendar filed in here. Our family board in the kitchen can only hold so many.
Blue, Purple, Green, etc.- Children
Like I stated in yesterday’s post, each child has a color in our family. Bunny is blue, Fuzz is purple- you get the idea, I’m sure. Color coded children makes life easier, for me and for them. Each division in this binder holds that particular child’s school info, extracurricular calendars and church info. I actually need a few more different colored dividers- big family problems. 🙂
This system has saved my life…on more than one occasion. It feels so good to be able to just reach over and slip out the needed papers. No dark hole. No sweat and tears. No sobbing child.
Whew. Papers are organized, Zip gets her pumpkin and Mama feels all grown-up.
Do you have an avalanche of papers to be sorted on your kitchen table or perhaps heaped on a desk? Want to conquer and contain your mess? Regain some valuable surface “square footage” in your home by starting a binder. Keep important papers sorted and filed in a handy binder. This technique helps curb and control clutter in our home.
How about you? What do you do to stay in control of the paper monster? Do you save some papers or are you a paperless family? Do tell. I’d love to hear your method.