I manage most of our household by using a 5 x 7 binder (portable costs about $10) to write things down, move papers around. One moment I may need to reference and note down medical information, next moment I may need to update the status of interaction with utility company, etc.

Having this portable 5 x 7 binder with multiple sections is extremely helpful to me, and makes me feel less overwhelmed about every-day life.

But what happens when the 5 x 7 runs out of space? As it is, I have difficult opening and closing the binder without papers coming out (hence I go to center of binder)

What is the best, low-cost way to archive this information I no longer need? As it is, I keep old information in a 5 x 8 clunky, rusted binder, but what if that runs out of space.?


I mean, the archivist way of doing things would be to get a box (literally like the box that printer paper comes in) and put old folders in the box. Then put the box in storage. You can probably move stuff to archive every year after you finish your taxes. If you have lots of time, you can then create a finding aid which states what's in each box and each folder (for fun, the EAD XML spec).

  • This is really something worth looking into, thanks! – Marium Dec 27 '18 at 18:17
  1. You could scan, save and manage your redundant notes as digital files.

  2. If you have a smartphone, you could make use of the note applications available to avoid the messiness, running out of space and having to carry an additional thing (notebook) with you.


The easiest I have found was to use string that melts when put in a flame, this will also harden the string if heated just a bit.

Heat the end of the string and shape it into a point. (Be careful, mostly it will be hot, using a metal tool (like the back of a spoon) on a metal or stone surface is safe.
Next heat the string leading to the point a bit so it becomes stiff. Measure how much string you will need for that set of paper, add a bit for the knot and a bit more for easy working and cut the string and make a point and hard bit at the other end as well.

Take your paper out of your binder and feed the string through, pointy end first. Use two holes and you can tie your string at the top. If you have a three hole system, you can go up two of them in the first pass and down the last in a third.

If you put the older paperwork on your string first and keep the ends long enough, you can move only part of the paper and keep the more recent in your folder to move at a later date.
You can also make time restricted bunches, like a month, a year or even a decade, as long as you can handle the amount of paper and have your string long enough.

When you use two holes, tie the ends in a reef knot/square knot. If you need to use three holes, tie one end to the string at the top and the other to the string at the bottom.

Store these sets of paper in a box or on a shelf where they sit undisturbed. If you need to look into these papers, undo the knot(s) and allow a bit more string so you can fully open the papers if needed.

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