Organization Binders

By Thursday, May 31, 2012 , ,

DropBox download added/Updated Photos Dec. 10,2012

How the Binders are Organized

Here are a few FREE PDF's of the templates I made to use inside my binders. Please check back as I will continue to update this list as I design more pages ;) I’ve added a DropBox download option since so many had problems with Google Drive. You can download all the files in a ZIP file from Dropbox HERE

Binder 1: Family  

  • Calendar, Wal-Mart sales cheap desk ones that are the perfect size (I have since stopped using a calendar in here and instead use a pocket calendar in my purse, that works better) 
  • Important Dates
  • To do ( use this as my long term to do list, fix the driveway, table in laundry room, for daily to do’s those go in my pocket calendar)
  • Medical Information - I didn't use this in my binder because of the personal information but wanted to share in case someone else could use it
  • Grocery list (PDF is finally available! It is our common items so not sure really how useful it will be, but may be a good guide to recreate your own)
  • Bulk Menu Planner  -This is basically most of my common meals and I calculate up the bulk amounts at the bottom. Nothing fancy, but maybe it's a good guide for someone to recreate their own.
  • Menu Planner - I simply put my meals on a calendar template. I do use highlighter to mark meats, produce etc for easier bulk calculation. This is just to use for an example of how you could make yours. I do not have recipes. 
  • Coupons ( I use baseball card sleeves to organize them)
  • Things to look for while shopping (This is another long term list, anything I’m interested in but want to find at a good price, not necessity items like food or diapers…..ex: an acrylic tray or porch swing cushions)
  • Recipes (Still working on this, check backs soon!)
  • Wish Lists
  • Take Out Numbers (Dining Out)
  • Freezer Inventory

Binder 2: Finances


  • Bills ( I also keep a list of bill due dates in the front of my pocket calendar)
  • Budget (Laminate and reuse with dry erase markers!)
  • Register (We use the Dave Ramsey Cash system (with individual registers for each category) but this binder register is great for keeping up with bank account’s balance and marking down future bills to be prepared for (school year book or quarterly garbage bill)
  • Bills Due/Envelopes/Checkbook (keep these in the snap pocket plastic sleeve)
  •  Taxes ( I keep up with each expenditure that comes in throughout the year which we can deduct on our taxes, this saves me from that end of the year headache of digging through piles of receipts)

Binder 3: Fun   

  • Posts to post
    -Home Planning
  • Projects
  • Dream home (just a bunch of sketches, magazines pages, paint samples)
    -Craft Projects
  • Current Projects/supplies needed
  • Movies to Watch
  • Books to Read

Page Previews

Binder 1 is for keeping up with the family, Binder 2 is for all the important stuff, Binder 3 is just for me :) I chose not to include anything in my binder that I would be very worried about if the binder was lost (SS cards, marriage licenses, birth certificates, account info, personal info etc). I did this because I wanted to be able to take the binders with me on the go and not be stressed over losing something. Also, I prefer to keep important documents in our safe in case of burglary or fire (see bottom of post for my safe filing system). Unlocking a safe every time I wanted to use my binders just didn't make sense to me.


Drop Zone

My binder cabinet :) This is why I didn't want any important documents in my binders, they are too pretty to be shoved in a safe! Here is a link to all my Drop Zone features!


*Updated tabs since Photo*
I keep a Hanging File Folders with a section for Temp Receipts (for possible returns or limited warranties), To be filed (paperwork that I need to file long term in the safe, tax papers, statements etc.). I also decided to remove my Incoming/Outgoing mail and instead made a file for each of my tax receipt categories (Medical, Business, School etc.) It was a bit of a headache to constantly have to re-sort these receipts when they were grouped in with my “To be Filed” stuff. A few changes just to streamline my filing system.

How the inside is organized

I used these Tab Write-On Dividers to break up all the major sections. Then used card stock to break up the smaller sections inside the tabbed dividers. I simply ran them through my Epson Printer to print the section titles on each divider.


I used my Labeler Machine to print labels for the tabs.


Here are the individual sections printed on cardstock, probably not necessary but it does help to catch the cardstock while thumbing through, saves a bit of time.


There is a Plastic Pocket behind every tabbed divider to keep temporary papers (receipts, bills etc)


I placed these Snap Envelopes in each binder for bulky items (pencils, calculator, checkbook, etc)


Long Term Storage

This is the filing system I use for long term storage, important documents and just any paperwork I want placed inside my safe for protection. The box I use can be found here: Set of 2 File Boxes


I have tabbed Hanging File Folders and inside each file is an Envelope with individual categories. I absolutely love this system. It saves space and is so easy to keep up with. Yes, it was a bit of work to organize it but now I can find and file things faster. It’s a breeze even to send my husband in to look for papers where before he could never locate anything.


I intentionally chose a smaller box. By the end of the year it is pretty much packed (like the below photo). I then go through and clean out all the excess or expired papers and it leaves me with the perfect amount of space for the upcoming year. I don’t hold onto every bill or scrap of paper….. only the most important things. Depending on your family size a bigger box may be needed, this one works perfect for my little family of four.


What to Keep and Toss? 

Keep for 7 Years

  • Charitable Contributions Papers
  • Brokerage Yearly Statement
  • W-2's
  • 1099's
  • Bank Deposit Slips
  • Bank Statements
  • Receipts used for tax filing
  • Tax Records
  • IRA nondeductible contributions
  • Credit Card statements
  • Cancelled checks showing tax deductions
  • Warranty Receipts/paperwork (keep for the length of warranty)

Keep Forever

  • Personal Papers - Marriage, Birth, Social Security, Divorce
  • Estate Documents
  • Tax Returns
  • Retirement Annual Report
  • Use your judgement on any other documents not mentioned

Trash It (always cut up documents before throwing away!)

  • Out-dated Insurance Policy Information
  • Investment Statements
  • Utility bills
  • Paycheck stubs
  • Expired ID cards
  • Cancelled Checks
  • Pre-approved credit offers
  • Expired Credit & Debit Cards
  • Credit Card Statements
  • Receipts not used for tax or warranty purposes