Thursday, January 5, 2012

Binder Organization

A while back I had this wonderful job working for the School of Government at UNC Chapel Hill. One day while down in the basement, probably in the stock room looking for supplies, I ran into a very nice man who used to work in the supply room. He was cleaning out and getting rid of boxes of these huge white binders.  Back then, I thought they would make great CD storage where you can add those plastic CD sleeves and insert all of your C.D.'s to maximize storage space. Well, our CD cases are still in a box and our loose CD's are in a separate box up in our attic. I really honestly don't know when we'll have the time to organize them, but in the meantime, I brought some of the binders down from the attic and spruced them up a bit. Here they are in my Ikea Expedit bookcase:

When you place a white sheet of paper in the outside spine plastic overlay that has printed text on them, they leave ink residue when you remove them. So I think the person that threw these away didn't want to take the time to try to clean off the ink under the plastic sleeve.  I initially thought I would use some rubbing alcohol, a chopstick with a cotton ball attached to it and a lot of elbow grease to scrub them clean. But honestly the cotton ball kept getting stuck down in the sleeve and the alcohol was leaving a wet mess underneath. So I tried a different method. A butter knife with a bit of a serrated edge did the trick. I was able to scrap the ink off and it took me about 20 minutes to do four binders.

Next I cut out 4 pieces of thick scrap book paper into strips that were the same size as the white sheets that came out. Unfortunately I didn't have enough of the same paper to make all of them the same, which is what I was hoping for. I may go to Michaels one of these days to buy two sheets of paper to make them match.

And initially I thought they should all be labeled, so I made simple labels out of Post it Notes.  It was very practical, but I didn't like they way it looked.  So off they came.

 Here are what the finished binders look like now, until I can go to Michaels to find paper that matches.  Also, I have about 3 more binders in the attic, so when I have time I can add more to my shelves.

I just love the feeling of being organized, being able to find something I'm looking for, and having things look neat and orderly. How do you like to organize papers? In three ring binders or folders or stacks? Oh and by the way, these binders are great for holding scrap book sheets, photos, magazine cut outs etc. They are very versatile. You can probably find these at yard sales, craigslist, or even Ebay.

Happy Organizing!



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