Friday, January 21, 2011

The Big Binder

I've mentioned before about how I'm a bit obsessive compulsive about my lists.  What is it they say? 

"The first step toward recovery is admitting you have a problem."

The thing is, I have no interest in "recovery."  My lists and my organization are actually an asset.  Although, I sometimes think others might snicker behind my back.  I can be a bit over-the-top sometimes.  It's okay.  I'm cool with that.  I can handle the snickers.  Sticks and stones and all that. 

(Oh shoot!  Now I'm hungry for a Snickers.  Why'd I have to go and use that word?!)

My list-making graduated many years ago into a whole new realm of organization.  When I first launched into my year-long Cookie Journey over 12 months ago, I indicated that part of the reason I embarked on that journey was due to my overwhelming recipe collection.  You know, all those recipes that you tear out of magazines, copy from cookbooks from the library or download and print from the Internet.  Then it went a step further I was using old 3-ring binders leftover from college and my 3-hole punch and categorizing them by dessert or main dish, side dish or bread, appetizers or drinks, etc.  Sadly, I have even created sub-categories for main dishes and desserts. 

Then I became a mother, and it was important for me to tear out important reference articles for, well...
future reference.  It finally became apparent that I needed to organize and categorize these newsworthy tidbits as well.  And so, the Big Binder was born.  This is one of those massive 4-inch 3-ring binders.  At some point, in more recent years, I slipped a picture Jenna had drawn for me in the front cover. 

Every book has a cover, after all.

The articles I've saved cover a wealth of parenting knowledge, helpful hints, craft ideas and proven how-to's.

Again, with the categorizing.  It's just something one must do.

Here, you will find, I clip articles about "Crafts and Fun Stuff."  Whether it's a rainy day project, a craft for a school Christmas party or Halloween costume'll find it under this tab. 

Next up is Health and Nutrition, and then I added Safety later on - it's the tab where I would store articles about everything from constipation to "when to call the doctor" to info. on car seats.

I get a chuckle from the tab, Family Issues.  Doesn't every family have ISSUES?!  The ones in question here would be dealing with your common sibling rivalries and "when is a good time to start giving an allowance?"

Development digs into the nuts and bolts of "is my baby reaching their milestones?" and "how to teach my child how to tie their shoes."

On a much more personal note, I decided to give myself a tab, labeled quite simply, "April's References."  Here, you will find anything from book recommendations to the latest beauty products that I might like to give a try.

I have always kept a Travel file in our filing cabinet, but I find that I like this binder for all of those miscellaneous travel articles I might like to refer to someday.  Among those, articles that give names and locations of the best family friendly ski lodges or mountain resorts, etc.

The Binder gets a healthy spring cleaning about once a year.  I go through it and tear out any articles that seem obsolete.  Articles that I've ditched in the past include information on treating diaper rash or how to potty train or moving your child to a big boy/girl bed.  Those issues are clearly in my rear-view mirror.  New articles take their place, though.  I recently added an article about discussing the birds and the bees with your 'tween and "when is your child ready for Facebook and email?". 

The issues of interest are growing up, right along with my kiddos.  I wonder when The Binder will become a thing of the past.  I guess even after my children are off and on their own, I'll still need the "April's References" and the "Travel" tabs.  Maybe I can fit it all in one of those small, 1-inch binders!  I'll have all kinds of room freed up on my desk then!

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