What should be in a home management binder?
Home management binders are a fabulous tool for busy families. In this post, I'm going to take you through the categories, sections, and ideas for turning your home management binder into a one-stop spot that suits you and your family's needs exactly the way it should!
So you really need to think through what you're about to read here since every home management binder is going to be different based on your individual needs. The bottom line goal is that you want your binder to help you run your home with ease.
Remember, this is not a personal diary, a traditional bullet journal, or a personal/business planner. It's a home management tool that may include bits and pieces of what you're used to finding elsewhere, except it's accessible and usable by the whole family.
The temptation to slap anything and everything in there is great – so really try to pare down since too much becomes an unwieldy mess that doesn't serve anyone – because it gets put away and forgotten or ignored.
Think about only having things in yours that you need to access quickly, that are complete, and most importantly? Will allow someone else to run your home should the situation arise. (I know, that bit sounds a little scary and even potentially depressing… but let's face facts. It could happen.)
Let's think about some possible scenarios besides the obvious…
- Babysitters. They need to have access so they know what to do, what to remember, and how to handle anything that pops up.
- Some utility or equipment fails… do you know how to find contact details quickly? What if the internet's out, and you need to contact the power company or your plumber?
- Your aunt is coming to stay this weekend – what are some of her favorite foods? What should you plan to make for dinner?
- When's the last time you cleaned behind the fridge or stove?
- Where's the best place to buy air filters for the car, based on experience?
- Have you got copies of all the papers from your kid's doctor somewhere?
See what I mean? There are tons of things that should be a part of your family's home management binder, but it's not all about making things easier for others – it's about making things easier for yourself. Check out these ideas below, and feel free to add anything in the comments that you have in your binders!
Categories and Pages for Your Home Management Binder
Here are most of the sections and pages in my Home Binder to help get you started. It's everything that covers the home and family as a whole – but is NOT including my own personal productivity planner or business planner. Yes, I have lots of planners and binders around here!
Also, keep in mind that you can create these pages yourself in any notebook if you don't want to find and print out printables. Sometimes it's easier and prettier to find printable planner pages, and I do offer them (more coming soon) for sale or free – but honestly, you can use a well-made bullet journal like this. (More links and ideas to come, I promise, and I can hardly wait to share with you!)
- FAMILY AND FRIENDS
- Personal details such as medical history, medicines and dosages, clothing and shoe sizes, and any allergies or other issues.
- Information about pets such as age, special diet, or medications.
- Address book and phone numbers – doctors, schools, babysitters, extended family (in case you can't be reached when there's a sitter there).
- Family goal trackers – vacations, home improvements, savings goals…
- In case of the worst happening (who to contact such as doctors, lawyers, banks, and other important information).
- Household budget information – everything from savings to weekly groceries to monthly bills
- Banking details (which bank, whose name are any accounts under) – aka a ‘cheat sheet' for access.
- Mortgage or debt trackers
- Savings trackers for specific things like college, a replacement vehicle, or home improvement projects
- Budget/savings for gifts (including each person's birthday)
- Spending tracker (maybe broken down by category – car/kitchen renovation/sports equipment/wardrobes)
- Bill tracker and payment information
- Lists of what's in purse/wallet if it's lost or stolen – how to recover those items (credit/debit cards, insurance cards, etc.).
- HOLIDAYS & VACATIONS
- Gift ideas and wish lists
- Meal planners
- Packing lists for vacations
- Staycation ideas (due to small budgets, or quarantines, or what have you)
- Pre-holiday checklist – countdowns of what to do and by when
- Holiday bucket lists are one of my favorite things to do every year because it helps us slow down and enjoy the holidays with family. Plus, it's nice to track what we do each year and how well or inadequately it went so we know what to put on next year's list.
- Reference guide in case you have someone looking after your home or pets while you're away.
- Savings trackers
- Meal planners that are sure to include everyone's favorites with recipes and shopping lists – try to use a monthly or bi-weekly rolling plan to use leftovers and inexpensive pantry items.
- Shopping lists for each space – pantry, freezer, and fridge. You can grab my full meal planner kit here or just the kitchen inventory sheets here.
- Recipes and ideas for entertaining – either last minute or pre-planned.
- Sensitivities or diet preferences (vegan, gluten-free, no apples, etc.).
- HOUSE MAINTENANCE
- Maintenance calendar – car, gutters, furnace, etc
- To-do list – Try doing a seasonal one to help it feel less daunting.
- To-buy list – what's coming down the pike that's either going to need replacing soon or already needs to be purchased for the home?
- Home inventory list (in case of theft)
- Details of suppliers – water, electric, gas/oil, internet/phone, etc.)
- List of recommended or previously used repair shops or specialists.
- Car maintenance info, AAA info, plus receipt tracker for expenses
- HOUSEHOLD CHORES
- Cleaning schedule (weekly, monthly, seasonal, annual tasks – plus delegation to family members accountable for getting them done – yes, this means the kids too!)
- Laundry schedule – especially helpful if you have a larger family!
- Quick clean checklist – what's critical to focus on when you only have an hour before the company arrives.
- Details on how to clean specific items (and how NOT to) – for the family as well as anyone you may hire to come in and do some cleaning.