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How to Store Binders (Personal or For School)

how to store binders

Binders are wonderful tools for organizing and keeping files in clean order. But what if you don’t know how to organize binders, the tools that are supposed to help you organize important papers? Whether you are using them for personal, school, or office purposes, here’s how to store binders.

How to Store Binders

Separating the Files into Each Binder

Since binders hold important files or papers, it is important to keep the same types of files in the same binder. This way, each binder has its own “niche” or category. When each binder in a group of binders contains the same types of files, you are making them more organized.

Examples of file categories are receipts, work projects, or school notes.

Labeling the Binders

Once you have a clear and segregated category of files in each binder, you should label the binders. Label the project files binder by the name of the project. Or, if the project has too many files and has to be done in stages, you can separate the files of the stages and label their binders “Stage 1”, “Stage 2”, and so on.

Most binders allow for spine labeling, fortunately. In my opinion, spine labeling is a CRUCIAL part of organizing and storing binders. Labeling should be part of any organizing project – whether that project is with binders or just with computer folders.

Assigning a Specific Place for Binders

Part of storing a binder in an organized manner is assigning a place just for them. That place can either be a shelf or a section of a table. Just this part alone has its own smaller steps.

Choosing Where to Place Binders

You should place the binders that you often use somewhere you can easily take and store them. For example, I place the binders holding the files for my ongoing projects within arms reach from my work desk. This way, I can easily grab the files I need while working on the project.

Never Mix the Assigned Places

When storing and organizing binders, it is vital to never mix them with each other randomly. Don’t mix the files they contain, and don’t place a bunch of binders in one place without a proper order.

Assigning a place for your binders and organizing them in it makes your workplace or home spatially efficient. It frees up and declutters your work space. And even saves you time in the long run if you don’t have to keep looking for binders when you need them.

Place the Binders in Order

There are many ways to organize a group of binders. You can sort them alphabetically, numerically, or chronologically.

If I were organizing project files and binders, I would organize them chronologically, based on which stages went first and which went last.

If I were organizing personal files such as pictures or receipts, I would organize them numerically by year.

But then again, these are my methods. You can think of your system which works for you. As long as the system is organized and helps you organize your binders efficiently, it should work.

How to Organize Individual Binders

how to organize your school binders

There are a lot of ways to organize a group of binders. But it is organizing a single binder that can also prove tricky.

Divide the Materials

We already discussed separating files according to clear groups of categories. But even those categories might have their own smaller categories or order. For example, there are different types of receipts – utility bills, groceries, clothing, etc. And even those smaller categories might have more microscopic categories such as electricity bills for utilities, soaps for groceries, and work clothes for clothing.

Dividing your files and materials into clear groups maximizes the use of your binders.

Use Dividers

If a binder contains more than one category or subcategory of materials, I highly recommend using dividers to separate those categories from each other. You can easily get hole-punched paper or plastic dividers at any office or school supplies store. Try getting a divider with a tab you can label foreasier organizing.

How to Organize Your School Binders?

Organizing your school binders requires the same steps as organizing personal or work binders. The steps are still separating the files into categories – for example subjects – then labeling the binders and placing them orderly in an assigned location.

If the binders are labeled with subjects, you can organize the placement of the binders alphabetically. If you label school binders according to year, you can organize them numerically. Lastly, if you separate school projects and their stages in binders, you can organize them chronologically.

How to Decorate Binders

One method that I find useful and fun when storing binders is decorating them. The decor serves as a label that helps me identify the contents of the binders. This is not for everyone, it is only for those who love a little color and creative freedom out of a rigid organizing project.

There are many ways to get creative with decorating binders. Here are a few examples you can definitely try:
Creating a special cover for your binder. You can create a unique cover for your binder using colorful papers or even plastics (though I suggest paper).

You can even use colored duct tapes which not only decorates your binder, but also supports its structural integrity.

Making colorful and artistic labels. We talked about the importance of labeling in organizing and storing binders. And with just a little creative juice, you can create interesting labels for your binders. Don’t be afraid to use markers, paints, colored pencils, or any other medium to splash color on your binder labels.

Paint the binder. Creating binder art is not out of the picture. As part of creating a special cover for your binder, why not also paint a beautiful picture on the cover?

There is no limit to decorating binders. In my opinion, as long as the decoration works for you and does not interfere with the storing of the binders.


There are a lot of ways to go about how to store binders and organize them. But the most important aspects are separating files into clear categories or subcategories within binders, labeling the binders, and placing them in specifically assigned places. There’s a lot of thought that goes into each of those steps, but those steps are the crux of storing binders. And of course, you can also have a bit of fun by decorating your binders as long as that doesn’t interfere with the organizing.

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