I have been trying to write this entry for about a week but it has been proving nearly impossible to do whilst having a new kitchen fitted! Mr B’s dad has been doing an amazing job, and we are absolutely delighted and so grateful for how much work he has put in, but every time I think I will just sneak off to the computer for an hour with a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit I find myself being called in to help with something. Hold up a cabinet. Hoover a pile of saw dust. Wipe something down. Decide where to put this. Choose a place for that. There’s just been so much to do!
The kitchen is about halfway through. The cabinets are all in but we still need new worktops fitted, new flooring laid and splash-backs attached to the wall. That’s not to mention painting and wallpapering once everything else is done. And no sooner will this all be finished and it will be time to have our new central heating installed! I think I am just going to give up on cleaning until Christmas!!
In the midst of all this chaos I have had to do something to feel like I’m still organised and in control so I have been working on my household binder. I have always had ‘The Folder’, which has mainly contained bills and other important paperwork (pay-slips, bank statements, TV license etc.), and as time has gone by it has slowly evolved into the filing system I am about to share with you now. It has probably taken me about 10 years to perfect this system (starting out in my student days, through the days where I lived on my own as a ‘young professional’ right up to today where I am a married woman with a house and a husband to try and keep organised!) and I have no doubts that it will continue to change in line with our needs but for now I think this system is working really well.
Some of my inspiration comes from my own ideas and what I have needed to organise and other ideas have come from, that’s right, Pinterest. You can find some of the ideas I have used here. I hope that this project might inspire you to create your own Household Binder and might give you some ideas about where to start.
First of all I chose my materials. I decided to use fairly plain dividers so that I could use my own design rather than try and fit with predetermined colour scheme. They still had coloured tabs, but I will show you how I dealt with those later. I chose a pink folder because I liked the colour. I bought some new pens especially for this project but never actually needed them. I will find some other use for them though, don’t you worry!
The next stage was to create templates on the computer for all the different parts. I needed labels for the dividers, a spine label and a cover label. I picked colours I liked that would go with the pink folder (on reflection, the colours don’t go as well as I thought they would, but I’m happy enough). I have uploaded the files so you can download them and print them off if you would like to. The links are at the end of this post.
I printed the labels and cut them out. My first attempt ended in disaster when the printer was low on ink and printed my pages with yellow lines all through them. Needless to say I only noticed after I had printed the whole lot so I had to start again after wasting all that ink!
My original intention was just to stick the straight down but I realised that they could easily get ripped or smudged so I decided to laminate everything to make it more durable. I’m really Glad I did because it really gave them a much more finished look.
When it came to attaching the divider tabs I realised that they were not exactly the right shape and size. Although they were only millimetres out I knew I would never be happy being able to see the coloured tab of the divider behind so I used some white sticky labels to cover the tabs before I attached my printed ones. This looked much better. I just used a glue stick to glue the tabs on (I think I have a bit of a glue stick obsession – I like to use it for everything!)
I also used glue stick to attach the covers to each of the divider sections. This really pulled things together and made the binder take shape.
The last thing to do was glue the front cover label and the spine label onto the folder. I sat everything under something heavy overnight to make sure the glue stuck (the plastic laminated finish had the potential to ‘unstick’ if it wasn’t pressed together) and voila! One completed household binder, ready for action!
I know that you are dying to find out what exactly I have inside each of the sections so I promise that I will make another post soon to share the contents with you but for today you are only getting to see how I put the folder together. I hope you like it!
Here are the printable templates for you to use if you want to make your own file. Obviously the sections have been designed to suit me and my needs but I am happy to design other templates for you if you need them. Just leave me a message with what you would like your template to say and I will add it for you.
- Printable Template – Front Cover
- Printable Template – Work Related Section
- Printable Template – Weekly Diary Section
- Printable Template – Other Financial Section
- Printable Template – Mortgage Related Section
- Printable Template – Important Documents Section
- Printable Template – Household Utilities Section
- Printable Template – Household Information Section
- Printable Template – Car Related Section
- Printable Template – Budgeting Section
- Printable Template – Spine Label and Divider Tabs