Thursday, January 10, 2013

Project Home Management Binder Day 1: Creating Categories and Finding Materials

 I've been continuing to cross off my January Organizing Checklist a little at a time. 

  1. Make/Work on New Year's Resolutions/Goals (I'm probably not going to cross this one off just because it really is ongoing and ever changing. I don't really believe in setting one or two long term goals without breaking them into manageable chunks and reflecting/editing when needed.
  2. Take Christmas stuff down. (See how I did that here.)
  3. Return or exchange any needed holiday gifts
  4. Write or make any necessary Thank you's.
  5. Organize holiday cards. (See the holiday card place mats I made here.)
  6. Organize Photos. (I'm still working on creating our yearly photo books but I'm almost done. See my posts about organizing photos here, here, and here.)
  7. Find homes for new gifts. This one is still a work in progress. I had a plan as to where they would all go but as we all know, plans don't always work when put into action. Stay tuned next month as I tackle some new projects in the play room again to accommodate my kiddos new interests and "stuff"
  8. Make annual doctor and vet appointments.
  9. Sign the girls up for gymnastics.
  10. Register Tessa for Kindergarten. (Happening this week.)
  11. Organize/de-clutter storage area. (This is also ongoing and something I am  hoping to really tackle this spring--fingers crossed.)
  12. Create/Edit a Home Management Binder /Command Center

Which brings me to today's post: 

Creating a Home Management Binder.

You've probably seen a version or two of these all over blog land and truthfully, I already sort of had one. But it was just kind of thrown together and wasn't really serving its full potential. So, I thought why not spend some time really making it work for our family? January seemed like the right time too--to sort of get all of our ducks in a row for the new year.

I've seen tons of different categories that people have used when making their own but since this isn't for anyone but our family, I had to really think about what would be beneficial to us. We also have a command center that alleviates some of those categories as well (which I will discuss more as they come up.)

These are the categories that I plan to create/add to our binder:

Planning Ahead--This includes yearly, monthly, daily goals;  to-do lists; weekly menu/meal planning, etc. (I'm sure I'll add more as I get into it.)

School--This is a section for my kiddos' school info that I need to keep for any period of time.

Reference--This includes emergency info; other contacts; babysitter info; pet sitting info; home maintenance, etc. (Again, I'm sure the list will grow.)

Good Times--This will include holiday/birthday preparations; other celebration planning; Special memory/tradition log; vacation planning, list of special dates and occasions, etc.

I think that is it --although it will possibly change as I get deeper into it.

***There are a few other categories too that I either have already or plan to devote an entire binder to rather than just a section in the Home Management Binder. I will definitely discuss these at a later date. They include:

Medical--this is for all of our medical info, receipts, etc. from doctor or hospital visits as well as birth certificates, social security cards, etc.

Home Improvement--this is for the ever evolving projects that are consistently going on in our home.

Recipes--this is to house any recipes I find either online, magazines, family recipes passed down or just ones that I jot down.

Blog--this is for organizing my thoughts when planning and writing blog posts each day.

Product/Warranty Info--This one is a maybe for me. As of right now they are in a file box. However, I'm always looking for ways to make this one simpler. A binder might be a possibility.

Some other great ideas but have other places/systems for are:

Financial or Budget section (We use Quicken which takes care of all of this. This will be a post on its own---one day.)
Automobile log (I keep record of this in Quicken too as well as where I file our bills/statements, etc.)
Personal (We each have a file box in our command center for this. I'll discuss this more soon.)

As I mentioned above, I want to create a binder that is meaningful/useful to our family. Which means I want to put some thought and time into putting it altogether. So, I'm going to break this project into smaller-more doable pieces throughout the month. You are more than welcome to join along. The idea is that by the end of January, I will have a central place to house pretty much everything that we need to manage our home/family efficiently.

Today's task: Getting the materials.

I chose a pretty 3 inch binder. I debated between this and one with a clean plastic cover. I decided I wanted something that I could keep out if needed. 
So pretty won. This one came from Target. (Shocker I know.) 

This particular binder doesn't have pockets inside but it has a little clipboard in the front that I figured I could surely put to good use. :)

The other little goodies I chose were:

hole-punched plastic folders
plastic tabbed dividers with pockets (you can never have too many pockets, right?)
clear page protectors

I also found some clear page protectors with tabs at Staples that I thought would be great to help divide my categories.

So that's it for today. Remember--manageable chunks. Getting organized is a lot like losing weight: it's about small changes that we can achieve and maintain.

Can't wait to continue. Stay tuned!

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  1. I have something similar although it's not really a "household" binder, more like my own version of a planner:) Everyone has something that works for them! I have a command center I GUESS you could call it. But it's not as organized as I'd like it to be!

    1. You are right in that everyone needs something that works for them. I swear I have tried every type of planner/system I know of. I'm hoping this binder is helpful not just for me but for the whole family. I'm going to be "tweaking" my command center soon so maybe you will find some helpful ideas. :) Have a great day! It's almost the weekend! :)

  2. I made my own as well. Since we are planning a move across the country later this year, I wanted to be a little more organized.

    1. I totally see how moving across country would require some organization. I'll have to check yours out for some possible ideas! Good luck with the move! :)

  3. I updated my Home Management Binder this month, too, and I have many of the same categories as you do. I ended up buying a bigger binder this year so that I could combine my home binder with my sewing business binder, and it has been so convenient to have everything in one place.

    I'm so glad I read this post because I love those plastic page protectors with the tabs! Thanks for sharing your supplies and the sources, too. Next time I am near a Staples store, I will pick up some of those.

    1. Thanks Elaine! Glad I could help! I went ahead and grabbed a 3inch binder thinking that should be enough for everything. Not sure they make any bigger actually. :)

  4. Great idea! I love the binder!! I am hosting a new Pinterest Power party and would love for you to link up this and any other projects that you have!!


    1. Thanks Chrissy! I just stopped by and linked up! Following you on Pinterest now too! Have a great weekend!

  5. Great ideas :) I keep seeing talk of these binders and thinking "ohh i need to do that" until I realized I already did that except i keep it in an accordion file LOL

    1. Thanks Micki. So true. I think everyone sort of has their own version of this. I like the idea of an accordion file too. If the binder doesn't work I may have to give that a try. :)

  6. I have been struggling to figure out how to put together my own home management binder. My paper is out of control! I would love for you to join my new linky party, "What I accomplished Wednesdays." This first party is all about New Years Goals and you binder would be perfect! I'm going to pin this so I can join in and get my own binder finished!


    1. Thanks Deborah! Love the idea of a party all about New Years Goals! I'll definitely be checking it out! Have a great week!

  7. OH BOY!!! What a help this will be when I sit down to really work on this. I am just skimming ideas at the moment. I've tried a binder before and it sort of just got placed on top of the refrigerator (where everything ends up that my husband does not want to deal with, I'm short he's tall end of story *sigh). I've tried numerous chore lists, schedules, menus you name it. This full time working mom of only a 3 yr old daughter, and a college student is at her wits end with trying to organize. HELP!

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