Saturday, August 4, 2012

Home Management Binder - Part One

Sorry about the delay in beginning my posts about the Home Management Binder that I am creating.  Yes, it's been one of those weeks. But, before I begin I need to mention a couple of things....First, my OAMC (Once a month cooking) experiment will be delayed.  I'm not exactly sure how long...but I'm anticipating a week or so.  Our brand new (floor model) refrigerator has stopped doing it's job.  I noticed this when I poured cream in my coffee yesterday!  Ugh.  As I started roaming around in the fridge, I noticed that NOTHING was cold.  I called Dan and he investigated the situation and sure enough...broken.  So, he called Sears this morning and since we purchased the almighty warranty for an arm and a leg...they will be out at 2:30pm today to take a look.  Unfortunately, what couldn't be frozen (the freezer is still working), had to be trashed.  I'm trying not to think about the brand new package of hard Genoa salami ($5.99) I just bought or all the wilted lettuce...or the softened (quite by accident) cream cheese.  It's hard to know what is still "safe" and what isn't.  So, in the interest of not needing the expense of a new fridge AND hospital bills...Dan opted to throw most of everything away.  Sigh.  But I digress....

Here's a question for you, "Why would anyone need a home management binder in the first place"?  Good Question.  However, I can only answer that question for myself and my family.  I bet the answers from other people will be quite similar.

1.  It could be a huge time saver(which is kind of the whole point in the first place).  If your home is anything like my home, we are constantly looking for things!  Even if I just had something in my hand a minute it ago, as soon as I'm looking for it...I can't find it.  This is especially true of important papers.  There have been days when I have spent the better part of an hour looking for a permission slip, birthday invitation, or phone number.  I would love to have a system where I don't have to waste the remaining years of my life (I'm almost 50....I'm on the back half!) looking for stuff!

2.  Important Papers/Documents.  Several times a year, someone  or some organization is asking me for information like a social security card, baptismal certificate or a copy of my marriage license. When I'm asked this question, I do the same thing every time....give a look of surprise to the person asking...then I crinkle my forehead as I try and think where that document might be.  There are quite a few places I can look.  One is in the kids' baby book.  Nope, not there.  How about the accordion folder in the computer room?  Nope.  Let's try the top right hand dresser drawer.  Ooh yea, I found the marriage license!  Phew.  Now, where to look for the rest of the stuff.  Are you getting the picture?

3.  Insurance stuff.  It's ALWAYS a good idea to have your insurance policies/cards somewhere handy.  You NEVER know when you'll need them.  Dan and I each carry our own health insurance card, but we don't for our kids.  We never know which one of us is available to take the kids to the doctor or the dentist.  If we can keep the cards all in one spot, then I'll know where to go if I'm on doctor visit duty.  The same goes for the car insurance and life insurance/registration.  Right now, I don't know where half of this stuff is located.  If Dan dropped dead tomorrow, I'd be lost about where things are.

4.  Important phone numbers.  You know all those insurance policies I mentioned above?  Well, it's helpful to have their phone numbers written down somewhere, nicely written safely nestled in a sheet a binder!  That way, I don't have to shuffle through all those policies or try to read the teensy-weensy writing on the back of the card.  I want just one sheet of paper with all the important numbers on it.

5.  All things pertaining to home ownership!  There is a ton papers, escrow stuff, tax stuff, repair dates, as well as any information about construction upgrades.  This is also the place that I would keep any redesign ideas that I've ripped from magazines or Home Depot/Lowe's ads.  If I keep all of this in my home management binder, then I won't spend the time looking for it one day...unless of course, I completely forget about the binder...but what are the chances of that?????

These are just some of the ideas that I plan to include in my binder.  In my next post, I will go over the format that I've chosen to use and how to begin.  I also found some wonderful, FREE down loadable pages that will help in my organization!

Here are some of the supplies I've purchased....a couple of binders (in case it doesn't all fit into one), scrapbook paper for decorating the binders, page protectors and dividers.  I may use all of this stuff, or I may use none of it!  It's a work in progress!

If you would like to take a look at a beautifully finished home management  binder that an on-line friend just is the link to Dawn's blog By Sun and Candlelight!  I think she is one of the most organized people I know (although, I don't really know her)!  I think Dawn will be using her binder on a more regular basis as she will keep grocery lists, homeschool schedules and housekeeping schedules in a calendar format. 

If you keep a household binder, please feel free to share about it!  You never know, you're idea may work better!


Tracy said...

Nancy, You've done an amazing job and made it look so simple, I think I'll give this one a try!!

Michelle said...

Ohhh, our fridge warranty covered the last round of groceries purchased if we had the receipt. Maybe you still have yours hanging around?

We've got an "important papers" folder, but I need to go through it and make sure it's all up to date.

Each member of the family has a sheet protector to hold documents like birth certificates, social security cards, baptismal certificates, marriage certificate, etc. We've got one for each of the pets, too, with their latest shot records.

The other sections are for insurance paperwork, titles to the vehicles, warranties for big purchases, and so forth.

Since I take care of all the financial stuff, I also created a spreadsheet that has all of our different household bills on it. I've got the login info and details on when the bills are due and how each one is paid. If anything happens to me, my husband can at least log on to our accounts without having to have passwords reset!