If you hear the word “binders” and automatically think back to your school days and groan, you’re missing out! When you’re a grown-up, binders are still helpful for organizing (actually, they’re more helpful than ever), but they’re a lot more fun! You get to make them colorful and add a splash of your personality to each one, and there are dozens of ways you can use them to get more organized. A lot of folks find binder organization totally addictive. Once you get started, you won’t be able to stop! Once you start using binders to get your household in order:
Everything will have a place, and everything will be in its place.
No more searching for documents! Have them when you need them.
Use your binders to be more accountable and keep up with your commitments.
Track your progress on chores and progress.
Teach other members of your family how to get organized!
Use your creativity to make binders artistic and fun!
Okay, enough about why you should do it … when you check out these examples, you will probably want to jump in your car and go straight to your office supply store!
Create a gardening binder … with seed packets!
Do you have a green thumb? The key to successful gardening, as you know, is timing! A gardening binder is a great way to keep track of the seasons and what you have done over the past year. With a gardening binder, you can record the date you have planted seeds or plants or done transplants, which plots seeds were placed in and when you expect them to rise, trends in the weather, where you purchased seeds, harvest dates for specific vegetables, pests to watch out for, companion planting tactics, and more.
Over the year, you will tally up useful observations that will help you become a better gardener! You won’t accidentally double-plant into the same plot, and you can use your notes to manage companion planting which will prevent pests. Place your old seed packets directly in the binder inside of sleeves so that you have all the detailed information on each plant available any time you need to reference it.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Frugallysustainable
Hardware Binder – get those tangled cords in line!
This is another brilliant idea, this time from The Creativity Exchange. If you have a lot of technology in your home (and who doesn’t these days), you know what a mess all those cords and peripherals can turn into. Most of us have a stash of extra cords and wires we don’t want to get rid of, but don’t necessarily need to use right now. Maybe you also have some backup USB devices that you don’t use every day. Don’t you wish there were a way you could get all those supplies organized and out of your way?
The Hardware Binder is a brilliant way to do just that! You are going to need a massive binder for this. Get some large plastic Ziploc bags and start cataloguing your extra supplies. Coil up those wires and store them with the extra peripherals they actually belong to. Throw in your user manuals too! That way you have everything in one place and don’t have to hunt around later trying to figure out which wire goes with what. Punch holes through your bags and file them in the Hardware Binder. Genius!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Thecreativityexchange
Related to the idea above, maybe you just want a binder where you can store all of your user manuals. Instead of a pile of appliance manuals collecting dust in your hall closet (never to be seen again, especially when you actually need them), you can file them nicely in a manual binder. Small manuals can be punched through and fit inside like normal pages. Larger manuals can be stored in plastic bags, just like you can do with the Hardware Binder above. You can use the tabs to sort manuals according to their purpose or area of the house. Like you might want a tab that says “Kitchen” and has manuals for all kitchen appliances, and another that says “Cleaning,” and so on. This is also a great way to store your warranties. You may want a separate binder for those, or you can throw them in with their respective manuals.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Stayathomeista
Are you a filmophile? These days it is pretty effortless to build a comprehensive film and television collection. When you can purchase used DVDs and Blu-Ray discs at incredible discounts, it is hard not to start piling up DVD cases. And let’s face it—if you collect television series, your problem is even worse, because a lot of those sets are not packaged to conserve space. What do you do when your collection starts taking up more shelf space than you have?
One idea is to pitch the original containers out and replace them with a set of binders. Yes, there are DVD storage binders you can buy, but they are often bulky and actually can be hard to use. Standard binders with CD sleeves can be easier to deal with, and you can make them much prettier. You will save a ton of space with this solution, and you will also have a much easier time finding things since you can categorize the DVDs any way you want. You could do an alphabetical thing, or you could organize according to genre, or use a combination of these methods. After you make DVD binders, you will have so much free space in your home you won’t know what to do with it.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Thelovenerds
Organize your random ripped-out magazine pages.
If you have a lot of magazine subscriptions, odds are you tear out stuff you particularly like on a regular basis—cosmetic ideas, recipes, products you are interested in buying, articles you found particularly fascinating, etc. This allows you to throw out all the old magazines and retain the stuff you love—but you also probably have a pile of old magazine scraps that is out of control and incredibly hard and frustrating to search for to find what you want.
If that is the case, why not try putting them in a binder? You can set up tabs that help you find what you are looking for; the one in this photo is for holiday planning, and each tab is for a specific holiday. You could also have binders or tabs for beauty, recipes, products, simple home solutions, decorating, fashion, hardware, automotive tips, and more. While we’re at it, this is also a great way to save newspaper clippings! Yet another cool idea from Make Life Lovely!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Makelifelovely
Recipe books are great, but a lot of the best recipes come from random places. Sometimes you find something amazing online and print it out—only to lose track of it later (and then you find the recipe has been deleted—oh no!). Or maybe you found a great recipe in a magazine and lost the clipping. And what about that amazing recipe that your friend wrote down for you, which has now completely disappeared?
Stop losing your recipes with a recipe binder. You can organize this any way you want with the tabs. You might go with types of foods, foods with certain ingredients as their main elements, or foods from different countries. You may want to have a section for “fast and easy” as well, and maybe even one for “budget meals.” Another cool idea is a tab for recipes that you haven’t yet tried, but want to make. That way you’ll be sure to never miss out on an amazing recipe that could become your new favorite thing to make. The sky is the limit here; you can do so many great things with a recipe binder!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Iheartorganizing
Make a teacher binder.
Do you mold young mind for a living? Binders are not only your students’ best friends, but yours as well. A teacher binder can help you to stay organized and sane, which is even harder for you than it is for them! For a teacher binder, you will need a heavy duty binder that will hold up to plenty of use, and pick dividers with pockets that you can write on and erase. Come up with a smart system for organizing and include sections like “Calendar,” “Student Info,” and so forth. A “Quick Reference” tab listing school policies, computer logins, schedules and more can be a huge help!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Luckeyfrogslilypad
Make a great student binder for college.
What if you are a student and not a teacher? You already know how challenging it is to keep up with your work and remember everything you need to do! Well-organized school binders can help you out. Buy some divider sheets and make them pretty! You will have an easier time staying organized if you love your class binders. Just look at this gorgeous class divider page for sociology. You can also see some of the sections, including Notes, Handouts and To Do. These sections help you quickly jump to exactly what you need. Never waste time digging through disorganized school supplies again! The less time you waste trying to find what you need, the more quickly you will get your homework done, and the higher your scores will be!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Theholladaylife
School binders are perfect for younger students too!
Parents! Do you have kids who absolutely cannot seem to keep their school stuff in order? Do you lament at the sight of their endless clutter? Do you worry they will lose their assignments? You can help them to stay organized by going a step further than just purchasing them a binder. You can take the time to set up the dividers and divider pages just like the college binder we talked about a moment ago. Those same sections work great for elementary and secondary school students! You can also buy them in bright colors and make them super cute and personalized so your kids will love them, like in the photo!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Thirtyhandmadedays
Easy baby book
If you’re the parent of a newborn (or you have a little bundle of joy on the way!), you know how important it is to capture all those special memories when they happen. The years go by so fast, and before you know it, your little sweetheart will be all grown up and heading for college.
One of the easiest ways to capture the memories is with a baby book binder like this one. As you can see, this is an easy way to journal about your baby and include photographs, mementos, and other keepsakes. The brown envelope you see in the photograph has the baby’s hospital bracelets! Very cute, easy to make, and perfect for preserving the memories of a special time that will never come twice.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Newlywoodwards
School year keepsakes binder
As your child gets older, the artwork, schoolwork, awards, and other assorted memorabilia will start piling up fast! A lot of parents struggle to know where to put all of that stuff and wonder how much of it they can really hold onto. One great way to stay organized and save space is by using a keepsake binder like this one. You can keep awards, school papers that your child is particular proud of, artwork, photographs, and more! Each year you can start a new school year binder!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Heidiswapp
The family binder
Household binders are very popular tools nowadays, and online you will find a ton of great examples, and even free printables on many websites that you can use to make your own home binder. Pick a cute cover sheet, and then add tabs like Finance, Notes for Traveling, Home Maintenance, Calendar, Meal Planning, Coupons, and more! This is a wonderful way to keep all of your family organization paperwork in one place. Sometimes you need to cross reference sections (like maybe you want to look at Finance and Coupons before you plan next week’s meals). The binder makes it easy, and helps you to save time and money!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Iheartorganizing
A binder just for your budget
On a related note, what if your finances are especially complicated, or you just like to go more in-depth with your accounting than other people typically do? You may want to skip the Finance section in your family binder and make an entire binder just for budgeting instead. The binder you see here is tabbed according to months in the year, but you could also break down categories with tabs like Coupons, Budgeting, Receipts, Tax Documentation, and so forth. Use a sealable pocket (even a Ziploc bag will do) for your receipts. The website that gave us this idea, A Cultivated Nest, has a ton of free home accounting printables. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and check them out!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Acultivatednest
Editable binder covers.
These editable binder covers were put together for a teacher to print out for his or her students, but you could use them for just about anything, depending on what you decided to put in the text fields. You can choose any font and size you’d like, and you can also print these out in every color of the rainbow. This is an easy way to make beautiful binders for students, teachers, or for the home!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Teacherspayteachers
Holiday organizing binder
When fall rolls around each year and it’s almost time for Thanksgiving, and then Black Friday and the winter holidays, do you feel like you have it together? Or do you panic? A lot of us panic, because we realize that we have a ton of planning to do, and not enough time to do it in. There is just so much to keep track of if you want the holidays to be perfect.
One of the best solutions is a holiday organizing binder! You can have a binder with tabs for each holiday, or you can have several binders which have subcategories for each. For example, if you have a Christmas binder, you can have a section for a Calendar, another for a Holiday To Do list, another for gifts, another for gift ideas (you can print these out or tear them out of magazines), another for recipes, etc. This is the ultimate way to plan the best holiday season ever! Be sure to drop by IHeart Organizing to download their free holiday binder planning sheets!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Iheartorganizing
Dry-erase to-do list!
Do you have a regular daily or weekly routine, or even a longer annual routine? If so, you probably have a to-do list in your head that you are constantly marking boxes off on. Each day, week, month or year, you have to reset the list and start again. One cool way you can do this on paper (particularly useful for the shorter time periods) is the dry-erase to-do list.
This to-do list has a list of daily tasks that need to be remembered every day. As you can see, the paper sheet with the tasks has been pushed inside a laminated cover. With a dry-erase marker, you can check off the boxes each day—and then erase! The next morning, you will wake up with a fresh to-do list, empty and ready to mark off. Think about how much paper you can conserve this way. It is fast, easy, and it helps you keep track of those regular tasks that are so easy to forget!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Wecraftdaily
Wedding planning binder
Planning a wedding is a ton of work; to do a great job at it, many people feel you need to spend at least a year, possibly up to two. Most weddings are going to be expensive, but your wedding planning materials do not have to be. A simple binder and some sticky notes and kraft paper, and you should be ready to plan away. Helpful tabs can include Contacts, Scheduling, Budget, Inspiration (i.e. printouts), Attire, Venue, Flowers, Photography, Entertainment, Décor, Honeymoon, Guests, and Thank You’s! If you make your wedding binder beautiful, it will become a keepsake that you will treasure forever.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Gloriajoy
Fitness binder to stay motivated.
Trying to lose a few pounds? Exercising can be a lot of fun, but staying the course can be a challenge as the weeks and months go by. A lot of us have a hard time sticking to our exercise programs and meeting our goals for weight loss and strength training. One cool tool you can use to stay on track is a fitness binder. You can save cut-outs from magazines here and printouts from the internet. You can have sections for different types of exercise instructions (a section for Cardio, a section for Strength Training, etc.).
You also could add a section for Inspiration, where you clip photos that remind you of the goals you are trying to reach. Another section could include your Schedule, and you could include a sheet where you keep track of your progress too! You may even want to create some kind of special “Rewards” section where you include ideas for little rewards you can give yourself when you do achieve your goals (maybe cut-outs from magazines with products you want to try).
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Tipsfromamomof3
Reusable binder pages
Here’s one way to keep things easy! Try reuseable binder pages. This works great with those divider pages that are nice and sturdy. The tabs help you find them, and you can use them again and again if you stick post-it notes on them instead of writing directly on them. This is a great example from Thirty Handmade Days; you can see the caption “This Week for Dinner,” on the top. Instead of writing on the page and having to tear it out and put in a new one every week, she just adds and removes post-it notes with the different dinners scheduled for the week. It’s simple, it’s colorful, and it keeps things fast and easy!
This would be a great system to use for all sorts of regular scheduling tasks. Just imagine the possibilities. “This Week’s Projects,” “This Week’s Errands,” “This Week’s Chores,” and so on. What a wonderful system!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Thirtyhandmadedays
Laminate pages you use frequently
With any home binder, there are going to be pages that you turn back to again and again. If you keep doing that, they are likely to get crumpled and smudged. One way you can prevent that is to protect them by laminating them. They will stay neat and easy to read, and you also will have an easier time locating them and flipping to them right away when you pick up the binder.
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Somewhatsimple
Personalize your binders to make them more fun
Get your creative juices flowing when you are making your binders! If you don’t, you may find it hard to get into using binders. When you allow yourself to be artistic, you have more fun, and it feels more personal. We just love this binder on Thirty Handmade Days. It’s pretty and brightly colored, and with the fun fonts and design, it says something about its owner’s personality. This particular binder is an accountability binder for a child—but that doesn’t mean that this is just a great idea for kids! It is also a perfect idea for the kid in you. As the binder’s designer says herself, “I get excited looking at all my pretty binders in a row.”
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Thirtyhandmadedays
Get fancy with fabric
Looking for a really amazing idea to make your binders pretty? This idea from the Uncluttered Lifestyle is one of our favorite ideas for binders yet. If you have a binder for a special purpose that does not need a paper cover (like the DVD collection binder the author of the post was decorating), a fabric cover is a really cool choice! You can head to the fabric store and pick up some textile that matches your personality. Choose something with a fun texture; for 4 binders you will need around 2 yards. Get some spray adhesive and some book plates.
Cut the fabric to fit, leaving an extra half inch to an inch on all sides. Cut the corners so that there will not be any overlap when you fold the edges over the top and bottom of the binder (to prevent a bulge). Start by adhering the fabric to the front flap. Close the binder, then adhere to the spine, then the back flap. If the binder is open when you do that, it will be too tight to close the binder. You can then cut extra pieces to adhere to the inside covers. Finally, get your book plate and adhere it to the side of the binder with the label for the binder! This is an amazing way to transform an ordinary binder into something that looks fancy, formal, and rather upscale. It will no longer feel at all like an office supply!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Unclutteredlifestyle
Stay organized with a baby with a household organization binder
Earlier we talked about a binder for baby keepsakes, and we also talked about a household binder. The reality is, when you have a new bundle of joy in your life, your household is going to be a lot different for a few years. The household binder you use for most years just is not going to be fully applicable. You have a totally unique set of responsibilities to take care of when there is a baby in the house.
This idea combines the household organization binder and baby binder. Many of the tabs will be about the same—Grocery Lists, Budget, Calendars, and so on. But you also will probably have some unique sections. You might have a section for Daycare, and another for special Baby Supplies. You also may have a section on Toys, and so on. Another idea would be to keep your general household binder separate, and have a baby planning binder where you keep track of what you need to buy for your baby over the years, and activities you want to do. Raising a little boy or girl is very complicated, and a binder can help you make it much simpler!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Ginaraemillerphotography
Make your binder clips pretty using washi tape
Washi tape, if you aren’t familiar with it, is a crafting supply which you can do about a zillion things with. It is a form of masking tape from Japan that is made out of washi paper. Washi tape comes in lots of different colors and patterns. If you do not have access to washi tape, you can totally make your own if you buy some patterned tissue paper and double-sided tape. Just apply the paper to one side of the tape and cut strips, and you’ll be ready to go.
Here you can see a set of binder clips which have been covered in washi tape. As you can see, it transforms them instantly into very pretty clips, and makes them feel a lot less office-y. Perfect for your personalized home organization binder!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Artsyville
Take your beautified binder clips to the next level.
Finally, if you love the idea above for beautifying your binder clips, imagine making them even more amazing. These binder clips have been ornamented with little ribbons, flowers, and labels. They look amazingly adorable, and the labeled ones are perfect for keeping things organized and inspirational. These adorable binder clips not only are perfect for your own organizational binders, but they also make amazing gifts for likeminded friends!
DIY Instructions and Project Credit – Mylovelyinspirations
Now you have a lot of awesome ideas for using binders in fun and innovative ways to organize your household, and you know how to make them look amazing! Organizing with binders takes some time to set up, but once you start, you’ll have so much fun you won’t be able to stop! And after you have your binder systems all set up, they will save you time, money and headaches. Running your household will be easier than ever!
How do you use binders to stay organized? Do you have any cool tips for making binders beautiful? Share with us in the comments below!