I Am The Ring Binder Queen (Is This A Curse?)

lynninnewmexicoSeptember 10, 2008

I'm not sure if it's a great thing or a curse, because I have quite a few of them. I've tried notebooks, but I like the option of adding more pages, where and when I want. Or ripping them out. I find ring binders with subject dividers to be one of the best organizing tools available. Of course, that is until I misplace one!

Jamie_mt's post about routines for the holidays got me thinking about my own holidays and what I do to get ready for them . . . which led me off to pull out my ring binder stash.

I have one binder that is for Traveling. It has lists of everything to consider for packing, for every kind of trip: to college to visit our DS; camping; to the lake cottages in Michigan; visiting my parents in Florida; my family in CO or our occasional winter trips to warm, tropical places. There are lists to update and print for the housesitter. Lists of things to do before we leave, etc. A blank letter to fill out and give to friends or neighbors for emergencies. These lists and forms are also on my computer, to print off when I need another one.

I have a BIG 5" binder for Christmas. It has sections for Gift Ideas for this coming Christmas; lists of things I've bought EVERYONE, every year for the past 25 years, so that I don't give them the same thing again (I have a bad memory ;^P); lists of gifts we've all received for the past 25 years; Christmas Day menus from the past 20-some years, with notes about what went over well and what didn't (we have up to 21 people here Christmas Day). I have my Christmas card list and a copy of every yearly Christmas letter I've sent out. I also have a section for my yearly After Christmas Letter To Myself. They're usually 7-10 pages long and are a rehash of that holiday season: what we did; who came for dinner; what new decs I purchased that year and which ones broke or needed to be tossed out; ideas for next Christmas Season; what supplies I still have a lot of (wrapping paper, for example) and what I need to remember to buy for next Christmas Season(more red ribbon; more gold tapers; tissue paper, etc). To me, it's the sanest way to stay organized . . . although I do still have to work on cleaning far enough ahead of time to stay unstressed.

I also have an Other Holidays Binder, where I stick ideas for different holiday meals, decs, and things to do, with a section for each other holiday.

I had a great Kitchen Reno Binder, which was perfect for organizing all my ideas and schedules for the reno. I need to throw that one out now, though.

I have a slim binder that I keep in my bedroom closet to keep track of my seasonal clothes. I update it at the end of every season so that I can remember what I have, what I need before next year, what's wearing out and needs to be replaced, etc.

There are a few more binders, but you get the idea. My family laughs and calls me The Binder Queen . . . although they appreciate the good things that result for them! Is anyone else here similarily obsessed? I'd love to hear more of your ideas for keeping the stress down and yourselves organized for the holidays.


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Lynne, I have very similar lists. The only difference is I keep all that stuff on my computer now. Going paperless for information that often changes, makes more sense to me than keeping reams of paper.

I do have two binders though of Favorite Recipes I use often, which I keep in the Kitchen. That way I have hard copies in the location where I use them.

It was liberating for me to get rid of the paper, although I respect your right to keep it going if that's a way that's workin' for you. It's only a curse if it's getting in your way!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 3:27PM
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No, it's not a curse at all, though I can't imagine how much room those binders take up... :-)

I do the same thing- mine are just on my PDA instead of on paper. Guest lists, invitation lists (with rsvp answers), gift lists, lists of things needed to buy, documents that outline themes and party ideas, menus, what we did, how it went over, decor ideas, etc. I also have pet-sitter info to be printed off when needed, and all that good stuff. Yes, I even keep recipes on my PDA, as well as wardrobe needs and lists of donated items (for tax time). I have pictures of our Halloween decor too, so I know what I did the year before, what worked, and what I'd prefer to do differently.

I don't think you can call it a curse, no matter what method you use for keeping track of all that stuff. The fact is, you have it, you know where to find it, and it helps you stay on top of things from year to year. Nothing wrong with that at all!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 4:08PM
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Sound good to me Lynn! I have been a binder queen for a long time. I even have a binding machine that I use to make project books with--it's a GBC comb binder.

I keep more and more on the computer like paperless bank statements and scanned contracts, but many are still kept in binders:

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 5:47PM
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LOL hey I may be the runner up... we are finishing up buying a house and I have made some binders related to buying the house, major repairs for the house, and minor repairs/updates for the house. And, I've had a Christmas binder for years! LOL I keep articles and photo spreads from magazines that I wanted to use for inspiration.

Keep it up, the fruits of being organized benefit everyone!


    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 12:03AM
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My daughter got married 3 yrs ago. She had the Wedding Binder. Had notes, receipts, plans, fabric samples, pictures of anything to do with wedding. We shopped in 7 different cities looking for the perfect shade of blue with the look/feel/drape of what she wanted. We finally found it...
She was so organized she laid out everything she had purchased, sorted it out, took a digital photos, numbered the tote box, wrote where in the maze of totes it was located, (color coordinated, of course ;) and had those picture pages in her binder. There was every phone number, name of sales clerk,subject, etc. that she had conversations with along the way... Of course the wedding and reception was perfect, and the worst that happened, was my umbrella getting sent home with her MIL. I should only wish that the genes would reverse to me!!!
Now that she has her first child, (Audry Olivia- 8 wks old) she has the Building the House Binder. She spent a year designing it, and now has nearly all of the things ready to go into it as soon as the Men People get it ready! Of course when I ran into her in the store a couple weeks ago, the House Binder was right beside her diaper bag. I have a feeling that when she returns to work this week, the Binder will come along also.
I hope that Baby is so blessed with the organization that her Mommy has!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 4:12PM
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I had a binder for our home when we were building it and lately I've been thinking of resurecting it for all those things that need still to be finished. Maybe if I would have kept it going they would be done by now.

I also had a binder when I was a reader teachers assistant with a section for each of my classes those having pages for each of my students in that class. Also had sections and pockets to hold things I needed on a regular basis.

We have loads of binders around here I should start one for each room!

Lynn, I always thought I was obsessive. I'll never feel that way again now that I've read about you and your binders. You are my idol!


    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 12:27AM
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