Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Binder

Dear Mom,

The Binder of Organization is the result of another snippet of conversation with the same friend who sparked my exercise bonfire. This time she was telling me about the little book she has in which she writes down gifts and checks off when she has written her Thank You notes, and another that she notes different housekeeping tasks. I thought these excellent ideas, but I would need all my thoughts and notes in one place or I'd skip using it rather than hunt down the right book. Hence, The Binder.

I cobbled together unused school supplies (loose leaf paper, leftover divider tabs), printed off blank calendar pages, and grabbed a binder I was not using and went to work.

This would be the place where I Keep Track of Things. Sometimes my head feels way too full of extraneous details and I hate forgetting things I think I will always remember. Some of the stuff that goes in The Binder really means nothing, but I like having those nothings where I can look at them and feel some sort of satisfaction.

I am Not the Bill Payer in this house, so I am not responsible for the Paperwork. The Binder idea may or may not work to eliminate piles of papers. I only share what is working for me should this little nugget serve to help or inspire. Obviously, The Binder is to each person what he or she wants and needs it to be.

The first section in my binder is just loose leaf paper. This is where I keep a running To Do list. It also  is a place I can quickly jot down items we need to get on our next grocery/hardware/Target runs.

I have section with notes for a future trip, an Exercise section of blank calendar pages where I can make note of that days workout and look back over the month/weeks and feel a sense of accomplishment. I also note my Target Heart Rate at the top of each page so I won't forget.
I have sections for Housekeeping, Menus, Reading Lists and Book Queues, Knitting/Spinning/Weaving projects (with start and finish dates) and a knitting project queue. I have a section with Garden notes, too. The section that has been most used and extremely helpful through the holidays is my Gift section. I've listed all the recipients and the gifts I've given them so I can remember the idea of the gift, check off when I get it and gift it, and I'll keep the list so that in 2016I can remember what I did in 2015. I've been able to keep track of what my kids are getting and I checked things off as I wrapped them so I wouldn't forget (or worry that I forgot) something. I've also a page of gifts received and note when I write the Thank You notes. No more panicking that I've forgotten to write an Thank You note! Another page in this section has Birthday gifts, and another with ideas for future gifts. For me, THINKING of the gift is the hardest part. Now when I think of something I can write it down and not worry that I am going to forget that good idea. My hope is this will also help me to stay ahead of the gift giving game. By writing it down I may be more likely to get/make the gift rather than have it swimming around in the "I'll do that someday" part of my brain. "Someday" usually ends up coming under pressure.

The Binder isn't solving any of the World's Problems, but it has helped to de-clutter my brain and give me the illusion of control and most importantly, a sense of Calm.