I spent a few weeks in December deciding what I wanted in my new binder and think I have come up with a plan that will work much better for our family going forward.
What is a Home Management Binder?
A home management binder is a one-stop shop for all of your family needs. It is filled with lists, charts and calendars for managing your home, your finances and your life. It is an invaluable resource for me and without it, I would be completely lost!
How to Create a Home Management Binder: Supplies Needed
- Binder (I currently use a 1-inch binder, but you can use any size you want)
- Page Divider Tabs
- Page Protector Sheets
That is pretty much all you need to get started, however, you may also want to include a zippered pouch to hold a pen, pencil, highlighter, etc. or other items like sticky notes and baseball card holders (to hold business cards).
How to Create a Home Management Binder: Binder Categories
The number one question I am asked about my home management binder is what I keep inside of it. This is really a personal preference. Everyone’s binder is going to be different from the next person’s.
With that said, here is a list of categories you may wish to include in your binder (I have bolded the categories that I am currently using):
- Calendar (One for each month of the year)
- Freezer Inventory
- Pantry Inventory
- Stockpile Inventory
- School Information/Schedule(s)
- Master To-Do List (weekly, monthly, seasonally & yearly)
- Monthly Budget
- Travel Checklist
- Daily Docket (to-do list for the day)
- Online Login Information
- Important Date
- Stock-Up Price List
- Produce Buying Guide
- In Season Produce Guide
- Yearly Goals
- Automobile Maintenance Schedule
- Shopping List
- Menu Plan
- Favourite Recipes
- Food Ideas
- Gift List (to track gifts purchased through the year)
- Mail-In Rebate Tracker
I suggest grouping things together as much as possible, to keep things organized. Here are a few examples:
Shopping > Shopping List, Stock-Up Price List, Produce Buying Guide, In Season Produce Guide
Food > Food Ideas, Menu Plan, Freezer Inventory, Pantry Inventory, Favourite Recipes
Tips For Using Your Home Management Binder
In order to get the most out of this fantastic organizing tool, it’s very important to actually use the binder that you just created. This means you will likely open it up every single day.
Here are a few tips to ensure you are getting everything accomplished that you need to:
- Make it easily accessible. You’re not going to use your binder if you don’t know where it is or it’s on the other side of the house and you don’t feel like going to get it. Keep your binder in the area of your home that you are in the most. For me, that’s my office, so my binder sits on my desk. A friend of mine keeps her binder on the kitchen counter. Wherever you decide to put it, make sure you’re able to grab it at a moment’s notice.
- Make it pretty. Okay, so this isn’t exactly necessary, but I find that the more plain and boring my binder, the more I don’t want to look at it. I added some colourful printables and cute binder cover and now I actually feel happy flipping through my home management binder.
- Re-evaluate often. Don’t create your binder thinking that it’s a one time deal and you won’t ever have to change the way that you use it. You should always go through your binder every 3 months or so and remove things that aren’t working for you (and/or add new things that you think may help). A new baby might mean a new category for tracking food intake and bowel movements (hey, some people like to track that kind of thing!). Your first family pet might require a pet sitting checklist.
My home management binder is the one thing in our home that really helps keep us organized throughout the year. If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to consider giving one a try.
We have a wide assortment of free home management downloads for you to print and use in your binder.
How do you organize your home/life? Please share your tips in the comments!