Organize Your Life With a Home Management Binder (+19 Free Printables)
Recently, I shared the School Reference Sheet I created to keep track of school information and mentioned I keep it in my Home Management Binder. I promised more information on Home Management Binders and today I’m making good on that promise! I’m going to discuss what a Home Management Binder is, what can go in one, and how to use one to simplify your life. The best part? I’m sharing 19 pages of FREE PRINTABLES to help you start your very own Home Management Binder.
What’s a Home Management Binder?
A Home Management Binder (a.k.a. HMB, Home File, Family Notebook, Household Planner) is a binder where you keep the important home and household information that keeps your house (and life) running smoothly. How does it do this you ask? By locating all the information your family needs regularly in one central place and organizing it so that anyone can quickly access what they need.
As I explained in my School Reference Sheet post (which you can read here), my husband and I take the lead on certain areas in our family life but need access to the information the other person handles. Our Home Management Binder allows us to easily find the information we need without having to constantly ask each other, which in addition to being annoying, isn’t always possible when we need the information.
A Home Management Binder also reduces paper clutter by providing a “home” for information and papers that come into the house. It saves time (and frustration) by elminating the searching of piles of paper to get needed information. And it serves as a ready-made “How-To Guide” for running your household in the event you can’t, which provides peace of mind.
Where To Keep Your Home Management Binder?
A Home Management Binder is only useful if kept in a convenient location easily accessible to the whole family. We keep ours in a kitchen cupboard because the kitchen is where most of our family discussions and planning takes place. Maybe the perfect place for your family is in the office or family room. Wherever you decide to keep it, ensure it’s a place everyone knows about and can access.
What To Put In Your Home Management Binder?
The key to remember when putting together your Home Management Binder is it’s meant to keep the information you refer to regularly. It’s NOT the place to keep birth certificates, wills or insurance documentation. If you include too much information, the quick and easy reference benefit is lost, which defeats the purpose of a Home Management Binder. Think about the information you access daily, weekly or monthly, that is what should be included.
Because your Home Management Binder is tailored to you and your family, no two are the same. It can contain information such as cleaning schedules, chore lists, household budgets, bill trackers, family calendars, family goals, home and auto maintenance information, contact information, and anything else you can think of. Whatever is included, the information is usually organized into tabbed sections, such as:
8) Meals/Meal Planning
10) Family Goals
13) Fitness Goals
Not every section is going to be necessary for every family and while one family may keep babysitter information under “Contacts”, another may prefer to keep it under “Kids”. Beyond only including what you regularly access, there are no right or wrong ways to organize your Home Management Binder. Find what makes sense for your family and go with it!
19 Free Home Management Binder Printables For You!
Below are 19 printables I use and the 6 categories I organize them in. You defintely don’t have to use them this way or use all of them. Pick and choose the pages that will work for you and leave the rest behind. While these aren’t all the printables I keep in my Home Management Binder, they’re the ones with the information I think is most common across households.
1) Home & Auto:
i) Home Maintenance Log: tracks household work and maintenance including the date, who did it, cost and when the next maintenance is.
ii) Home Project Wish List: tracks details of home improvements we want to do and estimated cost.
iii) Auto Maintenance Log: tracks work on vehicles including date, who did it and cost. We use one per vehicle.
iv) Insurance Information: records details of health, home, auto and work insurance.
v) Account Information: records details of utilities and other accounts.
vi) Notes: records information related to these categories not captured by the forms. I place one after every subcategory, but to avoid making this post longer than it needs to be, I won’t repeat this everytime.
2) Kids & Pet:
i) Childcare Info: records details of before and aftercare for my daughter (works for full-time daycare too!).
ii) Babysitter Notes: information to leave with the babysitter.
iii) Children’s Friends: records my daughter’s friends, their parents, contact information and any information to be aware of, such as an allergy.
iv) Children’s Activities: records details of classes/lessons taken outside of school.
v) Pet Information: records all things pet and pet care.
i) School Reference Sheet: records school information.
ii) Children’s Activities: records details of school extracurricular activities.
i) Important Contact Info: work contact information and contact information of services regularly used.
ii) Friends and Family: contact information of friends and family.
iii) Password Sheet: records website, username and password information. If you aren’t comfortable writing down passwords, write prompts to remind you of the password.
5) Medical and Emergency:
i) Medical and Emergency: emergency numbers, all doctor and pharmacy contact information and contact information for the hospital and walk-in clinics.
ii) __________ Doctor Visits: tracks dates of doctor visits, reasons for visit, treatment received and any notes. Each family member has a sheet.
i) Dates to Remember: yearly events like birthdays and anniversaries.
Any information that comes into the house related to these areas gets filed in the appropriate section. School flyers that come home get filed under “School”, business cards I want for future reference get placed in a business card page protector in the “Contacts” section, details of holidays and birthday planning are kept under “Celebrations” etc. I keep the pages in page protectors to stand up to the heavy use they experience. I also keep a pocket pouch at the end of each section for items I only need to reference for a brief period (such as an event invitation).
I really can’t say enough good things about Home Management Binders. Ours keeps us organized and saves us time and frustration daily. What’s not to love? If you would like to simplify your life with a Home Management Binder, click the button below for my 19 FREE printables to get started. Let me know in the comments below what you will keep in your HMB to keep your house running smoothly. And if you liked this post, please share it!