Follow this step by step guide to learn how to create a home management binder – the smart girl’s solution to living a full life, keeping your home clean and making it look easy.
Nothing brings me joy like sharing a creative strategy that will make big waves in your life – especially one that can get rid of your messy house. And eliminate a boatload of stress from your life.
I personally didn’t even think about doing something like this until…well, until I started looking for ways to better help my clients. After dibbling and dabbling with the idea of a home maintenance binder for a few years, I finally got one going.
Follow the super quick tutorial below from our friends at OrganizedMom.net to get your home management binder setup. You will see the benefits of using a home management binder almost immediately – guaranteed! So don’t do like I did. Set aside an hour or two and seriously organize your life – you’ll thank yourself every day when you’re living your happily ever after.
From cleaning schedules to account passwords, a home management binder should be like the official Google of your life! When you need to know something related to your family – from when it’s time to clean the baseboards to what bills are due this week – the answer should be in that binder. If it’s not in the binder, it doesn’t exist lol.
BEFORE YOU GET STARTED
Write down why you want a home management binder in the first place. What is driving you crazy about your life right now? What keeps happening over and over that you could stop simply by getting organized? How will being more organized make you feel?
Creating a household binder is pretty simple. Ir’s either a physical three-ring binder or a digital equivalent that contains important documents and information about your family life.
Before you get started, you’ll want to decide if you’re creating a physical binder or a digital version for your computer, tablet, or phone. Or some combination of the two.
I recommend a physical binder, at least at first. And that’s what we’ll focus on in this post. Maybe I am old fashioned but I like writing things down anyway.
With that being said, I use the Notes and Lists app on my iPhone to keep certain things like my running grocery lists. I actually copy a lot from my binder into my phone – for example, I keep passwords in both places. Just remember, there is no wrong way to do it!
Everything you’ll need to make a physical home management binder //
A large binder | You’ll be amazed at how quickly your household binder will fill up.
Paper | I like to use 24pt. paper for my binder cover and sections. The heaviness of the paper just makes it all feel so royal. And of course regular paper for the rest.
Sidenote: My home management system is a physical binder and the notes app on my iPhone. Important documents, passwords, cleaning checklists, and medical information are in my binder while my running grocery lists and meal prep ideas are on my phone.
Every family’s household binder is going to look a little bit different. Just use the categories or sections below as a guide. As you start putting your binder together, you’ll think of more sections to add – it’s perfectly normal. Consider the binder like a pair of yoga pants – it should stretch and give room for things to change over time!
The section I turn to most in my household binder is calendars and schedules. You can include everything from monthly calendar pages to a daily to-do list in this section. And don’t hesitate to divide the section into smaller sections.
You may want a schedule section for each family member to note after school activities or work travel. Or separate sections for daily, weekly, and monthly schedules.
Experiment to find the set up that works for you. But just know, after you write everything down, you definitely need to set up your Google calendar with all this stuff.
Creating a family budget and keeping it in your household binder is a useful way to keep track of your household expenses. And if you’re currently trying to get out of debt, this section is even more important!
I also store bills in this section and make notes of when they are due and when payments have been sent.
If your binder is kept secure, consider making copies of your credit cards and storing them in the event one is ever stolen. For those – knock-on-wood – my purse was stolen from the car at the hotel moments.
Don’t roll your eyes. This is one of those things where it’s not until you need to find this info that you’ll appreciate this – probably super short – section.
You can make a sheet of emergency contacts. Another with names and phone numbers for babysitters, pet sitters, coaches, teachers, or anyone else you may want to keep a phone number or an address for. Again, for those super random just in case moments.
The health and medical section of your household binder can be for everything for immunization records to copies of your health insurance cards.
It’s also a good place to keep records if you have insurance appeals or other ongoing issues where the documentation – and headaches – add up quickly.
Creating a daily cleaning routine and cleaning schedule is one of the smartest ways to keep your home clean and organized. No matter how crazy your life is! Daily cleaning, weekly, monthly, and even seasonal deep cleaning schedules (or checklists) should be included in your household management binder. Wait, let me clarify – it’s actually a must-have!
UPDATE Nov 11, 2020 – Create notes for your cleaning service if you have one or plan to in the future. There’s a fine line between being over-the-top OCD about everything – and scaring your cleaner off – and just making sure you get the cleaning you want. Keep your list for them simple & make note of little stuff like where the small bags are for the bathroom trash cans or which products you want used on your floors.
Add a maintenance section so you can keep up with when the nuts & bolts around the house need to be tightened so to speak. I’m talking everything from how often your AC should be serviced to paint colors used in rooms. It’s definitely a list that you’ll kiss yourself for every time you have to pull it out.
Meal planning is a great way to save time and money when it comes to grocery shopping and feeding your family.
Create a weekly meal plan for your family and plan your grocery list accordingly. Keeping these items together in your household binder will make them easier to coordinate.
A family travel section of your household binder is the perfect place to store confirmations for upcoming family trips. And to keep copies of packing lists, maps, and lists of favorite hotels. Anything that will make family travel more organized.
If every time you needed to contact a service provider from your internet provider to your garbage company, the phone number was conveniently located in your household binder imagine the time and frustration you would save.
Make sure to note your account number or any other reference number next to the provider information. No more searching for an old bill or searching the internet for phone numbers. All the information will be right at your fingertips.
Your household binder is the perfect place to keep your home and auto insurance policies. Along with contact information for your insurer. And copies of any insurance cards. Yes everything is online, but there’s real wisdom in keeping things written down. What if someone else needs the information and you’re not available? Smart right?
If you belong to a church or a gym or a rowing club, or any other organization, this is a good place to keep contact information, reference numbers, dues information, copies of membership cards or any other miscellaneous information you may need as a member.
Once you’ve created your household binder, be sure to update it and let it evolve with your family’s changing needs. If the phone numbers, schedules, and budgets are all six months out of date or you never open your binder and actually use it then it won’t help you be more organized.
Juggling a family, house and career is a lot of work but with the right tools and strategies, you can handle everything on your plate like a piece of cake! This is a fail-proof tool that simply requires a little time up front to organize your world and have it run like a well-oiled machine.
And of course, if you found this content useful, I’d love it if you share this by pinning it on Pinterest or your favorite social media spot. It’s kind of like giving me a virtural high-five! You’re the best, XO — Victoria!