Monday Inspiration: Keeping it all Organized

Today’s inspiration post is all about my obsession with organization…Being around disarray literally puts me in a bad mood and I can’t function – I guess you could say it’s my kryptonite!

So it should come as no surprise that I have a lovely “Everything Binder” to organize my life – Recipes, tear sheets from magazines and catalogs, step-by-step instructions on projects, business cards, loose paint chips, etc. I get giddy just thinking of its plethora of neatly organized information.

And nothing organization-related is complete without a beautiful, colorful cover 🙂

Sidenote: Yes, I have ACTUALLY dubbed my binder “The Everything Binder” with a subheading that says “Recipes, Design, Inspiration”. I know that may seem super cheesy to some people, but I love how official it sounds 🙂

I was careful to find a binder that has the clear pocket in the front and spine so that I could slip the cover and side info in for an instantly custom look. The cover image is actually just a pretty piece of scrapbook paper I had lying around cut to size. The great thing about that is I can change it out whenever I feel like it and give the binder a whole new look/feel for about 55 cents!

Now to embarrass myself by showing you the inside…

All the tabs are printed for a super clean look (in my favorite/signature font – Century Gothic) and in order of importance per our tastes – In other words, we put the ones we use the most up to the front for easy access. I’m not SO anal that I’d alphabetize everything, although I probably spent a second considering it in the beginning. I wanted this binder to work for us, so I made sure that the important things (like recipes for chicken dinners) were within easy reach/flip.

The binder begins, as you now know, with recipes and is broken down into something like 12 sections – chicken, beef, fondu, sandwiches, exotic (Asian, Mexican, etc.), soups, vegetarian/vegan (my sister is vegetarian), pasta, desserts, breakfasts, etc.

I love cookbooks, but it’s rare that I see a cookbook where we will love EVERY single recipe. So by printing out the ones I know we’ll try and enjoy, I can create our own custom cookbook that will satisfy our tastes 100%! It’s also free (besides printer ink every now and then).

I get my recipes from the Real Simple recipe website and also from places like Campbell Soup and Food Network (typically Giada de Laurentiis and Ina Garten).

Next comes the sections on home decor/organization/projects.

This is where I put tear sheets taken from catalogs and magazines (Crate a Barrel, Better Homes & Gardens, Do-It-Yourself, etc.) that I love or want to try out. It’s also where I put my “Inspiration Sheets”, which are essentially just Word documents that I keep saved to my desktop and, any time I come across an image I like on the internet, I copy/paste it to the digital document. When it’s full, I print it out in color, hole punch it and stick it in the “Everything Binder”!

Here’s an example of an “Inspiration Sheet”:

It’s great to be able to plan a weekend to work on a specific craft or project and be able to flip to that section of the binder for help or more inspiration. For example, here’s the print out of the plate wall – I definitely had the binder open to this page for assistance during that project last month…

And here are some pages to assist with the eventual studio/office overhaul:

We’ve started to amass a pretty good collection of instruction manuals (from new fans, light fixtures, etc.) that will also end up in a tabbed section one day soon to keep all of that handy.

The last section we have to date is a place for business cards. My wallet was STUFFED with these little pieces of cardstock, so I’m happy that they now have their own special place. All it took was a $5 pack of clear hole punched sheets from Staples that have individual pockets sized to standard business card dimensions:

Every inch of this binder is being used for organization heaven – Even the little pockets on the inside front and back covers! The front pocket is used to hold tear sheets until I can hole-punch and file them and the back pocket is for loose paint chips (before we made these to take care of that for good!).

While John admittedly had nothing to do with this, he knows that he can find all sorts of yummy recipes inside, so it’s become a daily flip-through in our house.

Three cheers for organized inspiration!!!

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