Content Updated on October 14, 2007
Avoid binders with too many rings or lose pages. Get yourself a 3 ring binder . I highly recommend getting one that has lots of pockets for things like pencils, stamps, calculators, etc. That way, you’ll always have frequently used items available when you need them.
Some people like the single hole punch, but I prefer the bulkier three-hole punches. Three-hole punches are best because they quickly let you punch all three holes at once in exactly the correct place, eliminating the need to line up your paper with your binder hole or with another piece of paper that has already been punched. It just saves time.
Assuming that you will be printing out pages from your computer, copy paper or printer paper would work best. You can even use different colors of paper for different sections. I highly recommend buying chlorine-free, recycled paper that has already been 3-hole punched to save time (and the environment).
These are necessary for dividing up your sections, and there may eventually be many sections. I like to have major sections and subsections. You can use large dividers for major sections and small dividers for subsections. You can even buy pre-labeled dividers (for diving up things like months in your calendar or alphabetical entries in your contacts section).
Page Protectors / Sheet Protectors
These are plastic pockets with holes that allow them to be clipped into a 3-ring binder. They’re great for protecting pages that you don’t plan on writing on or changing frequently, such as emergency pages or some individual information pages. They’re also great for holding menus, brochures, and rebate forms or coupons that you still need to sort through. Some page protectors can even work with dry-erase markers, which means you can simply wipe off everything you’ve written when you’re done and start all over again without having to print out more pages.
Folders must be 3-hole punched so they can be fastened into your binder. I like to have folders for keeping items that will only be in my home organizer temporarily. You can even put one folder in each major section to indicate that everything in that folder is related to that section. To do this, however, you will need to get a thicker binder because they tend to take up space. A drawback of folders is that they make it difficult to see your tabbed dividers and can get filled with “I’ll just put it here for now” junk that builds up, making a very unorganized organizer. I usually just have just one folder in the back of my notebook to avoid this problem.
Paperclips have so many uses. You can use them to clip business cards onto a contacts page in your directory section, reminding you to enter the person’s information into the address book. You can use one big paper clip to mark the current calendar, so you won’t have to shuffle through calendar and schedule pages to find what you need to look at today. You can also use paper clips to bookmark important pages.
There are really two types of paperclips to choose from, plain old paperclips and paper clamps (also called binder clips). Clamps require less fumbling, but they’re thicker, so they take up more room. Pick whatever works best for you.
The pages you put in your household notebook will vary depending on what sections you need. Most people need pages for emergency information, calendars, schedules, and contact information (phone numbers and addresses). You can make pages yourself, buy them, or find them online for free.