Monday, March 7, 2011

116 March Challenge: Project "Household Binder" {intro}

I may be the last one to join the Household Management Binder game, but if I am not, feel free to join along with me to get one created this month!

Actually, I know at least one other soul that hasn't done her Household Management Binder yet!  Maurika wrote:

My name is Maurika. I just found your blog a few days ago, and I love it!!  I can easily stay on it for hours!!  You have so many great ideas!!  I just had one question for you.  I was wondering if you have a Homekeeping binder or something similar?  It's basically a binder that you would keep your budget, recipes, cleaning list and etc in.  I wanted one place where I can grab one thing and it contain everything I need - grocery shopping list, cleaning list, recipes, budget and the like.  I also LOVE binders!! lol. Well, I probably wouldn't keep recipes in it, but i think you get the idea of what I'm trying to say. 
Do you have any suggestions or ideas for me for keeping these things together in one central place?

I let Maurika know that I had been itching to get one of these done for quite awhile now, and I couldn't wait to make this my March challenge!

Today we are kicking off the challenge by giving you the assignment to snag some sort of binder.  Just your standard binder will do, doesn't have to be fancy pantsy!  {You can always take a standard binder and pop in decorative scrapbook paper or make a coversheet to pretty things up a bit!  I am always game for that!}  Here is one I had picked up from Target a couple of months ago, with this very project in mind.

What can I say, I am such a sucker for bright colors and fun patterns!!!

I also had some extra dividers on hand, but I am pretty sure I will need another set for this project, since I am planning on making this binder work hard for us!  Now, if only I can find a matching set!

Here are a couple of the ways that I was planning on using this binder:
  • Freezer Inventory
  • Important School/Sporting Information/Schedules
  • Movie Inventory
  • Cleaning Checklist
  • Menu Planning Ideas
  • Finances/Bill Payment Checklist
  • Product/Warranty Information
  • Important Contact Numbers
However, since we are doing this "TOGETHER", I would like to know what other categories we should touch on this month and add into the binder? {That's your queue to leave me a comment with this info...}  :)

And to help everyone out along the way, I will be creating and sharing some new "FREE" printables!  Are bells chiming?  I said F R E E my friends!  Of course, they won't be free forever, just this month, so make sure to snag them up as they are available!

So who's with me!?  Or is it just Maurika and I creating management binders on an island alone somewhere?  If you already have on of these home necessities, what are the most beneficial pieces to it?  What am I forgetting to add?

I decided a little challenge would be fun! This month we are creating a Home Management Binder!  Wanna Join in?  Take photos and blog about your awesomeness as you go!  I am hoping to do a giant, "We did it!" celebratory post where we can all link up our binder creating success stories at the end of the month!


  1. haha! I don't have one and how funny, I just bought that binder last night.

  2. I've been wanting to make a binder similar to this for awhile now. I started out with your basic spiral bound notebook that had 3 sections that I was going to use... that notebook has since disappeared and I've done nothing else.

    I'd like a section in my book of where I can jot down ideas. Ideas for projects I want to do, recipes I want to try, etc. I have a ton of bookmarks on my computer, but I think it might be nice to sit down on the couch with my binder and actually form out some plans.

  3. I just made mine a few weeks ago (and will save all of the details for later!), but I found it most helpful to start with the stuff rather than the categories. Meaning, take a look at what kind of stuff you have lying around that needs to be organized or stored in a central location- rather than making a checklist of categories first and then attempting to fill each slot.

  4. Ok, so...I'm a fellow organizing freak and just found your blog YESTERDAY. How did I not notice your awesomeness before?

    Anyway, my husband and I will finally be moving in together in 2 months (he's in the military) and I would LOVE to start on one of these binders now. Any tips you have for starting a binder with TONS of missing info or how to accumulate stuff slowly would be helpful.

    Thanks in advance!

  5. Loving this idea and I think I'm going to have to jump on board! We're trying to relocate to another state right now, so extra organization would be great!
    What about a spot for paint sample colors, fabric swatches, craft ideas, etc..... or is that a whole different binder? I know I'm constantly coming across great ideas I tear out of magazines or other places and would love to have a spot to put them all - along with other important information like you have listed. Thanks for sharing the fun project idea!

  6. Whoo hoo! I've been wanting one of these for a while now..and I absolutely love your organization style so I CAN'T WAIT to see what you rock out! I know it's going to be fabulous!

  7. Woohoo! Can not wait for this project!!!!!! We are in DESPERATE need for a home management binder! Go Jen!

  8. I have a section for ideas for my blog - ideas for posts, projects I want to try, parties I link to, etc.

  9. I have been wanting to do something similar as well. The only reason I haven't started on mine is that I'm having a tough time trying to figure out what categories I need.

  10. Now I'm convinced this was meant to be...I ordered my binder, tabbed pages and pockets THIS MORNING!
    I will add business card pages to store all of those in one central place for easy access. That is a must in this household. Also in the plan: Grocery master list, cleaning schedule, kids' chore charts, emergency #s, school info and those papers that get dragged out all the time. Good luck everyone!!

  11. I'm in! I'm in!! :)
    I just did a movie inventory last week and I definitely need a place to put my inventory list! Freezer and pantry inventory would be awesome!

    At the top of my list is a budget check list! Can't wait, Jen! Thanks!

  12. I have started a binder but haven't finished it. When I saw that this was your challenge this month, I knew it would be a perfect time to get my butt in gear and finish it once and for all!

  13. I would recommend a tab for important documents. You know, copies of your credit cards, ID, etc in case your purse were to ever be stolen and you needed to know quickly what all was in there that needs to be canceled. Can't wait to see what other ideas everyone has!

  14. I'm in! We definitely need a household management binder in our house!

  15. I've always thought about creating a household binder but when I try to come up with different sections, I'm at a loss. (Maybe that is just proving that my system I have in place is already working.) It will be neat to see what ideas are generated here. Maybe that will spark something with me. :)

    I did want to say that my most recent project has been adding a little 'entertaining' section to the back of my 'family favorites' recipe binder. I LOVE to entertain! This section is a great place for me to turn to reference proper table settings for different affairs, tablescape inspirations, a couple different ways to present cocktails and appretizers, and checklists to help prepare in advance for parties. Just thought that I would share in case this may be helpful to anyone else.

  16. Jen, this is so funny as I have just started compiling my homekeeping binder. I actually referenced some of your previous printables when creating my cleaning checklists. I can't wait to see what you have come up with!

    One thing that I am loving so far is a "Weekend Wishlist" where I keep project ideas, blog ideas, or even fun things I'd like to do over the weekend like movies to rent, or a new area of town to explore. It's nice to jot things down through the work week-- a way to keep motivated and positive even when Friday at 5:00pm seems so far away.

    Love your blog! Cheers from a fellow organizing addict! :)

  17. I think Aby over at Simplify 101 did somethings similar she calls a command central binder? I've had this on my to-do list for MONTHS and here's some stuff I wrote down for it: neighbors names/phone numbers, car tags (when they're due I can never remember), poison control, alarm company information (not passwords), CPR instructions since we have kids in the house, car insurance, allergies, emergency family numbers and plumbers/electricians (I can't ever remember the guy we use) and a listing of all the go-to dinner meals so I can pick something easy. I can't wait to get started on this project!

  18. I love my home org binder. I call it the family handbook. In addition to some of the things you already listed I have a list of birth dates, spice list, all my phone numbers and addresses, cleaning schedules, and emergency packing list.

    I have never used the emergency packing list (and hope never to need it), but it is great in case of a brush fire or earthquake and we need to pack quickly and get out.

  19. I just downloaded Aby Garvery (from simplify 101) How to Create a Command Central Binder and have been looking for an excuse to get one started. Thanks for hosting this for the month of March.

  20. This is awesome! One of my main goals this year is to get a successful system going in this house. I created a basic household notebook, but that's it. I need to really dive into it. Thanks for tackling this! I am very excited! :)

  21. i don't have a binder yet. with my big big project for lent i'm not sure i can wrap my head around anything else right now. but that cute one from target. does it count if i just buy the cute binder and sit it somewhere in my kitchen? cute and colorful things just mirgrate toward you, don't they? this blog is by far some of my favorite eye candy out there. love it jen. ;)

  22. Just this weekend I snagged a binder and dividers with the idea to create a budget/bill binder. I think while I'm at it, I will create a household one for warranties, important dates (annual ones, like birthdays and anniversaries), cleaning schedule, "to do" wish list for home renos/upgrades, and maybe some ideas your other readers come up with!

  23. I just made one a few months has been great...but I love some of your ideas...can't wait to see what you and come up with to "tweak" mine along!

  24. Hi jen...I love how great minds think alike! I have that exact binder and have recently put it together. My dividers are:
    By Faith: Things I'm believing and hoping for (i.e. a house..i've listed what kind of house I want and what items I want in my house..and a husband is on that list too..but one thing at a time.) :)
    Church: important paperwork and information I receive
    Household: Bills, debts, menu plan, websites and passwords and blogs
    Ideas: Business ideas, book ideas, magazine article ideas, etc
    Inspiration: articles or emails that inspire me
    Blog: My blog ideas and my printed blog posts

    That's it so far. I feel like I'm missing some dividers so I'm really excited to see how you create yours! :)

  25. Another great section would be menus.

  26. I have started one as well, but it definitely needs some updating! :-)

  27. What about a page for business cards or names/numbers of companies for plumbing or landscaping or various things you've liked to use in the past? Or specific name/numbers of bank/insurance/financial reps you use?

    Another idea is a reminder list of important birthdays/anniversaries.

  28. love this idea. I am definitely on board. How about a section for take out menus?

    I also like Alison's idea of names/numbers of companies/contractors you've used in the past.

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  30. Seriously, you are totally READING my MIND! I've been working on my family's "Command Center" and haven't finished it yet (it's my March project). What perfect timing!

    So far these are the sections I've created:
    1) Emergency Contact Numbers and Information - Include addresses and phone numbers. Also includes directions to our house!

    2) Business Cards - I had a business card sleeve that I reused.

    3) Services/Referrals - Sections for plumbers, electricians, babysitters, petsitters, etc...

    4) Gym Information - Hours, group fitness calendar, etc...

    5) Health Insurance Information

    6) Babysitter & Petsitter Instructions - So I don't have to constantly retype them.

    7) Frequently Called Numbers - Quick Directory of our family and friends that we call most often.

    Can't wait to get this project going with you!

  31. this is terrific!! i'm in, girlie :)

  32. I've kept one for years, but it needs updating, so I'll tag along for this challenge. I keep recipes for my home-made cleaners, pockets with decorating ideas, first aid kit inventory, a list of once-a-month chores and insurance information in it. Best wishes, everyone!

  33. I think this sounds like a great idea but I have to admit, I am not really sure of what the whole point is. Wouldn't the binder constantly be changing (i.e. Freezer Inventory)? I love to be organized but maybe you can help me out as to WHY this would be useful on a daily basis. Then I would be more inclined to jump on board. I am new to this whole full time demestication thing! :)

  34. Brilliant, Jen! I was just thinking about putting something like this together a few weeks ago. You'll once again be my inspiration to get going!

    I'll be including a list of vendors that I have used in the past that didn't meet my expectations, this will avoid future disappointment (and irritation)!

  35. Thanks all for the suggestions and comments! Keep them coming!

    Love2bMom22, super great question!

    The point to this project is to keep many different useful tools, combined in one central location, vs having them spread out throughout the home. One go to place saves tons of time, as do including many of the tools that are helpful to your personal situation. For example, I have my boys special papers in their personal bins, my cleaning checklist on my fridge, my movie inventory by the tv, my product info in a packet downstairs in our storage room, I am SO excited to have one place to keep all the misc. things that run our household! :)

    Things such as "Freezer Inventory" and Checklists can be laminated and hole punched to be re-used over and over :)

    Hope that helps!


  36. You might want some pockets for sliding things into. Sometimes it's annoying or impractical to punch holes in things (like bills).

  37. I love the idea of a household binder. I have a similar binder of sorts, and I'll try to explain it briefly.

    My husband is an attorney and I worked in a law office while in college, so I'm a little Type A when it comes to knowing where important paper work is when you need it. Especially in terms of unexpected circumstances.

    Basically, I summarized the specifics of larger files- the things that you taught us to organize in the "filing paperwork" challenge and I keep a cheat sheet of sorts all in one binder. That way, I have the information at my finger tips and the originals safely filed away.

    So, for Auto, I have a cheat sheet that lists: Insurance carrier, Policy numbers, Agent name, phone and address, Vehicle license plate numbers and VIN numbers. This helps if (God forbid) your car was ever stolen...or even towed.

    For Life Insurance list the same...Carrier, policy numbers, Agent name and contact info, Amount of Policy and Beneficiaries. You wouldn't believe how many people switch policies or discontinue them and in the event of a tragedy, a spouse is confused as to what is active and what she/he is entitled to. Also, if a spouse keeps these policies at his/her work office, you have the information at home.

    Financial Accounts - A brief summary of your financial accounts with the account numbers and telephone/address of the financial institution. For credit cards, list the phone numbers that appear on the back of the card. In the event they are lost or stolen you have the phone number at the ready. I also list the login and passwords to my online financial accounts.

    Health Insurance – Make a copy of your card front and back and keep it in the binder. If someone in the family loses their card, you can use this until a replacement is made. Also list the phone numbers that you might need to make inquiries about coverage, etc.

    Estate Planning – List the name and contact info of your attorney and copies of your Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, Living Will and Health Care Directive as well as where you keep the originals.

    You can include as much or as little information in the binder and on the cheat sheets as you want. You may wish to omit some sensitive (protected) information if you keep the binder out in the open. The point is that you have information at your fingertips when you need it instead of having to go through a whole file to find one account number or phone number. In my case, my husband and parents know where to find the binder in case something goes wrong while I/we are traveling. They can get the binder and relay the information to us and it tells them where to find the originals in case of an emergency.

    I hope this doesn't sound too morbid, but in my experience, I know the value of having mundane paperwork organized and easily accessible.

  38. I've always entertained the thought of creating a household binder but haven't gotten around to it. I'm still working on the photography project, but who says I can't work on two things at once?! I'll be on the lookout for a fun binder this week!

  39. I made one of these 4 years ago when I was introduced to the Flylady. She's got all the steps you need to set one up here:

    I'll tag along for the challenge too as some of our routines have evolved over the years and I haven't updated it in awhile. :)

  40. I am really looking forward to creating a binder myself (but unfortunately, I'm so busy right now it'll probably have to wait until summer). :( I am a college student, so I imagine my sections will be quite different, but I'm sure I can get some inspiration from you (in fact, I'm already inspired by your gorgeous choice of binder!).

  41. I love your blog! Here are some sections I love about my binder:

    1. A zipper pocket like kids use for school in which I put stamps, pen, address labels and a small calculator so it's all handy to pay bills and send quick notes.
    2. A "library" section where I simply list things that we've borrowed and who they're borrowed from, and things we've lent out and who borrowed them. I love being able to share my favorite books, but was ALWAYS forgetting where they went!
    3. Another list that is nice to have in your food section is a list of local produce availability - when it's ready, where I like to purchase it and amounts purchased/cost in the past. If you remember, you can mark in there whether it ended up being the right amount, or if you should have done more or less.
    4. I also include a section with labels for each of my children and a few blank sheets of paper where I can quickly jot down things to transfer to their school notebooks or baby books. Things like 2/15/2011 - lost top left tooth, or words they said. I'm in the binder every day so I seem to remember to jot it here much easier than I remember to go get the baby book etc.

    Can't wait to keep reading everyone's ideas!

  42. Love this idea of having all my lists / household info in one area. I've sort of created one my self, but I have mine on the computer in Excel. We have SO much paper clutter in our house just from our kids artwork, homework, activities, mail, etc. it would be just yet another binder/folder of paper sitting around on the counter and that makes me cringe. Since our laptop is always out, my computer based household command center is always handy. I have everything in one file and each separate list/items are in their own worksheets or tabs. Some of mine are gift ideas, financial accounts/contact info, cleaning schedule, bday/anniversaries, house projects ideas (by room), monthly to do list (big things - schedule annual checkups, dentist appointments, order contacts, send out bday invites, etc.) I'm very interested to hear what other things I should have handy in my file!

  43. I love this! I made my own household book about 4 months ago and I've been slowly developing new sections.

    I keep my Resolution Chart/Personal Goals in Tab 1.

    Meal Planning and Grocery list in Tab 2.

    Monthly Bills in Tab 3.

    Home Projects List in Tab 4.

    Phone Numbers in Tab 5.

    Parenting Resources in Tab 6.

    Cleaning and Organization in Tab 7.

    I keep a separate Babysitter Book with all of the kids info and emergency stuff. I can't wait to get some more ideas for my book!

  44. I'm on board with this challenge! I have a household binder but it needs updating and some different catagories. Another catagory idea is to make a tab for each member of your family and include one of those clear protectors under each person's tab. That way you can quickly slip information into the protectors (eg. b-day party invites with directions, etc on it). I'm excited to see what you come up with for us, Jen!


  45. I just put one together about a week ago. It has already been immensely helpful. I have a section at the front of baseball card holders to stick appointment cards in, friend/family contact info, dr. phone numbers, the kids' chore and reward charts, my cleaning checklist, and several other things that aren't coming to me right now. My home management binder is on the shelf next to my coupon binder and homeschool binder. I can't believe it took me so long to create one. I look forward to your ideas (and printable *yay*) this month.

  46. hey jen, how about this? why dont you make a templete (sp?) for all of the bills in the house that we all have to pay, and we can laminate it and check off each bill we pay by month! that way, we can just wipe it clean and start over next month. love your ideas by the way, you are so inspiring!

  47. This sounds awesome! Thanks, Jen!

  48. LOVE this idea. I cant wait to join in! I have been thinking of doing something like this for a while.

  49. I was just going to email you last night and ask the very same thing! I'm so excited!

    The biggest thing I'd like is the cleaning lists. I have a hard time trying to decide what to do daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc. I need a good cleaning schedule so I can try and stay organized once and for all! (Is that even possible?! :))

  50. I have always wanted to do one of these! So I am definitely in for this project! I should be finishing up my Feb photo project tonight - I'm a little slow :)

  51. Yay!! Thank you sooo much Jen!! I'm soo excited to get this started! I cant wait! I have my cute little pink binder and dividers sitting just waiting to be utilized!! You're awesome!

  52. I LOVE this idea!! I can't wait to get started on it! We just moved into our new house so this seems like the perfect time to start collecting and putting a binder together.

    We will be adding our "to-do" list and our "wish list" of things we want for our home. Can't wait to start!!

  53. I just made mine last month. After putting a great deal of work into it, I put the pages on my Etsy shop. I adore them, and I love having a binder that is totally "me". I love creating new sheets as I find a need for them. Mostly I love being organized! Can't wait to see all the ideas people have for worksheets to include. I love your monthly challenges.

  54. I'm in. I've been wanting to do this!

  55. I bought that binder last week (on clearance, no less!) specifically to use for my home binder!! Great minds and all that! ;)

  56. I have a printable that you can use. Its a cleaning checklist. Also a deep cleaning checklist. Things that you only do a few times a year that have to be done. It also helps you keep a record of when things are done every year.....for example, clean out the gutters. Stuff like that. I also have a master grocery list. They are on my blog if you would like to use them :)

  57. P.S. Your binder matches the color of your blog :) How coordinated of you :)

  58. Wow, that binder is so you! (it even matches the colors and pattern on your blog)
    I would add the important dates section
    and maybe even a page for Family sizes and measurements. I purchase alot online and I am always having to reference this bc sizes vary per company.
    You could even have room dimensions, window measurements etc.
    A section for COmputer log name/ passwords would be helpful too.

  59. Sounds great! One thought, though: It might work better to have two binders. I'm all for having cleaning, cooking, contact numbers, family info, etc. in a down and dirty binder in the kitchen (not in cleanliness, just in quantity of use) but wouldn't it be better to keep the less-used portions such as warranties, health insurance info, and finances somewhere else? The office perhaps?

  60. This is to funny, I got my binder started last month, and I had so much fun getting it ready to use...and to add I have the same cute binder from Target:) That also was so much fun to pick out, b/c it basically sits out on my counter. I use it for all my dailys, money managment, my son goes there for his routines, and I also have a place for papers I have to go through before the week is over, and an area with loose leaf paper to write ideas/thoughts down. I love this idea, and enjoy only haveing one place to go to!

  61. I'm looking forward to your ideas for the household binder! I made one in the fall, but I need to start using it for more things. I mostly use it for my calendar/to do list. Here are the sections I have:

    Calendar (I made a worksheet in Excel that covers 2 weeks at a time)
    Meals (I need to actually start using this section)
    Occasions (I use this section to keep track of people's birthdays, gift ideas, and my own wish list. At Christmas, it was great!)
    Health (at the moment, I have some healthy eating tips,and the brochure my doctor gave me about my knee pain)
    Activities (I need to start using this section more too, to keep my kids from getting bored)
    Contact Info
    Papers (Important papers that I need to keep on hand, like my daughter's dance routine)

    I also have some ruled binder paper at the back, and an envelope to hold things like immunization cards.

  62. Another fabulous idea is a daily schedule/routines from wake up to bed time for the kids, that way in case of emergency you can had the binder to Ma, Pa, Babysitter, nanny, aunt or neighbour & the kids can run as normal. Which all of you with little ones know, one or two dyas out of whack and it can all fall down.
    Someone may of already mentioned it above, but I didn't have time to read 60 post ha.

  63. whew! i just read all your comments, what great ideas your peeps have! im going to have to re-read them with pen and paper and jot down what fits my needs. a lot of great ideas and i cant wait to get started.

  64. this has been on my list far a while now too! i am excited to have some more motivation to get it done!! :)

  65. Awesome, can't wait to start! From the post and the comments, my Household Management binder will contain:
    1. Cleaning checklist
    2. Menu Planning (recipes have their own place)
    3. Finances
    4. Projects
    5. Blog ideas
    6. Emergency Contacts
    7. Vendors
    8. Important Dates
    9. Auto
    I always feel it's important to have this information on hand if, God forbid, something were to happen to me, hubby would know how to do something.
    Thanks, looking forward to organizing this!

  66. Count me in! I'm going to get my tab ideas from all of you brilliant ladies!!

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  68. Just started this 2 weeks ago. Still putting together but I know it'll be beneficial when I'm through. It's HUGE so far cause I'm trying to include everything- so it's my go to source for everything (and my husband's too). Can't wait to read all the great ideas you and every one else have.
    Just found your site two days ago Googling playroom images. I feel blessed to have found. I usually don't care for blogs, but you've changed my mind. I'm already addicted and can't wait to learn from you. This is best I've seen of organizing. I'm going to start taking pics tomorrow so you can help me with my space. Maybe I'll finally get my home organized and pretty. I actually feel optimistic.

  69. This is a really great idea! I'm in college and single but I would still love to modify this project some way to fit my life style. I'll be thinking about this!

  70. Excellent idea!!
    It's been on my to-do list to finally finish putting together my household organization binder so thanks in advance for the challenge!

  71. Yay! I'm in! I have a gorgeous binder that can be put to some awesome use like this! =)

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  72. I like the idea of having some place to jot down project ideas. I would also maybe add pantry inventory to the list. I always forget re-stock something in m pantry!!

  73. Do you have a sheet for craft/scrapbook projects? I have so many projects I want to do and don't have one place where I have it all written. A title, room it's for/holiday it's for/craft project it is for, supplies, where to get the supplies, coupons for the project, instructions lines, etc...
    I have everything stashed in a file box, but of they were organized in a binder, I might accomplish it.

  74. I have binders for everything else so I might as well create one of these! lol Binders are my favorite way of organizing.
    Donna from

  75. I heart you for this!!!! :) i m totally in because I have started one myself, but it isnt quite where I want it. YAY!

  76. I started collecting the bits and pieces for mine last week, so this is perfect timing.
    I also thought of a pencil/pen pouch so you always have those items on hand.
    And was thinking of adding a sleeve to inside cover of binder to hold a notepad.

  77. I'm hitting the "like" button now. Super excited about this!!!

  78. I am sooo excited about the free printables!!!! I love how cute you make your other stuff and I have been searching for the perfect printables for my binder. I seriously LOVE this blog!

  79. Count me in, I've been meaning to get mine up and running and had decided yesterday morning that I would get it done in the next week or two, so your challenge is perfect timing.
    I've also been dying to link up to one of your challenges but keep missing the boat.

    I plan to include in mine a page for each child listing their clothes and shoe sizes and any items that they may need, as well as favourite colours, interests etc and their wishlist so when family ask what they would like for birthdays or Christmas I'll have some ideas handy.

    There's heaps more that I plan to add and I'll report back later with a list.
    Can't wait to get started, thanks.

  80. I can hardly wait to see what you come up with ... and free printables too! You are so kind.

  81. I have a "Home Mangement Binder" but feel like it can be improved upon so I am so glad to join this challenge. In addition to what you have listed, I have a section for each child where I keep info that I need to keep handy that pertains only to that child. I also have a section of packing lists. I felt like I forgot something each time we went somewhere. Currently, I have a list for drives to Grandma & Grandpa's house, overnights with kids, overnights without kids.

    I have a separate binder for finances and another for recipes.

  82. Love this idea! Thanks! Another page that I have that I will store in my binder is printed directions to my house from different parts of town. I have it saved on the computer as well. I may be the only person who needs this, but it seems like when I am on the spot I get all turned around.
    Looking forward to getting organized with ya!

  83. I didn't read all of the comments, so I am not sure if someone suggested this, but check out the blog A Bowl Full of Lemons ( for some great info on Home Management Binders. Toni is doing a weekly organization challenge, and one of the first challenges was to create a HMB. I created one through this challenge and picked up some great ideas (and great free printables) from the other folks who participated!

  84. I am definitely looking forward to following along as you work on this particular project -- can't wait

  85. I'm actually in the process of making one of these! LOVE it!!!! :D Glad to know other people understand the OCD/importance of organization in making life run smoothly and less stress-fully! :D

  86. I have WAY too many warranties, etc. My binder would be packed to the seems everything we own has a you have an expanded system for manuals and warranties?

  87. Funny because I was JUST browsing through your blog last night looking to see if you have a household management binder. I am in the process of making mine as well. So far I have the following tabs...

    TO DO'S (Morning,Daily,Bedtime Routines)
    CLEANING(Daily,Weekly,Monthly Cleaning)
    MENU PLAN (Menu Plan for the week, Grocery List's, Refrigerator,Freezer,Pantry inventory)

    Eventually I will add a folder/section for my daughters school paperwork that needs to be signed and returned or looked over. I'll also make a tab for emergency contacts.

  88. I love my "Family Binder"!! The categories I have are :

    * ACTIVITY INFO - here is where I keep activity calendars and infomation
    * CLEANING Schedule and Yard Maintenance
    * CONTACTS - I have a hockey card page protector and insert business cards from Doctors to Landscapers, it's handy to have it all in one place
    * ELLA & LEE - each of my kids get their own category, here is where I keep their calendars from daycare, Sparks, etc.; or any other paperwork I need easy access to
    * GIFT INFO - today I made a gift budget spreadsheet detailing the annual budget & actual spending for gifts, birthday parties, etc. We never used to budget for this and it is a huge chunk of our spending!
    * IDEA LISTS - here I keep my wish list of ideas for the house, be it decorating ideas, re-arranging or renovating (I have a separate "House Idea" binder with more details such as pages from catalogues, etc.)
    * MISC
    * PERSONAL - this is for my personal to do lists, and any other info
    * STORAGE - we have a lot of stuff in storage (much to my dislike!) and have recently started a numbering system and actually labelling them!! (What a concept!) So here is where I keep my list of boxes that are stored, so we know where and what is in each box.
    * EMERGENCY INFO - I have started to collect information to make an emergency kit, so here is where I keep that info as well as our emergency plan and meeting place. Since we live in a place where we are expecting "the big one" (earthquake) any day, it feels comforting to know that I am prepared and have an emergency kit for my family if/when we need it.

    And that's it! Sorry it's so long! So excited to see your free printables! Thank you for your inspiration! :-)

  89. I think it would be great to have a Greeting Card Checklist with addresses in it.
    You could have a checklist for birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, etc!

  90. I am in, and dedicated today's post to step 1! Yay. I too bought the same binder on clearance. I already have a decor binder (room by room house breakdown of ideas), a school binder (each kid has a tab and all their school's general info and class details), a coupon binder. I am making a recipe binder (for the newly printed, not ready for the cook book yet, magazine rip out) - to couple with the home management binder. Here are the categories I will be using:
    ■Freezer Inventory / pantry inventory / menu ideas
    ■Cleaning Checklists
    ■Finances/Bill Payment Checklist
    ■Important Contact Numbers
    ■medical documents (immunizations, appt information etc.)

  91. Hi Jen! I've done something similar to this already! I did a post on my blog awhile back on "paper organization" and included my binder (which is so ironic because I used the exact same Target binder as you!). I include several different "running lists" that help me stay on top of things. Feel free to check it out for ideas and/or share it with your readers if you think it would help anyone!

    Erin @ Sunny Side Up

  92. Hmmmmm...

    I'm still living at home with my parents so don't have much use for such a thing in the way you're speaking of.

    But I shall adapt to my own needs :)

    I've been wanting to do an inventory of sorts of regular toiletries I use.

    And then of course, I've been wanting to start an inventory of certain scrapbooking/craft supplies so maybe that can be my job for March.

    You've made me put my thinking cap on Jen! Thanks :)

  93. What a great idea! I love the colors you use can't wait to see what you come up with.

  94. I've been reading your blog for the past couple of months and it has inspired me to get organized! I created my binder last month and use it everyday. I decided on the categories based on the papers I needed to reference frequently and wanted to have in one place.
    My binder sections are:
    -Monthly calendar (including a clear sleeve for gym calendar)
    -Weekly schedule/to do list
    -Personal goals
    -Monthly menu planning/grocery list/sleeve for loose recipes
    -Contacts with sleeve for business cards/take-out menus
    -Medical info

    I can also add info. as I need it. I just recently added some gardening pages for the spring. I will definitely follow along this month and update my binder.

  95. OK, I'm joining in with this challenge. This is something I've been meaning to do for ages and I made it halfway last year when I put diary pages and contact numbers into an A5 ringbinder. Still didn't get around to adding recipes or any other info yet.

  96. I am eager to read through all the comments on this post. Sounds like my binder will be taking shape with you and your readers' help.

  97. I don't have a household binder, but I just bought 3 binders exactly like yours last week! I guess I'll be joining this challenge!

  98. I think for my binder I will have
    important numbers
    meal planning
    cleanning check list

  99. I'm so excited about this! I've wanted one of these for a long time, just never had the time to do it! I picked up that very some binder at Target today on clearance! Could not have worked out better.

  100. I'm excited about this post. I made a home management binder before - but it was too big to easily use. I'd like to try again, simplifying my list so I can keep it easy to use. I do have binders for things important to projects I have - House binder for houseplans/decor/paint samples etc since we are going to be building soon. So, I guess that means I'm starting over again. :)

    I can't wait to see what you come up with. I love your blog so much. I use a mini filebox beside my desk because of one of your blogs. It makes me and my husband happier. I have a thing with paper clutter, and this significantly helps with that.

    Thanks so much for the many wonderful and challenging ideas! Keep up the great work!

  101. I completed this challenge a few weeks ago after seeing it on abowlfulloflemons! The Home Management Binder has done wonders for me. It's a one-stop shop and I use it to organize everything household (to-do lists, meal planning, finances, schedules, etc.) and carry it nearly everywhere but my morning jog!
    Having said that, I have been planning to make some changes to my binder and look forward to reading about and look at all of the ideas that everyone has to offer.
    BTW: I also found your blog very recently, AND LOVE IT! Thanks for being a beacon of light in the marathon that is household management and organizing.

  102. I am so excited to do this challenge this month. I just went to Target to get the binder and inserts and I am ready :-)

  103. A friend of mine recently introduced me to your blog and I LOVE it! I am excited about creating a household binder. I think a good piece of info to have in there (obviously wouldn't need an entire section) is important dates - birthdays, anniversaries, etc...

  104. hey i used the same binder!! gotta love those cute ones from target! I did mine a few months ago - you can see it here on my blog:

    tabs I labeled were finances, to do lists, calendars with months and year, a tab for my stepdaughter Ashley for school/sports stuff, a medical tab with the numbers of all doctors, etc. I love it! I use it all the time:)

    I glued a folder in the back to hold all of our monthly bills - then when we pay them we shred and throw out!

  105. I like, I like. This sounds like a great way to organize my life more. What about medical history? Just the basics you know? I might want to have that in there.

  106. Love my homekeeping notebook and printables! Makes everything a little easier and cuter!

    Here's a link to my homekeeping binder:

    And my shop:

  107. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog. I have been meaning to make a household binder for a while now. I just featured this post on my blog as well as your "My fabulous blog ideas" Freebie from January. Thank you so much for all of your tips and idea.

  108. Count me in! I need more organization!

  109. I set up a "Command Central Binder" and "Errand Station" over the Xmas holidays - I followed Aby Garvey's (Creative Organising Blog) instructions for both, and also got inspiration from Jade Conran (Super Organiser Mum) - I LOVE her Errand Station in a tub, it's so pretty. I'll be following along with you as well, to update my new system.

  110. I came up with one that is extremely important to anyone, where in a house or apartment..."Smoke Detectors". Smoke Detectors batteries should be changed twice a year and a lot of people change them when the clocks change (clocks are Springing ahead this Sunday). Plus Smoke Detectors as well as Carbon Monoxide/Gas Detectors have expiration dates on the product itself. We were told by our Fire Department (when are Carbon Monoxide detector went off last year...don't worry everything was ok), that they have expiration dates on them. I believe it's about 5-6 years and then you need to buy a new detector. I'm not sure about Smoke Detectors though. I need to take each one of ours down and see what our brand says.

    I think I'm really going to learn a lot from this challenge and be really organized from it. I can't wait to read your next post about this challenge.

  111. I came up with another idea. Car Maintenance. Maybe not a separate tab, but a section within a tab. Especially for the bigger car/truck work that has been done. This way you know the last time you did something. I'm definitely doing this one for our next new truck. Even good so you remember to get your oil changed on time. Sometimes those stickers they put in your car fade and you can't read the mileage anyway. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

  112. I just found your blog and am so excited! I keep starting a binder, but then it gets daunting and I wimp out. I can't wait to do it step by step! the free printables will actually help - I like everything to have the same look and that might be where I lost interest before...big obstacle for me!

  113. I absolutely adore this idea!!!! This will be my first household binder so the step by step process and free printables are much appreciated!!! This will be great for my husband and I as we are moving into our first home!!!

  114. I created a home binder shortly after we moved about 6 months ago. I agree with what someone else said about seeing what you have first & then coming up with the categories. My binder still needs a lot of work but here are the sections I have so far - cleaning, contact list, exercise/nutrition, holidays, home decorating, medical info, restaurant menus & coupons, organizing info, warranties. Can't wait to start work on it again!

  115. Can you tell me what dividers with pockets you used? They look super sturdy and I love that the labels are closed on one side so they don't slide out.

    1. Hi April!

      I found them at Target, they are the Up & Up brand, love them!



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