Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Simple Living: Paper Organization

Have a time and place for everything, and do everything in its time and place, and you will not only accomplish more, but have far more leisure than those who are always hurrying.
Tryon Edwards

It's April! I know many of us have been or will be in spring cleaning mode (just when I get started, the weather gets cold again and it snows!). I love the fresh, clean feeling of a warm breeze blowing through the open windows and knowing my home is tidy and orderly. I am not sure if everyone feels the same as I do, but when I am organized I feel such calm and peace.

To be totally clear, up front, though...I must say that I am not *overly* organized. Some people seem obsessive about keeping everything *perfect*. I am happy to be able to stand up and say that I am absolutely not perfect and my house isn't is a **home**... full-to-overflowing with love, warmth and cheerfulness (except for the occasional crabby days that are bound to happen!).

I do, however, try to keep things in a basic semblence of order...I am constantly sorting through things to throw away, re-use or donate. I detest an over-abundance of "stuff". I believe God is a God of "order" and not chaos. He created beauty and order on the Earth. I feel at peace with I have things *in their proper place*.

If you have read my blog for some time now, you will remember that I am a lover of binders. (Silly, I know!) I just love to be able to keep my papers in binders...neat, orderly and "in their place". I have binders for a lot of things...and I thought that, maybe, you may have some papers floating around that need organized and my binder-love will be of some benefit to you! ;)

I have a master binder for homeschooling. In it I like to keep copies of our state's home education law, different ideas I have for this (or next) year's schooling, some Charlotte Mason methods I have printed off from online, schedules etc....

I have shown it before, at some point, but I will show it again...I have a binder to keep my recipes in. Some of them are hand written, some printed from the computer, and some torn out from magazines!

Here is a page in my recipe binder that isn't a recipe...but rather a lesson on making lattice look wonderful on a pie! :)

I also have a household binder. This keeps cleaning schedules, a master spring cleaning schedule, tips, ideas, homemade cleaner recipes , encouragement, and any other tid-bits I want to keep in there! (Links I have included above are places you can go to find these things but are not the exact ones I have in my notebook/binder!) I write out lots of tips from some cleaning books I love...and put them in my binder, as well! You can also keep a calendar in your binder...however I do not do this. I like for my calendar to go with me (to appointments, church etc.) and it being in my binder is just too bulky and large. So I have a separate planner/calendar.

After you pay a bill, and you send the stub in with the check, what do you do with the leftover part of the statement? The one that is "for your records"....? Do you save them...or throw them out? I save them...and here is how....

I have tabbed folder/dividers and keep all those "for your records" stubs, each, in their own slot for the year. At the end of the year, I clean it out and put them all together, in one place. That way if some weird discrepency comes up with something, I have proof. (I also write the date, on the statement, that I paid and the check number.)

And...if you are a knitter (or crochet-er), like me, I am sure you have patterns, here-there and everywhere! Some would be in this folder, over here...and some would be folded and kept in this get the picture. Now I am keeping all my "printed from the computer" or "hand-written" patterns in folders. It works nicely...for now. Ultimately, I would like to get them organized enough into one of my *binders*...but for now, this way works! ;)

So, that's a bit of what I do to try to keep *paper chaos* under control. I hope you find this beneficial in your quest for organization as you work on some spring cleaning, this spring! :)

And...just a few, quick photos from the day, below.

A bit of reading...

...and writing...

And, I am happy to report that I have gotten our homeschooling curriculum ordered, for the next school year. With almost three years of educating at home "under my belt", I am feeling more and more comfortable with what I am doing and how to do it. I am not just going down the *one curriculum* path anymore...

This time, I have chosen to do a few different things. I am going to use Christian Light Education (as I really do like their God-centered books/workbooks) for Madelyn and Xavier's reading, art, math and language arts(which includes spelling and penmanship...of which I will probably do more of on our own).
I am also using CLE for Jaxson's K-garten learning...while implementing many things I already have at home, from previous years with the other children (K-garten is *such* a fun year!).

**And keep in mind that learning isn't just about "book work"...there is so much more we will add to all of this...for example: art will consist of learning techniques, yes, but also of creating, colors, beauty and so much more!**

Subjects we will do together, all three children and me, are:

Science: I am using Apologia: Exploring Creation with Astronomy (the link gives a great description about it...but if you are interested in purchasing it for yourself, it is cheaper on Amazon!).
History: I have an old school textbook on PA state history (which is a requirement for all elementary students in our state to have learned about) that we will read, discuss and write about, throughout the year. Cost= Zero (yay!)
Bible: Stories, discussion etc.

I must say, having that done for another year also adds a sense of calm and resolve upon my mind! There are so many choices out there, for home education...that it can be stressing! I feel God has led us in the way He wants us to go, though...and I feel secure with what we are doing. :)
**I just wish record-keeping didn't seem so tedious!**

While doing housework, this afternoon, I played THIS cd to listen to. Then, when Chris got home from work, I asked him to listen to it (and I listened to it again!). It is fantastic...and I completely recommend it to every-single-Christian-family! Voddie Baucham encourages, admonishes, and is a true man of God. I am thankful for the messages God lays upon his heart!

And look at the cover...

I just love that cozy home that is pictured. I hope, when I get to heaven, I can have a home that looks like this, rather than a mansion! Ha! ;) It just pours with warmth, doesn't it? I can imagine the windows, glowing in candlelight as night sets in. All the greenery around it just makes my heart sing, too! Although, I would plant a few more flowers, for some extra color, if I lived there! (Have you ever seen the hobbit houses in the Lord of the Rings movies? Oh my goodness...I just love them! They are the cutest, coziest little places...)

For supper, this evening, we had ham (leftover from last night's supper) so I made some rolls and we had ham sandwiches and oven fries. It was delicious. I thank God for always providing us a meal. Often, we can take that for granted, can't we? I never intend to. I want to realize my blessings and always give thanks (for even the bad times...for God is *always* in charge)!

My, how time has gotten away from me. It is night...and nearing 10pm (past this lil' country gal's bedtime). I hope you have enjoyed your visit, here, with me. I hope you will drop in again, soon!

"Begin at the beginning," the King said gravely, "and go till you come to the end; then stop."
Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

Wishing you each a beautiful sleep and joy in the morning!
He must increase, but I must decrease. ~John 3:30


  1. Your binder information will be a great way for me to keep records of my sales at the shop that my creation's are in. The shop is in Bedford PA. May be near you. My last post was about it. I think having a gardening binder would be great to. I love to plant flower bulbs each fall but always not sure where I have already planted them or what they were. That house is pretty. Gives me thoughts of Tasa Tudor. How are your hens? Your littles are blessed to be home schooled by you. Blessings!

  2. Katy,
    Thank you for your organizing post today. It was fun to "peak" into another mama's home to see how she does things:)

    Voddie Bachmann was at our state convention last year. How convicting, BUT also how inspiring his message was. We were blown away at his frankness. My husband bought his video and book after the session (My husband does nothing impulsively!) We highly recommend all his works.

    Have a great day and thank you for sharing your homemaking/ family life.
    Teresa in Ohio

  3. Good morning, Katy!

    I have a binder I call my "Homekeeping" binder. It has room cleaning information, information we have learned about herbs, etc.

    I have been desiring to go through my recipes as mine are mostly in a tin that I have to 'dig' through to find. Perhaps today is the day to start on that!

    I pray your day will be a good one!


  4. Katy - When Vision Forum had a bunch of their CD's on sale last week, I almost bought this one but passed it up for a few others! It was on sale for $2.80! Did you know about that sale? I bought some really good ones, and they had their Homestead Blessings DVD's on sale for $8.00! I bought two that I had been wanting to purchase! I love the products that Vision Forum offers!

  5. Hi Katy,
    The beginning of that post I'm sure you actually wrote about me!!
    I too always feel calm and peaceful when I am organized. I am awaiting on my attic ladder to be installed so I can be even more sorted and organized. I also use binders for all my paper work, if I didn't my home would be very messy! I do wish we lived closer as I'm sure we would have a lot to chat about over a cup of tea!
    As you prepare for warmer weather I am preparing for winter. I do love Autumn and look forward to lighting our fire.
    May God continue to bless your lovely family Katy and thank you for visiting my blog.


  6. Thanks for the tips. I really like the bill stub idea. I like them all, but I will probably take that idea and apply it to our life. Thanks.

  7. Hi Katy, I love your binder! I've always had one of those..but not so nicely covered. :o)

    I had to laugh. I left a comment thinking you had a cold..but the post was from last November.

    I had noticed some traffic coming from you and wondered what it was about. I saw you had linked to my blog and it made my day!

    I was so honored. Thanks!

    Beautiful photos and great usual!
    Donna @ Comin' Home

  8. PS. I went to church with Voddie. Actually I should say, he came to our church and got to experience our family integrated style and went to church with us.:O) I go to Grace Community Church in Magnolia, Tx. Our church is now seven years old and doing very well.

    I'm so grateful to have a family integrated church to take my teenagers to. :o)My daughter is now 20 and still happily at home. Two sons are married and I have five grandchildren. Homeschooling my very last one--now 16. Goodness..time does fly. 23 years of homeschooling already over. It seems like yesterday that we were just beginning. :o)

    Keep up the good work Katy. You are an inspiration to mothers everywhere.




I am always so grateful to read your comments! I thank you for the time you took to visit and share your thoughts with me. :o)
May you enter as a stranger and leave as a friend!
Warmly, Katy