Building a Home Management Binder that Works for You

Over a year ago I set out to create a home management notebook. It’s taken me far too long, but I’ve finally completed this task!

Building a Home Management Binder that Works for You | A useful home management notebook must be customized to your needs. Get started on your notebook with these questions and free printables.

Why did it take so long? Sometimes I found myself dragging my feet (you’re mistaken if you think I write posts about things like laziness because I think you need to change…I write these posts because I need to change). At other times I found myself trying to make someone else’s setup fit my situation.

When I first began working on the notebook, I turned to Pinterest and Google to find pages I could print and use. After all, numerous women have made available an abundance of free home management printables. I soon realized the same reality that I encountered when developing my cleaning schedule last year: One size does not fit all.

Subsequently, I developed my own home management binder pages—pages that meet the needs of my family. If you haven’t assembled a home management binder that works for you (or perhaps you haven’t even considered having one), then the following may be of help.

Questions to ask when assembling a home management binder

  • What topics need to be addressed in the binder? Your life situation will dictate which topics need to be included in your binder. For example, if you’re a parent, you may want to include things like your kids’ vaccination records or school calendars. If you don’t have children, then you likely won’t reserve space for these types of documents. Take time to brainstorm about all you want to include! This can be the most challenging aspect of assembling a binder.
  • Do I want a printed binder or do I want a digital equivalent? I’m most familiar with home management notebooks that consist of printed documents contained in three-ring binders, but you could easily create a file of home management documents on a computer and use this in place of a literal binder. This might be especially convenient if you have a tablet.
  • Do I want one large binder or several small binders? If you choose to work with printed documents, then you’ll need to decide if you want to compile these all in a large binder or if you want to separate them into smaller binders that address specific topics.
  • How will I make adjustments to the contents of the binder? Sooner or later the contents of your binder will need to be adjusted. This may be something simple like changing the contact information for a utility provider or it may be something major like adding a category to the binder. Assemble your notebook in such a way that you will be able to make these changes when needed.

My home management binder

I decided to use a large binder (2 in.) filled with printed and handwritten pages. Most of the pages are printed, so when I need to make changes I can change the file on the computer and print an updated version or, for those that are filled in by hand, I can print a new copy and fill it in with the updated information. I’ve used tabbed dividers to divide my binder into categories. I’ve written the category names onto white address labels and stuck these to the dividers. This allows me to peel off the labels and change the categories as needed.

For durability, I’ve placed many of the pages in plastic sleeves. I often write on the sleeves with dry erase markers (crossing tasks off lists, taking quick notes, etc.). The dry erase markings wash off easily when wiped with isopropyl alcohol. These sleeves are also useful for storing receipts, coupons, and other small documents that I need to keep handy.

Inside My Home Management Binder | A useful home management notebook must be customized to your needs. Get started on your notebook with these questions and free printables.

Here are the categories and specific documents that I’ve included in my binder:

(I’ve provided small images of the printables that I use in my binder. Click on any image to access a larger, printable version of the respective document.)

Calendars and Schedules

  • Annual planner
  • Daily routine

Contact Info for Family and Friends

  • Addresses and phone numbers of loved ones (in a spreadsheet)

Disaster Preparedness

  • Disaster preparedness kit checklistDisaster Preparedness Kit Checklist for Home Mgt Binder
  • Family emergency planFamily Emergency Plan for Home Mgt Binder

Health and Medical

  • Family medical informationFamily Medical Information for Home Mgt Binder
  • Contact information for frequently used pharmacies

Holiday Planning

  • Christmas gift planning worksheetChristmas Gift Planning Worksheet for Home Mgt Binder
  • Christmas activity planning worksheetChristmas Activity Planning Worksheet for Home Mgt Binder
  • Christmas meal planning worksheetChristmas Meal Planning Worksheet for Home Mgt Binder
  • Calendar of holidays for the coming yearCalendar of 2015 Holidays for Home Mgt Binder

Home Maintenance and Improvement

  • Fall home maintenance checklistFall Home Maintenance Checklist for Home Mgt Binder
  • Winter home maintenance checklistWinter Home Maintenance Checklist for Home Mgt Binder
  • Spring home maintenance checklistSpring Home Maintenance Checklist for Home Mgt Notebook
  • Summer home maintenance checklistSummer Home Maintenance Checklist for Home Mgt Binder
  • Home improvement planning worksheetHome Improvement Planning Worksheet for Home Mgt Binder

Hospitality and Social Activities

  • List of friends and acquaintances to have over
  • Meal ideas and recipes
  • Party ideas

Housecleaning

  • Daily cleaning scheduleDaily Cleaning Schedule for Home Mgt Binder
  • Monthly deep cleaning schedulehttp://ofthehearth.com/cleaning-schedule-architecture-building-one-that-works-for-you/
  • Laundry care guide Laundry Care Guide for Home Mgt Binder

Household Supply List and Grocery Lists

  • Household supply listHousehold Supply List for Home Mgt Binder
  • Grocery lists
  • Coupons

Little Ones

  • Play ideas for infantsDevelopmentally Appropriate Play for Babies chart for Home Mgt Binder
  • Craft ideas
  • Age appropriate chore list

Menus and Frequently Used Recipes

  • Current monthly menu and menus from the past year (see monthly menus on the series page)
  • Frequently used recipes

Miscellaneous

  • Inspirational quotes

Money and Finances

  • Budget
  • Month-by-month buying guideMonth-by-Month Buying Guide for Home Mgt Binder

Personal and Family Goals

  • Annual goal setting worksheetGoal Setting for Couples Worksheet for Home Mgt Binder
  • Family mission statement
  • Marriage Check-In QuestionsMarriage Check-In Questions for Home Mgt Binder

Spiritual Growth

  • Family prayer list
  • Bible reading plan
  • List of Bible verses to memorize

Travel

  • Packing listsPacking List Printable for Home Mgt BinderKids Packing List Printable for Home Mgt Binder
  • Confirmation numbers and copies of itineraries

Utility, Insurance, and Other Service Provider Information

  • Utility provider informationUtility Provider Information Sheet for Home Mgt Binder
  • Insurance provider informationInsurance Provider Information Sheet for Home Mgt Binder
  • Miscellaneous service provider informationMiscellaneous Service Provider Information Sheet for Home Mgt Binder

Feel free to use any of these printables if you think they will be helpful to you. If they don’t meet your needs, then I hope they’ll provide some inspiration as you create your own.

Do you have a home management binder? What features make it useful?


Shared on the following link-ups:

One Project at a Time, Frugal Crafty Home, Saturday Soiree, Best of the Weekend, Creativity Unleashed, Thrifty Thursday, Thriving Thursday, Home and Garden Thursday, Whatever Goes Wednesday & Coffee and Conversation.


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Comments

  1. Thanks so much! I’ve downloaded several of your printables, and look forward to making use of them! : )

  2. Wow this is awesome! I need to get organized. 🙂

    • Hi Sarah,
      It took me a long time to get all of this assembled! Now that it’s together, though, it streamlines a lot of things.

  3. Pinned and shared and I hope someday I can get this organized. Thank you for sharing.

  4. My household binder is the only way I function! I have fibromyalgia and it gets hard to keep things straight. I love your ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  5. This is awesome! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,
    Kathy

  6. I LOVE this binder! I’ve started to compile a binder on several occasions but have yet to follow through. I really like your cleaning schedule that you cross off. I WILL be printing many of your pages! Thanks so much for sharing with the Saturday Soiree Blog Party!

    • Hi Sarah,
      I think most of us struggle to keep up with housecleaning. I hope you find that schedule–or any other of the printables–to be helpful!

  7. What a clever idea. Why didn’t I think of this?! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. These printables are fantastic! Do you think you will be posting a calendar of dates for 2016/2017 holidays? Thanks so much for all your hard work! These will all help keep my life more orderly, since this is an area that I tend to not do well with! Thanks again!

    • Shannon says:

      Hi Laura,
      I’m glad you appreciate the printables! I’ll have to update the page with a more recent version of the holidays and observances. In the meanwhile, I will email you a copy.

  9. Thank you so much for the printables! I’m looking forward to getting my family binder together!

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