Keeping an organized life with three-ring binders

An Organized Life

by Qin Tang

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I love three-ring binders. They are a lifesaver for me. I use them to keep an organized life. I also use them to help my kids keep an organized life.

I use three-ring binders and sheet protectors to keep related items together. For example:

  • My published articles in newspapers or magazines
  • All the appliance manuals
  • Retirement and financial statements
  • Recipes

For each of my two children, I gave them a three-ring binder with plastic sleeves when they were born. I have been building a portfolio for each of them.

Each binder contains important documents from the birth to present, such as birth certificate, graduation certificate, school report cards, test results, yearbooks, awards, letters from teachers, etc.

My son's first binder was full when he finished fifth grade at age 11. So when he started sixth grade last year, I gave him a new binder. The transition from elementary to middle school was the perfect time to start a new binder.

I have a few binders that contain all of their birthday or school pictures. Another binder contains all current information about their after school activities, practice and game schedules for sport. The binder keeps all papers in one place and is handy when I need to know quickly when and what about their activities.

When my kids grow up and leave home, each will have a portfolio to take with them. Their life will be summarized in a few binders, neatly and orderly.

Qin Tang is a librarian and writer (columnist, blogger). She has a passion for healthy, green, simple, frugal, mindful and soulful living. Visit her blog at

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