Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Binders Can Organize Your Life Series! ~ Part 3

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to Part 3 in the "Binders Can Organized Your Life Series." It's the Child Edition - Girl/Boy Scouts, Catechism/Sunday School and School Information.

If you missed Part 1, you can click on the first link below to take you there and to see why I'm doing this series and how I store my binders. The second link will take you to Part 2.

Part 1 ~ Manual & Warranties, Holiday Ideas, Decorating Ideas & My Recipes

Part 2 ~ Crafts, Gifts & Tips and Christmas Planner.

There are 2 more weeks of binders and here is the schedule for the next 2 Wednesdays:
Part 4 ~ Home Management Binder
Part 5 ~ Financial Budget Binder

Okay! Let's get started on The Child Edition!

If you have kids, you know they bring enough paper home to wallpaper the whole house. . . on a weekly basis! Seriously, it can just pile up if you don't take control.

I created binders for each activity that my daughter participates in. However, as I was taking this picture, I realized there wasn't very much inside these binders. Each activity certainly doesn't warrant having a binder of it's own. So with that being said, this week I am going to downsize it all into one binder with tab dividers. I've been needing to make a binder for her gymnastics anyway, so now I can just consolidate all of Allison's activities into one binder.

What do I keep in these? I keep anything that has to do with that activity. Phone lists, schedules, copies of forms filled out, etc. If you have more than one child, make a binder for each one. It will definitely cut down on all that paper clutter!

Let's get on to the "School Info" binder!

This binder has saved my life! Well. Not really. BUT it has kept me organized with all the goings on of school stuff. I have made one of these binders every year since Allison started school. I will tell you that I touch this binder every day! It is my most frequently used binder. I don't keep them every year because as you'll see, it's not necessary to keep all of what I put in there. I just keep reusing the binder every year. A little note here is that I use a 2" binder for this one. I use to use a 1" but as she has moved along in school, there seems to be more that comes home.

This is the cover. I have Allison's name, the name of the school, the grade, the teacher and so on. You could probably leave it plain but I like to pretty things up. :)

This is the inside front cover. In the pocket, I keep all the report cards for the quarters, any certificates, results of any assessments and any receipts for monies sent (i.e. yearbook, logo merchandise, after school activities, fundraisers, etc). I also keep anything that I haven't read yet that came from the school. As you can see there is a letter from the Principal about the upcoming PSSA which is next week. I have since read that and moved it to it's appropriate section.

Here is the right side when you open the front cover. I keep a 3 hole punch right in front. This keeps me from laying things down until I can run and get the big 3 whole punch and then never going to get it. . . and then I end up with a big pile on the counter! Under that and in front of the first tab divider is where I keep the school calendar. I just cut it apart and 3 hole punched it. We have 11 elementary schools in our district so I go through the calendar at the beginning of the school year and highlight in yellow anything that pertains to our school. If it's a very important thing like early dismissal or a no school day, I trace the outside of the yellow highlighted item in green highlighter so I will be sure not to miss it. I also transfer those important items into my calendar that I carry with me so I have it on my "main" calendar when I'm making appointments and such. Since I write notes about snow days and when we make them up, I move the page of the month we just ended to the back of the other calendar pages.

Also, behind the school calendar, is the monthly school lunch menu. Allison takes her lunch every day but I still keep it just in case and throw it out at the end of the month. This has come in handy for the 3 times she did buy her lunch this year.

My 5 tabs for this binder are: Class Info, Spelling Words, School Info, PTO Info and Handbook.

I didn't take pics of every section but here is the first section. It's Class Info and I keep any items that pertain to her class. Announcements from the teacher, family letters on what they are working on, their daily schedule, etc. The Spelling Word section is just that. . . their spelling word lists so I can go back periodically and spot quiz Allison. The School Info section is any letters or information that comes home from the school itself. . . bus assignment, letters from the Principal, etc. The PTO Info section is for all the newsletters and info that come home from the PTO. The last section is for the school Handbook. They send home a new one every year so I just tear it apart and 3 hole punch it and put it in the back so I know where it is when I need it.

The back pocket of the binder holds the PTO Handbook since it's too small to 3 hole punch it.

That's it. That's my binder! I keep it on the corner of my kitchen counter. It's just under the bulletin board where I keep the current spelling words or papers of upcoming activities before they get filed in the binder.

What? What's that you ask?
Where do I put all of the work papers and tests that Allison bring home?

Ooooh, you are asking about the 876 papers that come home in ONE DAY?

Well. Do you see that basket in the picture above?

Yes, that's the one. The pretty one.

It houses all of my active files that I use frequently. That's a whole other post but a couple of folders in that basket are for Allison's work papers and tests. I look at them when they come home and then place them in the files. At the end of the quarter, I go through them and decide what I want to keep and then the keepers get put into my file box that I keep in my Command Center. If you can throw them out, more power to you. I'm a little more emotionally attached to anything my daughter completes. I find that if I wait and have a whole stack, I become more detached to them. However, I would recommend not throwing out the tests until after the grading period. Everyone makes mistakes and a teacher can make one recording your child's grade. You want to make sure you have the back-up to support any incorrect grade.

I hope you enjoyed Part 3 in the "Binders Can Organize Your Life Series" and be sure to come back next Wednesday for Part 4.

You can become a follower or just come back to:

Works-for-me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family
Show and Tell Wednesday with Blue Cricket Design.

I'll be sharing this series at both places.

Have Fun!
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Jenny said...

this is a great tip :D no doubt i'll be using something like this as my son gets older.

Amy @ Raising Arrows said...

Going to have to peruse all your ideas when I have a little bit more time. So inspiring!

'Becca said...

Ooh, this is so inspiring! My child is starting kindergarten this fall, and I know the paperwork is going to get more complicated. Thanks for these great tips to help me plan how to organize it before the deluge begins!

I was a Girl Scout leader for several years and got a lot of benefit from keeping a well-organized troop leader's binder. If I had 15 kids myself, I know I would need such a system for daily life--but you've just convinced me it would be very useful even for one kid!

Jen Gillespie said...

I love all your details on the binders. Did I miss the last 2 parts? I'm really excited to see your Home Management one. Thanks again for sharing these with us.

Jessica @ Acting Adult said...


I love your binder system! I have been looking to implement one in my house and I think I'm going to model mine on yours.

You said in an earlier post that you'd be happy to e-mail the pretty covers you created for each binder. Would you mind sending them my way? actingadult at gmail dot com. Thank you!

By the way, I can't seem to find the post on the Home Management binder. Is it still coming? I'd love to see it!


Anonymous said...

I love your binders, I just purchased one from target and I will be putting all the papers in sometime this week, I can't wait!!!!! Do you have the covers? I dont know if I could make them pretty like yours! Thank you


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