A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a fellow blogger from Organized Marie asking to write content for the blog. I love meeting and working with other bloggers, so I was so excited to get her email! Then, as I started reading, one of her post suggestions was based on how to set up a home organization binder.
Umm..that’s been on my to-do list for at least a year. How did she know??
So, of course I told her yes. I can’t wait to set up my own home binder using her advice, so I hope you all love it, too!
How to Set Up Your Household Binder
Paper is part of our daily lives and it’s hard to escape it. Even if you’ve gone as paperless as you possibly can, it’s still going to show up in our homes.
Managing paper is important because if you don’t get a hold of it, things get lost quickly. It’s not fun to have a late payment on a bill because you couldn’t find the bill.
Setting up a system that is manageable for you to maintain will be the key to successful paper management.
One system that works extremely well is establishing a Household Binder. A household binder is kind of like your resume, it keeps all of your important information together and can be easily accessed. Just as you update your resume frequently, updating your household binder is important too because things change. Your household binder won’t serve a purpose if it’s not updated.
You’ll want to place it where it can be easily accessed every day, like the inside of a kitchen cabinet or on an office desk. Then keep it in the same spot so you always know where it’s located.
We first established our household binder several years ago. It’s become a valuable resource that we depend on. Like anything in life, it changes and grows with our family needs. What’s in our binder now wasn’t in there six years ago when we didn’t have any kids yet.
Getting a Household Binder started is easy and here’s how you can do it:
Purchase a binder- Start with a 1″ binder, anything less than that is too small and anything bigger is too big. You can always reevaluate the size after you’ve been using it for a few months. Also, get something you love. It could be a pretty design or a simple solid color binder that’s your favorite color.
Get tab dividers. You can get standard tab dividers for paper or get the ones that have folder pockets. I prefer the folder pockets because it’s easier and faster to access paper and no three-ring punch is needed but it all comes down to your preference. If you prefer the standard tab dividers, make sure you have a three ring hole puncher as well and keep it near the binder.
Print Printables- Using printables keeps all of your information neatly organized and easy to find. Decide which printables you want in your binder and print them out. Once you have them all printed out, then write in the information. Gathering all of the printables first will help you organize your categories and what you want and don’t want in your binder.
The most common and important ones for a Household Binder are as follows:
Having a one page printable of all your important dates will help you stay organized for the year. While most people use their phones now, having a visual for the year will come in handy more times than not. We actually keep the important dates on the cover of our binder.
Keep all of your login information in one place. You’ll be able to access the information quicker rather than doing an endless search.
Putting all of your bills in one place will make it easier when it comes time to pay them. You’ll be able to quickly reference them and always know where they are.
Planning out meals for the week not only saves you money but you also end of eating healthy because you are sticking to a plan. If you don’t like to cook, meal planning can be tedious. As much as I love to organize and plan, meal planning isn’t one of my favorite things to do but saving money is. Using that as motivation helps make meal planning a little easier.
If you have kids, keeping your pediatrician information handy makes life easier. Keep your insurance information in the same area as your medical contacts. It will be easy to reference if you need to call insurance or if the doctor’s office needs the information again. Keeping your kids immunization records here can also be handy when you need that information for school or sports.
Tell your money where to go each month rather than wonder where it went. While I’m no financial expert, a monthly budget keeps you in check and gives you less stress. If you are looking for some great budgeting tips and ideas, Dave Ramsey is an excellent place to start.
It seems most people just have address books on their phones but having a physical address book comes in handy more times than not. There’s something satisfying looking at a physical list.
Keep the school calendar or any event information here. As a new parent of a child in school, it’s overwhelming all the information they come home with, sort through what you need and don’t need.
It’s really easy to forget when your pet had their last checkup especially if you have kids, the pets usually take a backseat. Keeping their last checkup information handy will be a reminder to schedule the next appointment.
Papers To File
Having a folder dedicated to papers to file will make it easier when you need to move papers to the filing cabinet instead of making endless trips.
Having your goals in a place you always reference will help you stay on track with them. Keeping them in the inside pocket or the cover is a great place to put them because you will constantly see them. It’s one thing to write down goals but they serve you no purpose if you don’t look at them often.
Do you feel overrun by paper in your home? I know I sure do. I can’t wait to take some of Maries tips and implement them in my own home! What about you?
Marie is a working mom to two and one on the way! Being organized is what keeps her sane. Twizzlers and ice cream always makes things better. You can find her work on her blog Organized Marie for more info!