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