There are certain pieces of information that you should digitize, but there are other pieces of information you should not. While it is handy to have a phone that can find just about any piece of information, there are still times when it is easier to look information up using good old fashioned paper. That’s why I love using my home management binder. It’s where my family keeps information that we need to routinely reference. I know that looking up the information in the binder is often faster than the phone or computer. If you start looking for home management binder ideas online you will quickly be overwhelmed with ideas. It will probably seem more complicated than it has to be. You can always add to your binder later, but here the four steps to follow if you want to start a home management binder now.
Gather Your Materials
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You are going to need a few simple materials to get your home management binder started.
Grab all your paperwork and schedules as well as the items listed below.
This is where you keep all your information together.
This will help you divide your binder into sections to help you easily find the information you need.
You can skip this step, but I like using clear sheet protectors for all of our papers. It allows me to store papers easily back to back. It also keeps our papers from getting ripped or dirty.
Set Up Your Binder
The next step is to put your binder divider tabs into your binder. Then you can label each of them either by hand or using a label maker. Personally, I prefer using a label maker because it looks nice and can be easily changed. Not to mention I hate my hand writing.
I divide my binder into 5 sections. The first 3 sections I would always use. I use family activities and finances for the last two sections, but you could always do something else based on your personal preferences.
Emergency Contact Information
This is where I keep all our contact information for family, friends and emergency contacts. I list our information, family numbers, numbers of local friends, utility companies, doctors, the Red Cross and Poison Control. Since my children are young. I try to include anything a babysitter might need to know.
Put every school calendar, work schedule or activity schedule you have to keep track of in this section. I also include any contact information and rules from my children’s schools.
If you use a cleaning schedule of any sort, this is where it should go.
I keep our financial goal sheets and other saving information in here. The visual is good for us to revisit from time to time.
In this section I place information about local activities. Hours of operation or lists of free things to do in our area. I’ve also added a few family bucket list ideas I have found online over the years.
Fill Your Binder
Here are the items I fill our binder with.
Section 1 Emergency Contact Information
You always need to have emergency contact information written out and handy for yourself and anyone else who may be caring for your children or pets in your home. You never know when an emergency may happen. In a panic you may not have the peace of mind and patience to wait for a phone or computer to load the information you need quickly.
Section 2 Schedules
All schedules that you must keep track of go here.
You need to have a handy copy of your child’s complete school year schedule available so you can plan ahead for days off, trips and doctor’s appointments.
I am a teacher and my husband works in a theater. They have a pre-planned yearly show schedule. I keep a copy of both our schedules in our home management binder so we can double check days off and sync our schedules.
Our library has a fantastic children’s program and they publish a calendar every month with activities for kids. We always keep an updated copy in our binder. We know what is happening and we can find activities for the kids to do.
Once your kids get into elementary school and get involved in extracurricular activities you are going to want a copy of those schedules in a place where you can easily find them. This will help you coordinate everyone’s plan.
Trash used to be easy, it came once or twice a week. They took everything and that was it. Now many local municipalities have restrictions on what you can throw out and when. If your trash has specified pickup days for recycling or bulk trash items you will want to have a copy of that schedule handy.
Teachers often hand out flyer with their contact information and class expectations. Many schools also send home student behavior expectations or handbooks.The home management binder is a great place to keep them.
Section 3 Cleaning Schedules
When you and a partner split the cleaning duties it may be helpful to post a schedule somewhere you both can refer back to. You can also spell out exactly what needs to be done in each room and who is responsible for it. I also keep cleaner recipes and ideas in here for items that need occasional cleaning.
Section 4 Finances
I keep all our financial goal sheets and payment information in here.
Section 5 Family Activities
This is a good spot to puts lists of local activities and festivals in your area for your family to attend. I also put activity bucket lists in there. When you can’t think of anything to do you can look here for ideas.
Use Your Binder
The last step in starting a binder is to actually use it. If you have filled it with relevant information that you and your family need to know you will begin to use it. Just make sure you follow these steps so that your binder does not just become another piece of clutter in your home.
Do you have a home management binder? Is there anything you would recommend putting in it? I’d love to hear about how you use your binder in the comments!