Monday, March 19, 2012

Our Big Black Book

So, a while back Lauren (who just so happens to be awesome, beeteedubs) asked her followers to participate in a series about organization.  I told my husband I was going to do it and he laughed.  I'm not the most organized person in the world...but I'll share with y'all the most organized area of my/our life.  I did give her my guest post, and it was pretty successful if I do say so myself.  Since that lovely January day, that guest post has been sitting in my Draft box.  It's high time to share my sick-nasty organizational skills (I only have one, haha) with y'all, right?!  I mean...it's been three months.  

If you read my blog on the reg, you know that there is some weird gene in my body that makes me provide you with an introduction instead of just jumping into the thing I'm trying to talk blog about.  

The Introduction:

Meet my mom:


Isn't she beautiful?  I think she's the most beautiful woman in the world, and she is the person I look up to the most.  She's a wonderful person and I strive to be as good of a wife, daughter, sister, friend, and (maybe, someday) mother as she is.  
Her name is Doremi.  Do-re-mi.  
Do:  A deer, a female deer
Re:  A drop of golden sun
Mi:  A name I call myself

I'm not kidding.  I can't make this stuff up.

Anyway, she is a very organized woman and taught me everything I know about organizing.  And when I say she's very organized, I mean that her spices are in alphabetical order, so are her credit cards, and everything she owns is color coordinated.  She's a freak.  I strive to have just one-tenth of her organizational skills.  Maybe it's a mom thing, but she just has a knack for always knowing exactly where everything is...and once I became an old married lady, I wanted to have that skill, too!  I wanted to never lose anything!  :)  How great that must feel.

And so the 
Big
Black
Book 
was born.




The key to a happy marriage, never-ending youth, and perfection is all inside the BBB.  

Not.

But we do depend on this book to keep our home a happy one.  We keep it locked in our fire-proof, flood-proof, locked gun-safe.  At. All. Times.  We are so hardcore.  :)



About The Big Black Book

Well, it's really very simple.  We purchased a 2" black 3-ring binder from Wal-Mart.  We also purchased one pack of paper, two packs of subject dividers, and one pack of clear page protectors.  We loaded all of our supplies into the binder and there it sat for a while.  We didn't use it at first.  I have a little secret....I'm never going to be my mom.  I hate organizing.  However, it seems like a kind of necessary evil if we want all of our bills paid on time.  So, eventually we bought a huge heavy-duty hole-puncher and got to work.

TIP:  If you have certain documents that are important, don't punch holes in them.  Just slip the special papers into a clear page protector.  (Ex:  Car Titles, Marriage License, Official Documents)    

The very first page of the book is a clear page protector that holds our marriage license.  The South Carolina ML is not very attractive, so it is not displayed anywhere in our home.  We also want to make sure it never burns up or gets ruined on accident.  So, it lives in the BBB, who lives in the armegeddon-proof safe.    

Then, we have all of our pay stubs.  There is a page divider labeled as Mr. Robinson's pay stubs and a page divider labeled as Mrs. Robinson's pay stubs.  We punch holes in the pay stubs and load them into the book in ascending order so that our most recent pay stubs are always on top.  This will come in handy if we ever get audited or if there is a mistake at the bank.  It's also good for helping us figure out our budget.  

After our pay stubs, we have our bank account information.  Mr. Robinson and I have a joint checking account and a joint savings account, so all of our bank statements are under one tab.  We also have the information needed to log into our bank account online, like the user name, password, and security questions.  If you and your husband have a different system (like separate accounts), it could still be helpful to keep your banking information in a common place.  What happens if you tragically and suddenly die?  Your spouse might need access to your financial information.  Some couples choose to create financial folders with this information in them, sealed and handed over to an attorney.  This is just another alternative. 

Behind our bank account information, we have a tab for each of our bills.  
  • satellite television
  • internet
  • telephone
  • cell phones
  • health insurance
  • car insurance 
    • We keep our car titles and property tax information in clear page protectors under this tab.
  • credit card
    • We only have one credit card, and the only reason we have it is to earn sky miles.  So in this tab, we keep all of the statements we receive as record of spending but we also keep track of the miles we earn.
  • leases
    • When we got married, we moved into a house.  However, we were both still under leases for one bedroom apartments at the time.  My lease ended in November, and Mr. Robinson's will end in February.  We keep all of that payment information and records of the leases in separate tabs, organized by real estate companies.
  • We have a tab where we store the credit reports and mortgage information we received when we applied (and were denied) for our first mortgage on a home in the city.  
Each tab is labeled according to what the bill is for.  Information in each section includes account information, account history, bills, payment information, and receipts.  Also in each tab is the information needed to log into the respective account online (user name, password, and security questions).  

So, this is just one way that we stay organized.  I'll be honest with you, though.  We do not pull this thing out every day.  We do not spend our nights punching holes and organizing things.  We are newlyweds, ya know.  ;)  So....what actually and usually happens is.....when stuff comes in the mail, we either throw it away because it's junk or put it in this basket in the kitchen.  




 When the basket is full, we pull out the BBB and file everything away.

The book really does help us out, because when we are looking for something, we know exactly where to find it, whatever "it" may be.  If you decide to do this, make sure to keep your BBB in a very safe place.  A book like this would be every identity thief's dream.  Which is why, like I said, we keep ours in a fireproof, flood proof, bad-guy-proof, locked gun safe with all of our our loaded weapons.  :)  

Don't forget to come back Wednesday ~ in two days ~ for a really awesome, blogger-meet-up-opportunity + linky-party AND all of the amazing details!  =) 

5 comments:

TIffany Gabriel said...

This totally sounds like me, I am so OCD and Organized. It drives me crazy to have things a mess. You should see my pantry its so neat and organized, people always give me a hard time about it.
PS: hey I need info on the post for Wed. I got your email abt it but I didnt understand it at all. Sorry.

Mrs. Pancakes said...

Gosh we probably need a bbb because we have papers all over the place! Great suggestions!!

Meg @ Mr.C and Me said...

great post. we've got one too although i need to reorganize it. realllly need a safe box though. we're thinking of getting a bank/safety deposit box since we have no cool gun safe like you guys :)

Desiree said...

how clever this is! I totally need to do this! It'd simplify my life!

lilmoomoo said...

My husband made me a "Princess Binder" before he left.. (seriously, that is what he called it) so that I have ALL of our important documents, bills, leases, life insurance, passwords and user names, marriage license and such all in one place!
And- with being in the military, I feel like we have double the amount of paperwork.. sooo the "Princess Binder" was born.

And great idea about keeping it locked and fire proof! I'm going to look into that when I return ;)