Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bind It Up

Hello.  My name is Alana and I have an addiction to binders.  Seriously.  I {heart} them.  Sometimes I will buy a new binder just because I like the pattern on the cover, even if I don't have a use for it just yet.  I know, I know... an organizer who buys things without a specific purpose. *Gasp!!*  Don't judge... everyone has their weakness.  Mine just happens to be three silver rings affixed inside two {cardboard?} covers.

Truth is, you can never have too many because you'll never run out of reasons to use them.  Here are just a few reason I've found to grab one... or two, or three, or...  Oh, never mind.

One of the most popular uses is "Home Management Binder".  Click HERE for a list of resources to help you create your own.  And, yes, I keep promising to show my revamped binder.  Truth is, I haven't quite gotten around to working on it just yet... Still trying to get in a groove with this whole blogging thing, since changing my focus.  If you can be patient with me just a tad longer, I promise {cross my heart} that I'll share it with you all the SECOND it's done.  Okay, maybe not the exact second... definitely within 24 hours.  Deal?

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Tired of looking through your library of cookbooks come meal planning time?  Don't remember where you put your mother's famous {fill-in-the-blank} recipe?  Got a stack of recipes torn/cut from magazines?  Put all of your favorite and "gotta-try" recipes in one place.

If you're a foodie or just an amazing cook who has accumulated enough recipes to feed a small nation, where every single person is eating something different, then consider categorizing your recipes and giving each group its own binder: main dishes, veggies, desserts... you get the idea.

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While we're on the subject of recipes, why not talk about another food-related use for a binder: meal planning!  Sitting down to figure out what your family will eat for the next seven days {or the next month, however you do it} is no easy task. However, when you've got a binder full of menu pages, pockets for coupons, and other relevant information {maybe a "dirty dozen" and "clean fifteen" printout}, the task doesn't seem as daunting.  Also, don't forget to include a pocket so you can store take-out menus for those nights you just don't want to cook.

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If you like to gather decorating inspiration from magazines and books, you are probably well aware of how quickly your tear-outs/copies can pile up.  Why not use a binder to create your own "magazine" consisting of nothing but pictures of spaces that you love!

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If you're like me, you come across a ton of amazing ideas before each holiday but forget all about them the following year.  Why not use a binder to store those ideas so that you can actually use them?  You can do this several ways:

* Use one binder to corral ALL holiday ideas together
* Dedicate a binder to each holiday
* Use a binder to store most holiday ideas but use a separate binder for your favorite holiday
* I recommend giving each holiday its own binder so that you can further organize with dividers {recipes, decor, crafts, etc}

Of course, if you find the vast majority of your ideas online, simply use Pinterest.

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The picture above literally made me swoon when I first saw it!  Jenna Sue traded in her bulky filing cabinet for organized bliss.  Click HERE to read how she did it.

Other uses for binders include:
Cards - include a calendar with important dates {birthdays, anniversaries, etc.} and a pocket for each month; buy cards in advance and store in corresponding pocket.
* Budgeting - place a calendar or list with the due dates/amounts of bills; use a zippered pouch for any outstanding receipts {those that haven't cleared the bank yet - once they've cleared, shred them or, if needed, move to the appropriate file/binder}.
* Blog - if you blog as a hobby, you could just use a notebook to jot down ideas.  However, if your blog is more than a hobby {or you wantit to be}, a binder can help you organize ideas, giveaways, guest posts, affiliates, sponsors, etc.
* Dreams - if you saw "Last Holiday" featuring Queen Latifah, you may remember her "Book of Possibilities".  Basically it was a scrapbook filled with things she wanted to do, people she wanted to meet, and places she wanted to visit before she died.  Create your own dream book using a binder.

There are too many uses to name, so I'll move on...

No matter how you decide to use a binder, just remember to place it in a location that is the most convenient to its use.  For example, the recipe and meal planning binders should be stored on a kitchen shelf while the decor binder could be placed where you like to unwind {place in a basket or drawer next to your favorite reading chair}.

As I create binders of my own and/or update the ones I already use, I'll be sure to share a post about it and include step-by-step instructions, as well as my personal tips for making the most of them.

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