Admin Makeover

Well, it took 19 hours, but all our paperwork is finally organized!

This was what I was working with when I started…

It was organized but there was too much stuff, so I went through each file and threw a lot of it away. Need I remind you that this was only about two thirds of the rubbish?

It can be a bit hard to figure out what to hold on to – I’ll post the guide lines I go by in the next couple of days.

After all that, I made a list of all the categories our documents fell into. I figured out, with a bit of rearranging, that I could get 13 binders down to 7, consisting of:

  • Checking & savings accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Loans, tax & miscellaneous financial
  • Our old condo (which we’re renting out)
  • Health
  • Utilities/household
  • Employment & education
I toddled off to Target and bought five 2″ binders and two 1.5″ binders at a total of about $28. I picked the cheapest white ones there, which had plastic pockets on the sleeves, and cut out scrap book paper to fit. Because we’re in the process of moving our office into the living room, I picked colors that would go with the decor in there (pink and duck egg blue, although they look a bit funky in this pic).

I labelled them temporarily while I filled them with all the documents. I use dividers in each one, so they’re all nice and neat.

Then I made labels for the sleeves. I printed them on turquoise paper, neatly ripped the edges and mounted them using Elmer’s glue (or PVA glue) onto textured card.

I mounted the new labels on the outside of the sleeves, thinking it would be easy to replace and update them without damaging the scrapbook paper. I used adhesive foam circles (similar to mounting tape) to add some depth.

Now that they’re all done, though, I’m not entirely loving the labels. I thought about reprinting them and sticking them directly on the scrapbook paper inside the sleeves, but then I would have to replace the whole sleeve if I needed to update the labels. Instead, I’m going to save my pennies for a Silhouette machine, so I can make uber pretty labels – a bit like these from The DIY ShowOff – click the link to see more of Roeshel’s Silhouette projects)…

So even though it’s not completely finished, it’s a whole lot better than what I started with. Want a recap? Here’s the before…
And the after (apologies for the terrible pictures – there is no natural light in that room)…
I’ll update if and when I get my Silhouette. Maybe I’ll put it on my Christmas list and see what happens…here’s hoping!


  1. August 30, 2011 / 7:59 pm

    What a great idea. Seriously, I need to do this too! But 19 hours?! ahhhh!

  2. August 30, 2011 / 11:50 pm

    I know it's time consuming – exactly why I haven't started such a project myself! lol. I have papers all over the place and an unorganized mess. Your binders look great and I love your labels! What a pleasant surprise! D&R was moving slow, so popped over to visit since I had the time. Thanks for the shout out! 😉

  3. July 29, 2012 / 4:05 pm

    I have always been a binder girl so I LOVE this. I used to teach and organized everything in binders. This makes me giddy.

  4. July 30, 2012 / 12:56 am

    Thanks Courtney! I loved your linky party – so many awesome organizing ideas! Thanks for hosting. 🙂