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Creating and Using a Home Management Binder

Posted on August 24 2016

‘What’s a home management binder and why would I want one?

I’m a married lady and a mom to a dog; compared to parents with many kids and sometimes multiple jobs, my ‘life-crazy’ is pretty mild. But, I am also the type A personality that likes to have all my ducks in a row. I know the benefit of having everything I could possibly need for me, J*, the dog, the house, the cars, in one, easily accessed spot. When it’s time for car maintenance, I can grab the last receipt and know what I had done. When it’s time for the dog to have a vet checkup, I can see what immunizations he had last. 

I also – obviously – use a planner for personal events, etc., but there’s no good way to keep track of everything in my planner! 

The old process for this was the junk drawer in our apartment. I wish I was kidding.  Then, we decided to buy a house – what? Still can’t believe it. I knew there was no way that the old junk drawer method was going to work. I also have a terrible memory, and 9 times out of 10 I have to ask J* the answer to any of the 1000 questions I have. Like, when was the dog’s last grooming appointment? What’s the number for the bank again?  Sigh. 

So, the home management binder was born. Now I don’t have to wait for J* to get home from work to answer my questions! :p

 What do you keep in a home management binder?

Everyone’s family is different, so this is a tricky question – for us, it was house needs, personal needs, pet needs, etc. It has our bank info, our mortgage info, as well as emergency information in the event anyone actually needed it! Here’s the breakdown of our binder:

BEFORE THE TABS

  1. Moving Checklist
  2. First Night Essentials
  3. Change of Address Checklist
  4. Change to our name list

Because I decided to take the leap into the home management binder right before we moved, these sheets were crucial for us. It kept us totally organized throughout the process of closing on the house, packing up, cleaning and moving in! (Even if I’m still working on my ‘change of address’ list.  Priorities, people – unpacking my planner stickers came first! :p) 

I am a firm believer in listing - make as many lists as you can, and stick to them. It makes even the most daunting tasks seem a little easier, and checking off what you've done as you go is very satisfying. But keep your lists together! Stay organized. 

THE TABS

  1. 2016-2017 scheduling: I’m going to get us an 8.5x11 monthly layout for this, check it out!  [link: http://www.limelifeplanners.com/collections/8-5-x-11-monthly ]
  2. Contact & Vital Family Information: In this tab, I’ve got sheets for both J* and I and our personal/medical information, pet care sheets, contact info for our emergency contacts/friends/family, and house contacts. If there’s ever an emergency, I want it to be easily accessible for anyone to come in and be able to take over in my / our absence. It guarantees that the ‘kids’ and the house are cared for!
  3. Financial Information: What banks we have money in, our retirement funds, information on our mortgage lender, etc.
  4. Home & Auto Information: When was the last time I had the car serviced? Who has my auto loan? How much do I owe? It’s all here.
  5. Home Fun: One of my favorite tabs; a place to keep fun ideas for the house, image boards, etc. This can include coupons for stores, too!
  6. Vacation Information: J* and I take one trip to Cape Cod once a year for our anniversary, sometime around July. Because it’s such a staple in our lives, I wanted a tab just for this.

The binder is totally a fluid process, too. If there’s to be a little human in our lives, I can add a tab for the kiddo. I could keep pediatrician info, school, and sports schedules in that section.

‘So what do I need to set up a home management binder?’

Find a system that works for you. For us it was a 3-inch binder with a clear sleeve. I made an adorable cover page, using a free Limelife Planners desktop background download. There is a clear zipper pouch inside, and then tabs from Target. Again, this should be a system that works for you; some people would rather have a home management ‘command center’ with file folders, or a file cabinet. It’s all about your personal family flow, but whatever way you choose it should help make your life a little-less wacky! :p

Do you think you’ll set up a home management binder? Do you already have one and have some other tips? Let me know in the comments!

This blog post was written by Keri Thivierge for the Limelife Planners Media & Creative Team. For more information about Keri visit her on Instagram @steviedplans. Please share this blog entry with your friends! All we ask is that you give credit to Limelife Planners and the post author.

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