I've mentioned my home management binder before, and every time I do I get hoards of (okay, um... 2 or 3) emails and comments from people who want to know what the heck is a home management binder? And will you please come organize my home/life/husband's sock drawer?
The answer to that first question is below. The answer to the second will depend on a number of factors, mainly whether or not you have chocolate to share.
So, what is a home management binder anyways?
A home management binder is a place to keep all the papers that you need to reference regularly in order to make your home run smoothly. To-do lists, meal plans, work schedules, metric conversions, whatever!
How do you know what should be in your Home Management Binder?
A good place to start is by rounding up all the papers that collect in your home. Where do you tuck things you expect to need to reference later? Where do your to-do list and shopping lists end up? Gather all those things together and sort them into piles by similar subject matter. Now you can create a section in your binder for each pile. Easy, right?
A peek at my Home Management Binder
My binder has cork tiles trimmed to fit and glued to the inside covers. It's a good place to pin things like stamps and appointment reminders.
My section dividers are made from file folders.
The first section is the to-do list section. I have a system using post-it notes to keep my projects prioritized.
I write tasks and projects on a post-it note and place it on the page on the left. On the page on the right I have the headings Create, Clean, and Organize. I keep two tasks under each heading and focus only on the tasks on that page. When I complete a task I crumple up the note and throw it a way, and put a new one (from the left side page) in it's place.
This keeps me from becoming overwhelmed by too many tasks. Also, I have the great pleasure of crumpling something up and throwing it away each time I complete a task!
The to-do list section also has my weekly planning printables from this post.
A Food Section just holds my grocery lists.
The Blog Section has my blog planning sheets, which I use as a guide but rarely manage to stick to. What can I say... I have more ambitions than time!
(I've made these planners available as free printables too. You can find them on the same page as the weekly planning pages listed above. Or click here.)
The School section holds any notes or ideas for our home school and our annual goals for each child. I also have page protectors filled with story paper and homeschool planning sheets printed for free from DonnaYoung.org
The Hospitality section holds the hospitality printables from this post so that I can keep track of what guests can and cannot eat. It's also a place to record gift ideas and party plans.
A Reference section at the back holds miscellaneous items I need to have on hand. Right now the only thing in there are some instructions for baby sign language.
The cork tile on the inside back cover holds the most important documents of all...
When it's not on the kitchen counter, I keep my Home Management Binder in my (not-so-junky) Junk Drawer.
Here are some possible sections for your Home Management Binder. Use the ones that apply best to you and your life.
- schedule/day planner
- cleaning/homemaking routines
- to-do lists
- meals/groceries/menu planning
- home school
- blog planner
- medical records
- garden plans
- hospitality/party planning/events
- birthday calendar
- a Christmas planner
- website passwords
- freezer inventory
- anything else that will help simplify your life!
A few tips for a functional Home Management Binder:
- Make it pretty. I find that it is so much easier to keep things tidy and organized if they are pretty!
- ...but not too pretty. I am the type of person who will rip out and re-write the first page in a pretty new journal several times because I want it to be neatly written and perfect. If you can relate to that at all be careful to keep your home management binder simple enough that you are comfortable jotting things down in your sloppy every day handwriting and crossing things out!
- Keep the sections flexible. It's important to be able to add and remove sections as your life and needs change.
- Create a place for things that don't fit in any particular section. Add some cork tiles or pocket folders for those items so that they don't end up just getting shoved in and forgotten.
- Don't get tunnel vision. Maybe you don't even need a home management binder. Maybe you need a home management clip-board or a home management white board or a series of electronic sticky notes on your computer's desktop. Figure out what works best for you and run with it.
Thank You so much for visiting The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking!