Organizing with Binders

I love to be organized – I could spend half a day and a small fortune in The Container Store! Since baby #3 was born in December, things around here haven’t been as organized as I like.  My hubby pointed out that the most organized things I have right now are my binders (although even they aren’t as neat as I would prefer them to be)!

I started my coupon binder in 2007, and it was so awesome, my recipes & manuals came next.  I used binders, tab dividers and page protectors, and after I got my label maker, I used it to label the tabs of my recipe binder.

Organizing with Binders and Page Protectors

I use standard 8×11″ sheet protectors, photo page protectors, and a smaller page protector. My recipes are organized by type, and I recently moved my main dishes to their own binder.

Organizing with Binders and Page Protectors

I’m still trying to decide if I want to divide them by type (soup, casserole, etc.), main ingredient or what!  The recipes are easy to flip through, and they are safe from splashes!

Organizing with Binders and Page Protectors

It seems like almost everything comes with a manual anymore, and while some companies make them available on their websites, I prefer to keep the paper version handy.

With the same page protectors & dividers, I can quickly & easily locate a manual for anything from appliances to baby gear, and it takes up very little space.  If we sell something we’re no longer using, it’s easy to find and include the manual. Not only does it get us a few extra bucks in the sale, but we’re no longer discovering random manuals in strange places, for things we got rid of years ago.

Although coupon binders are gaining popularity as the coupon craze grows, my binder still draws looks and comments at the grocery store.

My binder has expanded, though not really evolved, since I started it in 2007, when it became painfully obvious that I’d outgrown my little accordion style organizer.  I’m still using the same Case It binder, and it’s just as good as the day I bought it.  It has two rings, so I have food items on one side and non-food on the other.  Some people organize their coupons alphabetically and/or by expiration date.  I simply have mine divided into categories that correspond to the aisles and areas where I find the products in my favorite store.  I use baseball card page protectors and fold the coupons to view both the product & the expiration date on the front if possible, expiration date on the flip side otherwise.

My categories are such that I don’t have more than a few pages of any one category. Even within a more broad category like dental care, I have no trouble locating the coupon I want. Since I don’t have additional date or letter sorting, it takes me no time at all to pull out expired coupons and insert new ones. I clip just one set of inserts and file any additional inserts in hanging folders, marked with the insert date and expiration date. This way I always have my coupons with me for unadvertised deals or clearance, and if there’s a deal I want to stockpile, I just search internet resources to determine which insert the coupon I want was in.

If you use a coupon binder, you just have to be flexible and break down your categories in a way that works for you and your shopping habits!

The binder came with a pencil case (I don’t use it) and a stiff, covered “page” that has an ID window, elastic pen loops, pockets and the like on either side. I have a business card in the ID window, in the hope that someone would return the binder to me if lost, I have two pens there, as well as my shopping list, coupons I’ll use that trip, and coupons I want to be certain to use before they expire.

Organizing with Binders and Page Protectors

On the flip side, I keep my CVS Extra Care Bucks, Extra Care Card & rain checks, CVS specific coupons, plus a printout of their coupon/rain check policy.

I’ve heard of lots of coupon organization methods, but this works wonderfully for me!

Have you found an interesting way to organize something? Page protectors are cooler than pocket protectors, right?

 

 

Maria Bio Pic

Maria wants to live in a world where cloth diapers are the norm and moms can make parenting choices without judgement. When she’s not chasing her 11, 7 and 4 year old kids around, you might find her checking out the latest gadgets, organizing something (again) or exercising in the fresh air. Check out Maria’s blog, Change-Diapers, about cloth diapering, and all things kids, motherhood & going green.