Saturday, September 28, 2013

Home Management Binder: Getting Started

This spring, I put together a home management binder to organize my daily paperwork relating to food, money, the house, schedules, and other information I wanted to have accessible. I use it all the time, and it keeps paper clutter out of my kitchen. After putting my system to the test over the summer, I am happy with how it's set up so far!

To start my home management binder, I used:
A binder (I believe 1.5")
A set of 8 binder dividers with pockets
A legal pad
I tucked the legal pad into the inside cover of the binder, and use it for making short-term to-do lists.

I used binder dividers (with pockets) to split my binder into 8 sections.

  1. Food: This section includes the meal plan for the week, as well as the grocery list and a separate list of our favorite menu ideas. We call this list the "make again" list, and it's a growing list of recipes we have tried and liked enough to keep on the roster.
  2. Cleaning: This section includes the cleaning schedule (daily, weekly, monthly, annually), the maintenance schedule, a recipe index for homemade cleaners, a stain removal chart, and an auto maintenance log.
  3. Calendar: I printed off monthly calendars to keep track of our events and schedules, and also created a perpetual calendar to keep track of birthdays and anniversaries. In the divider pocket, I keep invitations until the event has passed.
  4. Finances: In the pocket, I keep bills that need to be paid as well as our 2-envelope envelope system. We keep a separate monthly calendar in this section listing which bills are paid when, and for how much. I also have a list of dates for recurring bills that are set to autopay. In the back of this section are some notes from a Dave Ramsey class. I'd love to attend the actual classes, but so far have only watched a few sessions on YouTube before they were taken down for copyright infringement. This section would be an ideal space for a budget or coupons. (I have a separate folder for coupons).
  5. Garden: In the pocket, I keep receipts of plants that are guaranteed for a certain period of time. In the section, I have my planting map for the raised beds this year, as well as a form to record what and when I planted and harvested.
  6. To Do: This section is a catch-all for paperwork that doesn't belong in other sections. The pocket holds non-bill paperwork that needs to be addressed. The section includes lists of goals, pending house projects, and long-term to-do lists. I find this section essential for combating paper clutter in the kitchen.
  7. Contacts: Here I have all my contact information regarding banks, insurance agencies, doctors, hairdressers, and utility companies, etc. I also have business cards organized in baseball card sleeves.
  8. We're Out: This section is probably more useful for families with children, and would be a good spot to leave babysitter information. We don't have any kids, so our section includes "pet sitter notes" and a list of what to pack when we're camping.


  1. Anonymous8:36 pm

    I think I saw this folder this summer. Great idea. Now I'm trying to think how I can incorporate that idea into my life. I'm wishing I had looked at it closer. Proud of your organizational skills. :) -Mom

  2. I am trying to do this! We have a big box of papers in our dining room and a more permanent filing system but nothing for the more 'pending' stuff. Since the babies came we started getting an influx of papers of this variety and we have even less office-y space. Would you mind sharing your form layouts?
    Also, JEALOUS - I want an Aldi. I guess we will settle for Winco.


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