Sunday, August 28, 2011

Getting Ready for Fall

In most of the country, people find themselves anticipating spring. They've spent all winter cooped up and long to get outside and see a sky with a shining sun, as they are tired of seeing gray day after day. This welcome change makes them want to clean up their homes, to air them out after they've been closed up so long, to start anew.

Well, here in the stupid desert, it's exactly the opposite. Spring marks the beginning of the end of the good weather for us, and heralds the beginning of summer. With temperatures that stay over 100 degrees for well over four months, with many of those weeks hovering between 110 and 120 degrees, there's nothing to love about it if you ask me. Everything dies in your garden because it's too hot. You don't want to go anywhere or do anything because it's too hot. The air in your home gets stale because you can't open windows or doors because it's too hot. You don't have any extra money because your electric bill is sky high from the AC unit working overtime because it's so hot.

It's miserable. I laughed when I read this tweet by local journalist Jaimee Rose on Twitter because it's so true. Every August inevitably finds me longing for Halloween, because that's when the weather finally cools off around here. True; some years we will get one cool week at the end of September or at the beginning of October, but it always gets hot again until Halloween rolls around. Therefore, Halloween is the date I look forward to every year.

I just feel like I've spent too long sitting on my butt, not wanting to do anything, not wanting to go anywhere, just not being really. I sleep in way too late, take naps most days, cook as little as possible. My craft room is a mess. Heck, my whole house is kind of unkempt at this point. Things aren't working here so it's time to regroup and come up with a new plan of action.

Enter the following:

I've been seeing tutorials for these binders and "life organization systems" on lots of blogs, but the first place I really noticed the idea was on Blue Eyed Bride's blog. It seems to really be working for her, so I figured, what the heck. Unfortunately, I don't really have the funds to go out and buy a bunch of stuff to put this together, or to be able to buy one of those snazzy Erin Condren systems, so I am going to have to get creative here. I may have a budget of $0, but I also have a craft room full of supplies and tools, and a printer with paper and ink.

The first thing I needed was two binders. I decided to use this blue one that was a gift from my friend Cicely as my Household binder and then this plain white one that was laying around for the Recipe binder.

I started out by working on the Household binder. I wrote down a list of everything for which I'd like a tab. After I had my list, I wrote them down in the order I'd like them to appear in my binder.

**General - Under this tab I will have an emergency information sheet, as well as an address book section. I have a master address list on my laptop, but I want something for the people with whom I'll want to interact with on a regular basis. You know, the Christmas Card List people.
**This Month - In this section I'll have a "month at a glance" page, followed by daily pages outlining my daily tasks and with space for any other important notes for the day, such as appointments, reminders, etc.
**Master Calendar - In this section I'll have a "year at a glance" page along with a perpetual calendar containing my list of important dates to remember like birthdays and anniversaries.
**Meal Planning - In this section I'll have my meal plans for the week along with any grocery lists.
**Budget - Here I'll keep a checkbook register so that it is easy to just glance and know more or less where we are financially. There will also be a log of what bills have/need to be paid, and of course, a budget IN WRITING.
**Bible Verses - This is something Erin had in her binder that I thought was a great idea. One of my goals for the next year is to finally buckle down and read the whole Bible, cover to cover. I'd like to have a place to record verses that really speak to me. Also, I haven't memorized anything in years, so I think this would be a good way to get back into that. It's good for your mind.
**Projects/Goals - In this section I want to have a list of what things I want to make, or have started making and need to finish. I have so many unfinished projects that it's really hard to keep track of them all! Hopefully this will help to keep me on task, especially with the holidays coming up.
**Sawyer - I don't know what will be in this section yet, but I felt like he needed a tab. Maybe home pre-school projects for the week? We'll see.
**Party Plans - I have wild fantasies of having lovely parties one day, so this is where I'll put those ideas together.
**Gift Ideas - I've mentioned before that it's birthday party season here for us, and as soon as that starts to wind down it will be time to start thinking about Christmas. This section will include a worksheet to keep track of what I've bought, what I'd like to buy, and what I need to buy, as well as if I've mailed/delivered the item.

Since I ended up with ten topics, I pulled out ten sheets of cardstock and punched holes in them with the 3-hole punch.

I made up little quatrefoil patterns in Photoshop in the colors I used for my divider pages. I typed out my different topics on each one, printed them on cardstock, and then punched them out with a McGill tab punch.

If you wanted to do something like this yourself, you could also just print the pattern for the tabs onto the backside of some pretty scrapbooking paper, cut them out with scissors, and add your labels with pen or a label maker. I can email you a jpg of the tab pattern. Just send me an email.

Fold your tabs in half with a bone folder. I ran mine through a Xyron sticker maker machine, but because it had a repositionable cartridge they ended up not sticking very well to my divider pages. I will skip this step on the next binder. Instead, I just stapled them in place with a flat stapler and they were fine.

Doesn't that look all nice and professional? Certainly nicer than those primary colored plastic ones from the office supply store, if you ask me! I put some clear page protectors in the back, just in case. I don't know what I'll use them for, but if I need them, they're there.

Tomorrow I'll show you the pages.



Blogger Kat said...

as per usual, you impress me. have you considered the ever-popular erin coldron (spelling) binders?

7:17 PM  

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