Item 1: The binder. In this binder you'll find a medical folder (mostly for receipts), a school folder with various contact info and calendars, an adoption folder (self explanatory), a vacation folder for both ideas and upcoming intineraries, estimated tax payment coupons (blah), and a folder for house plans and ideas for our next house (more on that in the months to come). I don't open this binder every day or even every week, but I keep it in my desk where I have easy access.
Item 2: My planner. This is probably my most important item because it's where I write down everything . . . birthdays, dinner dates, appointments, bills due, meals (subject to change depending on the mood of the chef ... i.e. me), etc. Finding the right planner has been a bit of a trick. Many years ago I used Erin Condren's life planner. It was super cute, and I loved it. Who doesn't love a cute planner? But it was a bit pricey for my taste, and it was also kind of bulky. So then I tried out cheap Walmart/Target planners for a couple years, and I was underwhelmed to say the least. About a month ago, I decided I needed something in between price wise but still good quality wise. After a little google searching, I happened across the planners by Rifle Paper Company. This planner came last week, and I love it. Aside from the cuteness, it has full month calendar pages as well, as spots for each individual day. There's also a contacts section and a notes section, and the size, quality, and price were all more than right.
Item 3: My "handy dandy notebook" (Blues Clues reference from my college babysitting days). This notebook was a free gift from Shutterfly. While I could certainly live without it, I like the convencience it adds. Right now I only use it for two things: (1) Meal lists - these aren't recipes. These are all meals that I can make off the top of my head with little variation. If I find or invent a new recipe I like, I'll add it to the list. The lists are organized by chicken, beef, other/fish, and without using this I tend to get in a major rut. I'll cook the same things every week. (2) Scriptures and Notes - this is where I write down scripture references for specific scriptures God gives me as well as notes about my readings and of course, inspirational quotes.
Item 4: My notepad which just happens to be another free gift from Shutterfly. I'm a list maker extraordinaire. I mostly use this for my household and grocery lists. I keep it on the counter where I can jot down stuff we need as it comes to my attention. I've also been known to make lists for trips, school events, Christmas gifts . . . If can be put into a list, I've likely done it.
So there you have it. Four simple items that help keep me and my OCD self organized (or as organized as possible).