January 29, 2013

Home Management Binder

What is a home management binder?  Well let me tell you!  It is one of the best tools you can employ to keep you, your family, and your home organized!  This binder should have all of the information you need for your home to run smoothly.  You'll see what I mean in a minute!

Here is a picture of my NEW household binder.  It just got a makeover and I am so pleased with how it turned out.

Rather than re-inventing the wheel, I got the cover and pages from my friend Jen over at I Heart Organizing. She put together such an amazing kit and I loved the pages and colors, so rather than recreate my own asked her if she would let me promote her wonderful kit to YOU!  If you haven't checked out her website, you MUST!  She has amazing ideas and a fabulous sense of style.  Not to mention, she is super nice too!  She is one of the few organizing blogs that I MUST read and ALWAYS come back to.  So thanks Jen!  You can purchase this Household Binder Kit in her Etsy Store.

Household binders really need to be tailored to you and your family.  Every family is different and has different needs.  What works for one may not work for another.  So like any other organizing project, your household binder may need tweaking.  When I was first looking for information on home management binders, I scoured the internet and found so many ideas and printables.  So here is a pretty comprehensive list of sections you may want to consider for yours.  

  • School
  • Finance
  • Contact Info
  • Sitter 
  • Home maintenance
  • Media Tracking
  • Auto Maintenance
  • Important Dates
  • Food
  • Medical

Within these sections you can have different sheets that cover everything from party planning to an illness record sheet.  The kit from I Heart Organizing comes with just about everything I wanted except for a medical section (which she told me she will be working on!)

So let me show you the inside of my binder!

Here are the different sections in my binder - Calendar, Cleaning, Phone, Finance, Inventory, Medical, Outings, and Misc.  After a lot of tweaking, I find that these are the categories that best suit my life and needs.

In the front of my binder I have a sheet to write my daily goals and tasks.  By writing this down every morning I am able to see what I need to get done today.  I can also look back and see what didn't get done yesterday.

The first section is my Calendar section.  I primarily use Google Calendars for my calendaring and I also have the calendar in my Command Center. But this section holds my Weekly Meal Plan, Week at a Glance page, Important Dates page, as well as calendars from the kids school.  I also sometimes print out my Google Calendar and stick it in here if I think I might need it.  I find I am always flipping through it to find when so-and-so's birthday is, what letter are the kids studying in Preschool, or when the kids have off school.  It is all at my fingertips and not cluttering up counters or bulletin boards!

The next section is cleaning. This is really a "Home Maintenance" section, but that didn't fit on the divider tab.    My dividers have pockets in them and this is where I store the cleaning checklists that I laminated for my kids.  I also have my cleaning checklist, household maintenance list, auto maintenance list, honey-do list, and even my laundry stain cheat sheets.

The third section is Phone.  This is really just contact information and important numbers.  I keep a sheet in there with numbers of our extended family as well as neighbors and people we go to church with.  I also keep a sheet with the kids friends names, parents names, and contact information.  

The fourth section is Finance.  I do most of my finance stuff online with Mint.com and online banking but it is nice to have a few things written down and I always know where to find my checkbook!

The next section is Inventory.  This section is about food.  But I do all of my meal planning on PlanToEat.com, which also creates my shopping list.  I keep info sheets on food conversions, the seasonal purchasing, and purchasing organic in my Recipe Binder.  But in this section I keep my food inventories.  We have an extensive Food Storage Room as well as a fridge/freezer in our garage, and a chest freezer in our basement.  If I didn't keep an inventory of what I have on hand, I would never know what we have!  So I created an inventory (Jen includes some in her kit as well) and I update it monthly.  It really comes in handy when I am meal planning.  I don't have to go looking through the food storage or freezers to know what I have to work with.  

The next section is Medical.  This section is extremely important to our family.  There are a few of us that have some major health issues and knowing what medicine was given when and proper dosages is essential. In addition to illness record charts, I also have a personal medical information sheet for each person in our family.  I can't tell you what a lifesaver (literally) this is.  

Last June, I was living with my parents before my husband and I got married.  I had only recently been diagnosed with Asthma in march.  My parents were redoing their wood floors and it really made my asthma bad.  Kevin and I had just recently taken engagement photos as well and my allergies were out of control, again, causing my asthma to flare up.  So between the allergies and the dust, I could not breathe.  One night, I had a horrible asthma attack.  I could barely breathe and was only getting 1-2 words out per breath.  I woke up my parents for my dad to take me to the ER.  I grabbed my Medical Information sheet to take with me.  When I got to the ER, I could barely talk, but I was able to hand over my sheet and give them all of the information that they required in order to treat me.
  • Personal Information (name, birthdate, ss#, address, phone)
  • Insurance Information (carrier, ID#, Group#, policy holder)
  • Primary Care Doctor
  • Medical History (pass illnesses, vaccinations, surgeries, hospitalizations, allergies)
  • Current Medication (name & dosage)
  • Family History
The last section I call Outings.  It has a list of places we want to visit and things we want to do.  Ideas for boring rainy days.  Travel plans and pack lists, etc.

And the last section is a Misc.  In here I have babysitter notes (not really filled out because we don't use babysitters since we have older kids), party planning worksheets, gift giving ideas, and a few other pages from Jen's kit that I don't have a need for right now, but may want them in the future.

So, my challenge to you is to get your own Home Management Binder put together.  Whether you purchase a kit, find something online, or make your own, make it work for you!

You can check my Pinterest board for more ideas and printables.

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