Thursday, March 21, 2013

staying organized.

I'd like to think that I'm not the only one in paperwork overload during this building process.  Between multiple floor plan revisions, cabinet plans, electrical plans, inspiration photos, draw requests, change orders, price comparisons, shopping lists...and on and on and on...I was feeling quite overwhelmed.  I'm one of those people that is very organized in some aspects of my life, but not others.  My pantry and cupboards are usually well organized, labeled and clean.  The pile of mail on my counter, not as much.  I swear, my mail must reproduce overnight. And now that we're adding school projects and newsletters to the mix, it's just out of control.  My goal for the new house is to conquer the mail mess.  I'll let you know how that goes.  Ha!

Anyway, I finally decided to take control of the building paperwork craziness and started a construction binder.  It's been a lifesaver and I actually wish I'd started the thing about four months before I did.  No more wondering if I have the most recent floor plans or digging through piles for the receipt I need to return a broken light fixture.  Such a nice feeling.

If you'd like to make your own, I'd recommend the following materials: heavy duty 2" binder (although, my first one is almost full and I'm about to start on binder number two), sheet protectors, 3-hole punch and  your preferred tabs or dividers (I personally like these by Post-it).

I'm a big fan of using sheet protectors for most of my documents because it just keeps everything protected.  Plus, I can slide papers in without needing to find my hole punch.  For my checklists, notes, drawings and other things that I actually write on, I do tend to use the 3-hole punch.  The only downside to sheet protectors are that normal sized dividers (like these by Avery) can get 'lost' in the binder because the sheet proectors stick out farther than a normal, hole-punched piece of paper.  It's all about personal preference.

And, because I couldn't put together an organizational binder without making it pretty, I created a set of dividers, worksheets, checklists and other helpful tools.  The best part?  You can use them to make your own binder pretty, too!  At my Hubby's encouragement, they're now available for purchase through Etsy.

If you're interested, you can check out the details here, on the lot23home shop.

And the second best part?  I've decided to give away a set of printables!  Just comment on this post with your name and e-mail address and I'll pick one winner (using a random number generator) on Monday, March 25.  All entries should be submitted by Sunday, March 24 at 11:59 pm CST.  If the chosen winner does not acknowledge my e-mail, another winner will be selected one week later (April 1). 

The worksheets would also be helpful for home remodeling projects or even planning for a future building project.  If you're interested, but would prefer the cover sheet say something other than 'construction', just send me a note!  The Etsy site also helps you get an idea of the different categories I used to divide my binder.

I've also used Excel and Pinterest to help myself stay organized.  All of my financial worksheets are in Excel.  It's easier for me to update an electronic worksheet when comparing loans, updating interest rates or even keeping track of change orders.  Plus, I'm a total Excel nerd.  Spreadsheets make me happy.

Pinterest (see my house boards here and here) has been awesome when we've been scouring websites, debating light fixtures, selecting faucets or even just saving things we'd like to purchase later.  It's also been a great place to save links to the selections we've made, so that I can access them anywhere via the Pinterest app on my phone, and not just when I'm not lugging my binder around.

Now, I'd love to know what other house building organizational ideas you have, as well as any tips to help me conquer my mail problem.  And don't forget to enter the giveaway - remember, it ends on Sunday and the winner will be announced Monday.  Good luck!


  1. I will definitely be starting a binder for this process! Count me in on the drawing! My name is Jared and email is

  2. Hi Amy! Very nice! I love your master vanity too by the way and have that same inspiration photo clipped into my houzz also. :) You have done a great job with your finishes - I really like your look. We are starting this fall next spring and your printables look perfect. - Lisa (GW - Autumn.4).

  3. Hi Amy-We live in Wisconsin too and are the proud owners of lot 33. We haven't broken ground yet but hope too soon. I'm having a hard time organizing all our "house" things now and we haven't really started anything LOL-your printables look like a very helpful tool!!
    My email is

  4. Found your blog through your husband's post on GardenWeb! Love your organization and these printables look perfect! Jessica -

  5. Love anything to help with organization too! Great job coming up with such a great the beginning stages of our build and would love to win your binder! Elizabeth