If you’ve never heard of a home binder, it really is just as it sounds. It is a binder to keep your home life and family organized. They can be comprised of many pages or hold just a few of the essentials.
When I started my online business venture, one of the first things I did was implement a home management binder. It was something that I needed to regain my sanity. There were so many things that I was holding onto that I didn’t even realize until I sat down and started putting it all on paper.
Simple things, such as our go-to meals, monthly bills, cleaning schedules, home maintenance and insurance information. Things that you wouldn’t think should bog down your brain.
But, without realizing it, using brain space for these things that are important to run our home, was also keeping me from being able to accomplish goals, projects and countless other items.
Benefits of a Home Binder
The biggest benefit, I feel, of implementing a home management binder is that you are clearing up brain space. By getting all that saved information in your head … out of your head and onto paper.
There are also some added benefits such as:
- Having a home for all of your most important information. If someone needed to come in and take over things, by having something in place, it should make it relatively easy. Or in the least, easier than if they didn’t have anything at all.
- Organizing projects so that they actually get completed. If you are anything like me, sometimes it can be hard to keep track of all the projects you have going on at one time. Including a projects section in your home binder will help eliminate this overwhelm.
- It helps create family teamwork. When everyone knows what is expected from them, it becomes easier to take care of the home, as a whole.
- Ready to-go resources. You can have ready to go material so that it’s one less thing to think about. Pages for babysitters, travel planning pages, house sitter pages, etc. I, personally, did not take the time to fill out these pages, but they are sitting and ready to go for whenever they are needed.
- Written down documentation. Sure. You could use electronic services to maintain your information. However, I think it is always good to have a backup. We all know tech fails us, plus making sure people know how to access your documentation can prove to be difficult sometimes.
For these reasons alone, I think it’s important for just about everyone to have some type of home binder. Whether your single, married, children, no children.
My Most Favorite Pages to Include
Ok, so depending on what I am working on, my favorite pages can change quite a bit. But if I had to pick some of my favorite pages, it would be these.
Seasonal Maintenance Schedule for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter
When I designed these pages, I created them so that they would cover (just about) anything that should be done within those particular seasons.
The lists are long … and I’ll be honest, we don’t always complete them ourselves, but they are great reminders for us so that we can properly maintain our home.
These pages took me at least a solid day to put together, probably longer. But, having them altogether means that I will never have to go searching again. And I won’t waste countless hours coming up with the same four lists each season.
Weekly Menu Template
The weekly menu template helps keep us on track for the meals that we are having throughout the week.
I had actually created 2-3 templates that we used on a rotating basis so that I wasn’t recreating each menu template all the time. And in doing this, I was able to cut down on the time needed to create these weekly menus, drastically.
The other benefit of having this in place is that we aren’t sitting around, waiting to talk with the other, to decide on dinner. So, if I am busy cleaning up, my husband can get dinner started. Or if he is busy doing other things, I can get started.
Otherwise, we sometimes found ourselves eating dinner late into the evening.
Ok, so I know. You might be thinking “why don’t you just use a piece of paper to keep track of groceries needed”. Guys, I can’t tell you why. BUT, this is the only “running” grocery list that has worked for us.
I don’t know what it is. And maybe it’s just us, but this thing is one of our most used pages.
What I do is print out a couple sheets of these grocery lists at a time, cut them out and hang them on the refrigerator. When we run out of something, we simply add it to the “active” list.
Then, when we sit down to create our grocery list for the week, we also grab our “need to get items list” and add them. This way, we never forget anything!
Bill Pay Tracker
I think that I just really like this one because it lays out all of our bills on one page, nicely. Many of our bills are set up on auto-pay, but it’s just a way to double check to make sure that everything that is due for the month has been paid.
For those bills that are only due quarterly or yearly, what I do is put an “X” in the months that they are not due in and highlight the months that we do pay them.
One of our biggest goals is to be financially free. Other than our home, we do have a couple of medical debts and a car loan (fingers crossed it’ll be paid off soon!) that we are working on paying off.
With electronic banking, the debt tracker is absolutely not necessary; however I like to use these pages as motivation more than anything. It really helps to watch those balances shrink so that we continue to work hard towards our ultimate goal.
Travel Packing Checklist
This page is not used often but I do like that it is easily accessible to us. This page was built with just about anything you could think of to bring on a trip.
So, now when we do plan a trip, it’s super easy to just give each of us our own packing checklist and we should be good to go!
Important Dates & Birthdays
I wanted to start sending out birthday cards to those closest to us last year, but it just didn’t happen. So, I am making it a goal this year to get out as many birthday cards as we can.
I feel like in today’s world, it’s just nice to get something in the mail, showing that people are thinking about you. Sure, we can say it via social media, but it’s just not the same as getting something via snail mail.
And this important dates and birthdays page is going to help keep us on track.
Of course, these are just a few of the pages that we have printed in our home binder. And what you find most useful to you may be something completely different.
And that’s why the home management binder I built contains over 140 pages. So that you are able to create it uniquely to you and your family.
Other Pages Included in the Home Management Binder
So, the pages included in a home binder will really be dependent on the system that you choose to go with OR if you plan to DIY it yourself.
When it comes to the Intentional Living Home Binder (my signature binder system), the following pages are included:
- Things to do Template
- Seasonal Maintenance Schedules for Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter
- Blank Seasonal Maintenance Schedules, to create your own x4
- Password Log Template
- Movies to Watch List
- Books to Read List
- Projects to Do Template
- Inspiration Template for Projects
- Project Planner
- Project Budget Template
- Example Auto Maintenance Schedule
- Vehicle Maintenance Template x3
- Notes Template
- Family Dinners Template
- Weekly Menu Template
- Grocery Lists
- Grocery List by Category
- Recipe Sheet Templates – 2 versions
- Recipes to Try Template
- Favorite Recipes List
- Favorite Restaurants List
- Freezer Inventory Checklist
- Refrigerator Inventory Checklist
- Pantry Inventory Checklist
- Weekly Food Diary
- Cleaning to Do Template
- Daily Cleaning Checklist + Blank
- Weekly Cleaning Checklist + Blank
- Monthly Cleaning Checklist + Blank
- 15-Minute Quick Pickup Checklist
- 30-Minute Quick Pickup Checklist
- Spring Cleaning (3 pages)
- Young Children’s Chore Chart – 2 colors
- Icons for Young Children’s Chore Chart
- School-Age Chore Chart
- Family Chore Charts – 2 versions
- House Expenses Template
- Debt Overview Template
- Debt Tracker
- Bill Pay Tracker
- Monthly Budget
- Daily Expense Log
- Savings Tracker
- Savings Log
- Donations Log
- Personal Information – 3 versions
- Family Sizes & Favorite Brands
- Emergency Info (for babysitters)
- Babysitter Information
- Pet Sitter Information
- House Sitter Information
- Family Emergency Plan
- Information Template
- Schedule Template
- Classmates Contact Information Template
- Reading Tracker
- Insurance Information
- Medication Information
- Family Medication
- Vaccine Acronyms
- Immunizations Tracker
- Blood Pressure Tracker – 2 versions
- Pet Vaccine Tracker
- Health (Pet)
- Pet Medication – 2 pages
- Weekly Workout Schedule Template
- Weight Progress Template
- Body Measurements Template
- Exercise Log
- Travel Wishlist
- Planning Template
- Packing Checklist – 2 pages
CONTACTS & PHONE BOOK
- Important Contacts
- Emergency Contacts
- Phone Book Page (space up top to enter letter)
HOLIDAY & IMPORTANT DATES
- Christmas Gift Guide Template
- Valentines Gift Guide Template
- Easter Gift Guide Template
- Parent’s Day Gift Guide Template
- Important Dates and Birthdays
- Birthday Gift Tracker – 12 pages
- Yearly Calendar – 12 pages
- Weekly Goals
- Daily Goals
As you can see, there are pages for just about everything. More than you will ever need (my personal home binder is only about 40 or so pages long), but enough to make it totally your own.