Paper management is a common need for most families. Daily, there’s mail, coupons, menus, newsletters, sports schedules, invitations and school event notices. These may end up in a pile on a desk or countertop, or maybe on the fridge, but it quickly becomes too much to keep track. How do you find that paper quickly when you need it?
Creating a family binder is a basic solution to this common dilemma. Once it is made, you have the structure for keeping information together and updating it as needed. You need a few basic office supplies: a 3 ring binder, extra-wide tabbed dividers, and plastic page protectors. Next, gather up all of that paper, and split it up into categories such as phone numbers, school, sports, camps, menus, health information, babysitter information and instructions, coupons, etc. You could also subdivide it to give each member of your family a section. The contents of your family binder depends on your particular needs, but it should contain the important information that you want at your fingertips. This binder can then be put in a magazine holder and kept near the entryway, on the kitchen counter, or in another high traffic location in your home. You can also take it with you in the car, to the sports field, to a doctor appointment, camp registration, anywhere!
Having this information easily accessible to everyone will stop the paper piles from becoming overwhelming, and the family binder gives you a go-to place to store it all. Remember to update it frequently, removing outdated information. This is also a good item for senior citizens. They can include information on medications and medical history and bring it along to the pharmacy or a doctor appointment.
You can customize this binder however you like. Make it a zippered binder, add decorative folders or tabs. Stick an envelope inside to always have your grocery coupons handy. Add an insert to hold band-aids, pencils, hair accessories, anything you or your family might need. Use the family binder to reduce clutter and keep that important information easily accessible.
Family Binder photo from Flickr user beaurabbit