So, I had this little spiral bound notebook that I would write down all the things I needed to remember: bills, grocery lists, weekly menus, etc. I kept it in my purse and the pages would tear and get little bent corners on them. It started to really bug me.
I started searching for a new way to organize everything I needed to keep track of. I couldn’t find any cookie-cutter organizers that would work. There were a few on Etsy that I would have been able to purchase the files and then just print my own pages out. I thought those were too expensive, especially when I could just design my own!
I bought this little 5″ x 8″ three ring binder at Office Depot about 3 years ago, when I still worked there. I used to use it to keep track of my homework in college. A few months ago, in the Target dollar section they had these little file folder sets that were cute. I got some cupcake ones and some sailboat ones. I hadn’t used any yet, and so I decided to use the cupcake ones to design my organizer. In the front pocket of the binder is just a piece of one file folder that I cut out.
On the inside front, I hot-glued a piece of ribbon and then attached pens to it with velcro. It’s not the prettiest, but my pens never fall out!
The first thing in my organizer is my calendar. I just made a grid and I write in the little numbers and put the month at the top. This works great for me, because its so versatile with nothing preprinted on the month.
I made dividers for my organizer by cutting the file folders and attaching blank tabs on them. The first section is Financials. In this section I have a sheet with the month at the top, and then three columns: Date, Company, Amount. I write all my bills on one sheet for the month and then check them off as I go. It is really helpful for me to see them all together, that way I am never late and can prepare for what’s coming.
Next is my Menu-Plan section.
The first thing in this section is a zip pocket that holds any coupons that I will need when I go grocery shopping.
Then I have blank sheets where I write out my menu for that week.
Behind my menu, I have my shopping list. I LOVE my new shopping list! With everything divided into sections (frozen, canned, produce, etc.), it makes shopping so much faster!!!
Behind that I have my recipes for the week. What’s great about this organizer, is that it’s the same size as the recipe book Lance got me for Christmas! So, I can just pull pages out of it, stick them in my organizer, and put them back where they go at the end of the week!
The next section is Domestic Goals.
I have these blank sheets, where I write things that need to get done, but aren’t part of my weekly cleaning routine. Right now on my list I have things like: wash baseboards, clean out game closet, give cats a bath, etc. When something is accomplished, I just check it off! That check mark, for me, is like the equivalent of getting to put a sticker on a chart.
The next section is my To-Do List.
On these pages, I write stuff that I need to do that has nothing to do with housecleaning. Things that I’ve recently checked off are: make and freeze punch for the party, fill out invitations, clean out coupon pile, and put flea medicine on the cats.
The next section is Daily Thoughts.
I used to keep a journal. I loved being able to read back on my thoughts, see how problems were resolved, and get reminded of past hopes and dreams. For my life right now, I am way too busy to have time to journal. But I do miss that writing outlet. So, I made this Daily Thoughts section and it’s been wonderful! Since I use my organizer everyday to look up recipes and bills that are due, it’s no extra effort to turn to this section and just write down a few lines about my day. I’ve written in it 90% of the time since I made my organizer and I’m already enjoying reading back and reflecting on what I wrote!
The next section is Notes.
I have made a blank Notes page that will go in this section, but I haven’t printed any out yet, because I didn’t want to waste what I had left from when I used to use this binder in college. So for now, I’m using store-bought Notes pages. In this section, I just put random things like phone numbers, stuff related to my home daycare, or any other info that I don’t wanna forget.
The back pocket just has another file folder piece inserted into it!
And that, folks, is my organizer! Maybe a little bulky, but for this busy gal, it’s necessary!
If anyone would like any of the templates you’ve seen here, to print out for your own organizer, leave me a comment with your email address and I would love to share the files with you!