Thursday, August 11, 2011

Home Management Binder

We have a guest post today from the amazing Alison over at At the End of the Drive... I hope you all love it as much as I did. :) Make sure you give her some love and thank her for sharing with us!

Home Management Binder


I started this about two years ago and am SO glad I did.
  It is the one place I put my "important" papers so I can easily find them. 
 You can make one for your home very easily.  

I keep mine here.

Next to my kitchen sink I have my most favorite cabinet
It is the only one in my kitchen with glass doors
so for that – it’s my favorite.
Also, it’s in the “middle” of all activities since
mothers tend to live in the kitchen.

In it, I have my cookbooks and other binders:

Home Organizer
Cleaning Binder
Menu Planner Binder
Christmas Binder

Yes, I love office supplies too (can you tell?)

Today I'll walk you through making a Home Organizer Binder.

You'll need:
1. Three ring binder (I use 1 1/2 inch, but you decide on how much
paperwork will go in yours for your size.)

2. Subject dividers (I like the plastic ones with the pockets)

3. One pack loose-leaf paper

4. Sheet protectors

Optional: a label maker

OK, let's get started.

In the front on mine, before any dividers I have several things in sheet protectors:

  • current school calendar
  • county dump / recycling hours
  • library hours / story times
  • credit report contact numbers (I'll get to that in a later post)

These papers I refer to often - whatever you refer to often should be put here.
For example:

  • Babysitter lists and numbers
  • stores / businesses you call frequently
  • you could put your address book info here
  • monthly list of birthdays and anniversaries
  • medical information for the family
  • vet information for the pets
You get the idea.

Side note on birthday / anniversary cards:
In January and July, I make a list of upcoming birthdays and anniversaries
for the next six months.
I go to the store with this list.  In addition, I buy several sympathy,
baby shower, and blank generic cards as well.
When I get home, I put the person's name on a post it note
then stick it to the card.
I have a decorative box I got from Hobby Lobby that I store
all of my cards / stationary in.
When I see on the calendar that someone's birthday is coming up,
I simply go to the box, find their card and send it off.
Easy enough!
 I love the fact that I only go card shopping twice a year and
This also alleviates the need to run out last minute to
buy one!

The first divider I have is "Kid Activities"

In the divider pocket, I have our chore charts for the fridge.
Each Saturday night, we pay our oldest his allowance
and change his chore chart (which he fills with stickers)

·      I put any interesting craft ideas.
 I just tear out of a magazine and punch holes in it or slide
 it in a sheet protector.
·      Any info sheets about art / craft / sport activities in our community.

·      MapQuest directions to several out of town activities (so I don't have
·      to look them up again and again).

·      Car seat regulations for the growing kids

·      Educational website print outs / receipts that we order from frequently.

My second divider is "School"
  • bookstore hours / receipts from purchased uniforms
  • supply lists for current class
  • tuition price listing
  • standard testing results from each grade
  • AR reading test results from the end of the year
  • directory of classroom kids info

My third divider is "Projects" - my favorite

When I see a photo I like, I tear it out and punch holes
in it or slide it in a sheet protector and in the binder it goes. 
This is the "someday" that would be cool
to do/ make/ have/ buy, etc.....

My fourth divider is "Yard"

·      guides on plant and tree care,
·      Composting ideas.
·      The care sheet from our deck finishing stain.
·      The care booklets for our outdoor furniture
·      Birdhouse ideas and suet recipes
·      landscaping ideas (again torn from magazines)
·      outdoor maintenance list dates

My fifth divider is "Take out Menus"

This one is pretty self-explanatory!

The last divider is "Trip Ideas"

This includes just "hubby and me" trips
as well as with the kids.
Again (from magazines) or websites.

This binder is a great place when you see something and it
triggers your mind, "That would be great for....."
It gives you an easy accessible place to put those
a thing - keep it organized and eases your mind.

I'm a strong believer in lists and things like that.
The best way to simplify your life is to ease your mind.
The best way to ease your mind is to write stuff down or put something
where you can easily find it again.
The more your mind has to remember, the more stressed you will feel.

I printed out a cute "cover sheet" with a photo of hubby and the boys
and labeled it Alison's Home Organizer.
Pick a cute photo / pattern / color scheme
so you'll smile and feel good when you get it out! 
It’s all about the simple things.....

Put it in a central place so it’s easily accessible
and start using it. 
You'll love it!!!


Mike, Sha, Kenna, Kate, & Garrett said...

I so NEED this! And I am going to do it. Thank you for your awesome tips and for sharing. I am excited. I love office supplies too and now I have an excuse to get some more.;)

Holly said...

What a great idea!!! I keep seperate notebooks (cute ones, of course!) for things like, recipes; gardening;holidays; decorating ideas, and files for other things, but it does mean going upstairs and I rarely look at them! This sounds so much better! And handier!!!

Controlling My Chaos said...

You have really packed a lot into one binder. Is 1-1/2 inches enough room?

Alison said...

Controlling My Chaos,

I would suggest making a list or actually gathering all of the paperwork you would like to put in the binder (of course, leaving room for additions) and see how big of a binder you would need.

Now is the time with the school supplies on sale to get the binder, dividers, page protectors, etc...

Let me know how it works for you.