Do you need a better way to organize and keep track of all the information required to manage your home? A home management binder, sometimes called a family binder, could be exactly what you need. We all want to have an organized household that runs smoothly. But how many of us actually do?
It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by everything there is to keep track of family life. But a household binder can help you keep it all straight. Check out these tips for how to create a household binder and get your family life organized today!
Creating a Household Binder that Works
What is a Household Binder?
For anyone not familiar with the concept of a household binder, here is a quick explanation. A household binder is either a physical three-ring binder or a digital equivalent that contains important documents and information about your family life.
The purpose of the binder is to help you organize your home life and keep everything from schedules to cleaning, to meal planning running smoothly. Isn’t that something we could all use help with?
Supplies to Create a Household Binder
Before you get started on your household binder, you’ll want to decide if you’re creating a physical binder or a digital version for your computer, tablet, or phone.
I recommend a physical binder, at least at first. And that’s what we’ll focus on in this post. Maybe I am old fashioned but I find it easier to flip through a binder than to scroll through computer screens when I need to find important information.
Next, you’ll need to gather supplies. For a physical binder, you’ll need a binder, obviously. I recommend getting a large binder. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your household binder will fill up. And you’ll also need dividers, binder tabs, and sheet protectors.
Once you have your supplies, it’s time to start organizing.
What Sections Will Your Household Binder Need?
Every family’s household binder is going to look a little bit different. You’ll want to take all of the information and customize it to fit your family’s needs. But many of the basic categories will be the same.
Create a Table of Contents: Start by making a master list of all the different topics that you need to address in your home management binder system. You can use this as your table of contents and it will help you keep everything in one place. Here are some examples of different categories you may want to use in your personal family binder.
Calendars and Schedules
The section I turn to most in my household binder is calendars and schedules. You can include everything from monthly calendar pages to a daily to-do list in this section. And don’t hesitate to divide the section into smaller sections.
You may want a schedule section for each family member to note after school activities or work travel. Or separate sections for daily, weekly, and monthly schedules.
Experiment with different ways to find the set up that is most useful to you for your entire family.
Family Budget & Finances
Creating a family budget and keeping it in your household binder is a useful way to keep track of your household expenses.
I also store bills in this section and make notes of when they are due and when payments have been sent.
If your binder is kept secure, consider making copies of your credit cards and storing them in the event one is ever stolen.
Family Memories & Milestones
I keep a section in my binder for family memories.
This is where I store photos, school papers and art projects from our kids and cards from special occasions.
This section is also great for keeping records of milestones such as birthdays and anniversaries.
For the small things that I don’t want to forget, I keep a notebook in this section for quick jottings.
If you find your phone contact list not as easy to use as your old paper address book, consider adding a section for friends and family contact information in your household binder.
You can make a sheet of emergency contacts. Another with names and phone numbers for babysitters, pet sitters, coaches, teachers, or anyone else you may want to keep a phone number or an address for.
This is a great place to add business cards of people you meet that you may need to contact in the future.
Health & Medical Information
The health and medical section of your household binder can be for everything for immunization records to copies of your health insurance cards.
It’s also a good place to keep records if you have insurance appeals or other ongoing issues where the documentation adds up. Keeping all of these things together and in one central location makes it easier to keep tack of and know what needs to be followed up on or not.
Creating a cleaning schedule is one of the best ways to keep your home clean and organized. And your home organization binder is the perfect place to keep your schedule and stay on top of it.
I suggest separate pages for daily cleaning, weekly, monthly, and even seasonal deep cleaning and maintenance.
You can write out what tasks to do on each day, or create a checklist for each section. Then you will know exactly what needs to be done and can work it into your routine so that cleaning doesn’t become overwhelming.
Meal Planning & Grocery List
Meal planning is a great way to save time and money when it comes to grocery shopping and feeding your family. It’s the easiest way to ensure you don’t buy unnecessary things at the store and the best way to make sure you stick to your grocery budget and shopping list.
Create a weekly meal plan for your family and plan your grocery list accordingly. Keeping these items together in your household binder will make them easier to coordinate.
It will make dinner time easier throughout the week when you already have menu plans made and everybody knows what to expect for food that week.
A family travel section of your household binder is the perfect place to store confirmations for upcoming family trips. And to keep copies of packing lists, maps, and lists of favorite hotels. Anything that will make family travel more organized.
Some families may even put birth certificates or copies of them as well as, passports in there as well so everything is together, ready to go when it’s time to travel. We recommend keeping your household management binder in a secure location if you wish to store things with personal information in it.
Organizing your home maintenance tasks and keeping track of them in one place is a great way to stay on top of home repairs. Make a list of regular home maintenance tasks that need to be done (like changing air filters, catching up on yard work, etc). Prioritize the list so you know what needs to be done first.
You can cross reference this list and make notes in your weekly and monthly planning sections reminding you of which tasks need to be done when.
Utilities, Internet, and Other Service Provider Contact Information
If every time you needed to contact a service provider from your internet provider to your garbage company, the phone number was conveniently located in your household binder imagine the time and frustration you would save.
Make sure to note your account number or any other reference number next to the provider information. No more searching for an old bill or searching the internet for phone numbers. All the information will be right at your fingertips.
Home & Auto Insurance
Your household binder is the perfect place to keep your home and auto insurance policies. Along with contact information for your insurer. And copies of any insurance cards
are a good idea to have on hand. This section is great to keep the registration and documents for all of the vehicles you own in one place. If you ever need to find anything related to a vehicle, it’s right there and easily accessible. You can also keep vehicle maintenance records here, like oil changes, tire rotations, etc.
Bank & Investment Information
Your household binder is the perfect place to keep bank and investment information. Include account numbers, passwords, contact info for any banks or investments you have. And if necessary, copies of statements. We also like to keep goal sheets with this section. For instance, if you have a specific savings goal, keeping the goal sheet by it with your progress on it helps keep your motivation up to help reach those goals faster.
If you belong to a church or a gym or a rowing club, or any other organization, this is a good place to keep contact information, reference numbers, dues information, copies of membership cards or any other miscellaneous information you may need as a member.
Keeping these things in one central place makes it easier for you to find when you need it.
Household Binder Maintenance
Once you’ve created your household binder, be sure to update it and let it evolve with your family’s changing needs. If the phone numbers, schedules, and budgets are all six months out of date or you never open your binder and actually use it then it won’t help you be more organized.
This is a tool that can really help you run a more organized home. Take advantage of it!