Thursday, February 12, 2009

Organization — Manuals and Booklets

Several years ago when we lived in Illinois, I got an idea that I think was from Martha Stewart. That is in the recesses of my mind, because I didn't watch her show and I don't read her magazine, but the tip must have been credited to her somewhere.

I got a huge honkin' binder, and the most awesome two-side pocketed, extra-durable plastic tabbed three-ring inserts. I use them in some other binders, and they are just heavenly. I get a little verklempt about them.

So these pockets I used for my manuals and a few instruction thingamajigs I didn't want to lose that I would categorize with a manual, and would therefore know exactly where to look for them when necessary. Instead of writing on the tabbed inserts (where I would have to change them whenever there was rotation of some kind), I just used my labelmaker and then stuck it directly on the outside of the tab. See:

Front and back view:

This was a four-inch binder. Do you see how thick that puppy was?

Now the thing is, I rarely had to get into that binder, and it took up a lot of space. And when I did need to get into it, it was a little cumbersome. By not getting into it often, there were usually a lot of things to throw away by the time I did.

So I went through this binder the other night, and this was my throwaway stack:

and this is all I was left with:

Target has these fantastic little boxes by Sterilite now that fit regular sized paper (as well as a few other sized boxes) and I am hooked! Look at this:

Okay, yes, I do still need to use my labelmaker, but I just couldn't resist going ahead and showing you what I'd been up to. The top box is the one you saw in the picture above, the second one has all the manuals and warranties from our new appliances with this house, the third one has all the electronic kind of "stuff" that came with our computer, cell phones, ipods, digital cameras, etc., and the fourth box has the Ikea instruction books and the extra pieces that we didn't use during assembly (like wall anchors and stuff). I have all those loose things in a big Ziploc baggie inside the box so they don't go all helter-skelter in there.

Here's another stack — I told you I was hooked!

The top two boxes have the kids' Monster Jam yearbooks that they've taken to the events and had autographed by whoever was there. These books have been my nemesis until a couple of days ago. The bottom box has all the Thomas the Tank Engine track layouts and yearbooks they used to give out in the stores with more track layouts. We're working on future favorite grandparent status here, so these will live with us forever.

Here's a little peek at how they look on the cubbies.

I'll show you the entire thing later, but the set of three boxes is at the opposite end on the same row. Because it had to be symmetrical. And yes, to be perfectly symmetrical I need another box. I'm working on it. I just haven't been back to Target.

You remember the OCD issues, right?


Mari said...

Those boxes look great! I'm going to have to look for some. I have boxes for some of those same reasons but they don't look or stack as nicely!

spaghetti0625 said...

I love that binder! Where did you get it? I love the cubbies too, when we move into our house, I need to get them! Right now, we're in a 2 bedroom condo and our 2nd room we used for storage of junk. now it's all at his parent's house and our 2nd bedroom is a 'sitting' room to show the house. I can't wait to sell! :)

Betsy said...

I love those stackable boxes! You must be on an organizational high! :)

April in CT said...

Ohhhhh, I love those! I've got manuals in our filing cabinet and it's really not working for me. It takes up so much space and things are hard to find. I think some of these boxes and a good clean out are in order! I was considering getting rid of manuals I could access online, but I'm not sure I can throw such caution to the wind! LOL

Bonnie said...

This is fantastic !! I love this post. I need to look around your blog and see if there are other's like it. This is right up my alley ! I'm always looking for new and better ways to organize ... I have all my warranties in a binder too.

Where did you buy the two sided pocketed inserts ? They look amazing ....

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