Yep, the office is a mess too. It’s mostly because I’m a slob, but as with all things, the kids contribute. I certainly didn’t bring in the sippy cups, pink cowboygirl boots, toys, or the assortment of crumbs.
I’ll totally take the blame for the catalogs, the yarn and the acres of computer print-outs though. And the binders. I love binders. In theory, they’re supposed to help me keep my mess organized. In reality, I need to do some prep work for that to actually happen. So here goes.
Binders in assorted thicknesses and colors. I prefer the kind with clear pocket on the front and spine
Clear sheet protectors. Lots of them. (optional)
Loose leaf paper
3-hole punch (if you don’t use sheet protectors)
Cover page and spine inserts for the binders
Time and patience
Step 1: Make a list of all of the categories of papers that need to be binderized (my new word for the day). Make a sub-list of the sections that each binder will need.
Step 2: Create a coversheet and spine for each binder. I used printer stationery paper and templates that I downloaded from the web because I need my stuff to be pretty. In Practicality Land, a black marker and notebook paper would work just fine. You’ll notice that one of my little darlings gave the first binder a personal touch.
Step 3: Determine how big each binder needs to be, and what needs to go into it. The crochet pattern binder will need to be thick, with lots of clear page protectors, dividers, and pockets for un-filed patterns. The household management binder will need pens, paperclips, page markers, etc. so it will need a pencil pouch in addition to the page protectors, folders loose leaf paper and dividers.
Step 4: Set up the binders so that they are ready to receive their contents. It’s really important that stuff has a place to go before you start sorting it, otherwise, you end up with a bigger, more frustrating mess than when you started out.
Step 5: Go through the boxes and piles of papers, and make a stack for each binder.
Step 6: Pick a binder, and start filling it up. It’s quicker to put papers into page protectors and then put them into the binder behind the appropriate divider.
I won’t be able to do all of this in one sitting (I do have two little girls running around after all) but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, it pays to walk away from a project and let it simmer for awhile.