Downsizing: solutions for hard-core, hardcopy information junkies

I’m an information junkie and collect information like bees collect pollen. Like any collection, mine started small with a single file folder and then began to grow…to numerous file folders…to a box to store them in…to many boxes…and finally morphed into 3 file cabinets. Eight file drawers stuffed with clippings, instructions, photocopies, and images, from magazines, newspapers, books, and the internet: gardening (though I didn’t have a yard), recipes (though I don’t like to cook), history, crafts, biographies, more history, design, funny stories, poetry, décor, DIY projects…I was such a busy little bee! The problem was I kept filling up the hive.

When I started downsizing I rid myself of the cumbersome file cabinets and purged the info collection to a more manageable size but I was still faced with what to do with the remaining hardcopy. File folders are not the best choice for me, information seems to get buried or I forget what I have or where I’ve filed it or it’s difficult to retrieve. If I weren’t so technologically challenged I’d scan and save to disc but it just doesn’t work for me. However I have found two alternatives that do work.

The first option is fairly obvious: inexpensive loose-leaf binders. notebooks 006I have different binders for different interests: décor, crafts, needlecrafts, holidays, Christmas, DYI’s, and even one (a thin one) for recipes which is kept with my few cookbooks.

The hardcopy information is organized in a tidy and uniform format, is accessible, nicely displayed, and easily removed notebooks 008when outdated. One advantage of the binders is the ability to organize information into sections.

I purchase binders with a pocket on the inside covers to hold patterns or anything I don’t want to tape or glue.

notebooks 009

My holiday binder includes crafts, stories, poems, recipes, traditions, cross-stitch patterns, decorations, décor, and table settings specific to each holiday (except Christmas, Christmas of course warrants two  binders.)  

notebooks 011For a loose-leaf binder all that is required are the binder, and common materials you most likely have anyway…copy (typing) paper, a glue stick, scissors, cellophane tape, and a paper punch. If you want to get a little fancier use vinyl page protectors. Sheet protectors are especially good for protecting recipes when you remove a recipe from the binder to actually use in the kitchen. 

notebooks 015 Glue sticks have the advantage of not wrinkling the paper and usually an item can be easily removed from the page if you want to rearrange or discard an item.


notebooks 020For two-sided items use a strip of tape the length of the item. Tape half of the strip (lengthwise) to the item and the other half to the page, allowing the item to be turned over and both sides to be visible.

notebooks 026


Tomorrow: a second option for hard-copy junkies.


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