With the impending arrival of Willow (and SUMMER!), I feel myself starting the "nesting" stage. I'm overwhelmed with wanting to organize every nook and cranny in my house as well as paint everything. I've come to realize in the past few months that my disorganization is very much rubbing off on my kids and I really don't like that. If I can't keep myself organized, how on earth can I honestly expect my children to be organized? Disorganization causes our family so much more stress than need be and it's time that stops!
So, I decided to start with the biggest culprit--paperwork. We have an insane amount of paperwork coming into our home and not a lot of it seems to leave. This is actually the second goal in my organization plan (the first was creating meal plans & grocery lists on a consistent basis which I will post about in the future). I find it difficult to find papers I need when I need them because of this. I do have what I believe is a decent filing system but I'm not great at keeping up with it--and therein lies the issue. First and foremost, I need to set aside time each day to go through and organize any paperwork from that day. If I can do that every day, it should never get overwhelming and take me hours to go through it. I recently had an epiphany--I don't need to keep everything. I've always been the kind of person who keeps every single bank statement, receipt, explanation of benefits, etc. forever. I have banker's boxes downstairs with files from 10 years ago (I know...crazy and unnecessary)! So, I'm purging.
And all that brings me to the reason for my post--implementing and using a family binder. I've been researching different ways to use these and what to include but haven't been able to find the "perfect" one to fit my family's needs. Along comes my crafty side--I decided to take the best of what I found and create my own. I started with the basics from Thirty Handmade Days. She includes several free printable sheets including Babysitter Info, Health Insurance Info, Other Insurance Info, School Info, & Utilities (this is one that will be incredibly beneficial for me) in her post and explains how she uses her family binder. I love her idea of having different sections and will definitely include some of those sections in my binder. (Side note: if you have children, I highly recommend checking out the Accountability Binder and School Binder posts. I'll be doing a blog post about these as well in the future.) The next site I found is The Polka Dot Posie. She includes a tab on her website with Home Planner & Management pages as well as extras for seasons like Christmas and Thanksgiving, camping/vacations, and even has multiple sizes to fit existing planners (some free, some paid)! They're incredibly cute and I decided to use most of these since most of the work is already done for me and I really like the pattern. I just fill it out, pop it in my binder, and go. I did create a binder cover (printable here), calendar for the remainder of the year (printable here), and blog planner (printable here) using a grey chevron pattern to match the rest her printables. I'm really excited and will do a future update on how this is working out for our family and any changes I make.
Until next time, much love and many blessings!