Binders Are A Mom’s Best Friend

For more years than I can remember, one section of my kitchen counter has been lined with binders. If we have any hope of staying remotely organized, it’s all due to the kitchen calendar and this array of binders.
So what’s in them?
binders • There’s one for each kid. I read this tip in a women’s magazine years ago, and it resonated. School information, soccer schedules, immunization records, the prescription from the eye doctor – those all go into each child’s binder. For a while I was dividing them into nice categories – school, music, sport, etc – but now it’s kind of a mish-mosh, with medical things at the back and school/everything else at the front. It doesn’t really matter. All that’s important is that when we need to find something pertaining to a child, it’s going to be in one of those binders.
• Tsarina has an extra binder to hold her individualized school plans, evaluations, etc.
• The husband has one for trip planning (I got tired of finding the little notes he wrote to himself, then left lying by the computer) and another that holds the recipes and directions for his home brewing hobby.
• My binder holds take-out menus, church newsletters, and assorted other info that I want to keep handier than if I were to file it.
• The two oversized brown-ish binders hold recipes – most of them printouts from, but also the ones written out by my mother and sisters and friends. I used to have just one of these binders. We outgrew that sucker pretty fast.

I also use binders for writing, to hold the materials for a book while it’s in progress. I have one for each group I belong to, to help keep tabs on that info. I have one filled with printouts of excellent writing articles and one filled with research materials on the Thousand Islands and one that holds my contracts and royalty statements, with sleeves to keep check stubs and bank receipts.
I know this is old-school. I know that a smart phone will hold almost all of this information, and will probably organize it, cross-reference it, and teach it to sing Dixie. That is a good thing and people who are used to it should stick with it.
Me, I like paper. I like seeing this information and running my finger down a page. Many times I’ve caught the kids grabbing their binders and flipping through them, especially near the end of a school year when they know that I will soon be dumping all of this year’s papers in anticipation of new ones.
Binders are the closest I will ever come to compartmentalizing my life. That’s good enough for me.