Binders for All Occasions

Our Mother Culture meeting was fantastic last week.  Deana brought her workhorses, her binders, and demonstrated how to put one together and how they can make life easier.  The budget binder is a wonderful way to get rid of filing cabinets.  You can also take it with you in the case you must take children to sports and have down time.  Bill — Paid!  And organized!!

Here are a few of the ideas for organizing with binders that we went over:

Budget Binder

  • Categorize by making a tab for each file.
  • Place your bill to be paid or any other paper needing attention in a page protector at the beginning of that file.  When it’s money time, you’ll know what needs to be done instantly.
  • Mark directly on the bill when you paid, check number or online payment confirmation number, or if you called and spoke with someone regarding the bill mark their name and what you discussed.
  • Hole punch and file the items you’ve completed, done!

You can make a budget check off list and place it in the front.  When Deana said “binders”, It was an ah-ha moment for me.  That’s all I needed, I just took the idea and made my own in a way that suited me.  Deana brought some cute scrapbooking paper and encouraged us to make it pretty…something that you will want to pick up and mess with.  Honestly, that pretty paper makes me want to play with my bills more often.

Recipe Binder

Ana shared her recipe binder — which was totally awesome, by the way — and it follows the same category system as any recipe book.  However, she didn’t take ten million years to rewrite all those recipes onto  little cards that all look the same.  She has recipes from friends and relatives in their own handwriting, pages ripped out from colorful magazines, and even a recipe writen on a napkin, all taped to plain paper and stuffed into heavy duty page protectors.  It is BEAUTIFUL!  And yummy:)

The HELP! Binder

If there is ever an emergency in your home, and you can still retrieve this binder, it will save you from sweating on the phone with the police.  I placed a 911 page in the front for my kids to have if they ever have to call.  Here is the example, minus our important numbers  Example 911 Number.

The HELP! Binder can include:

  • 911 kid’s page with script to say, including address, mom/dad names, other phone numbers the kids can call if they need help.  Note:  when you’re kids call 911, they may have to be redirected several times before they get who they need.  It would be a great idea to pretend you are the 911 operator and make it a little difficult for them so they know what to expect.  It may go something like this, “911, what is your emergency?”  “My brother broke his arm and mom went to the store so I can’t talk to her.”  “Let me patch you through to the ambulence service, you just hang on and we’ll get help.”  Some cities don’t redirect but you don’t want you child to get scared and hang up  (the example doesn’t have the children’s name in it but hopefully they won’t forget their own name).
  • Power outage numbers — I can never find these numbers when the lights are off!  The phone book doesn’t make it easy to get this number, so better to look for it when you’re not in an emergency.
  • All doctors for your family and their phone numbers
  • Family and friends contact numbers for emergencies — pick a few people who could chain call others

Kid’s Crafts

You can make a binder for your children to store all their fancy art projects that tend to collect around the house.  It could also include papers from copywork to show their progress over the course of the year.


Here is a list of my tabs in my homeschool binder:

  • Calendar to check off days we’ve schooled
  • Poetry for the three terms printed from the Ambleside Online site — good for reading, copywork, or recitation
  • All Art prints in page protectors for the three terms
  • Booklist for free reading
  • My schedule
  • My weekly notes on what we did each day

Scrapbook Box

I have been troubled over not getting my pictures organized into my scrapbook albums.  I don’t seem to have enough time to get all the stuff out and put back by the time I go to bed.  If things get left out, things get destroyed the next day.  Know what I mean?  Someone had a great suggestion to get a scrapbook paper box and store all the necessary items in that box:

  • Pages (two) you’re currently working on
  • Pictures
  • Various scissors and other cutting agents
  • Stickers
  • Cutting board
  • Pens
  • Writing paper for journaling
  • Tape

I can’t wait to put this together!

Rachel told us about her to-do notebook.  What an excellent idea.  Whenever you have a thought pop into your busy head, write it down immediately and you won’t forget when you have those rare moments to get things done.  Some people keep their shopping list in it.

If you’re going to start one of these projects, don’t create more work for yourself.  Just do one at a time and finish it.  Find a home for it in your house, not on the counter or piled up on your washing machine (that’s where mine are residing currently).

Also, if you don’t already know, before things get completely organized, they get even more messy.  For example, as I was making my budget binder, I looked around me and papers were everywhere!  Not what I call organized.  However, once the binder was together and all the papers were in their places, the room looked better than before.

Have fun organizing!


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