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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.