Thursday, November 7, 2013

Domesti(k)ated: Household Binder

(You see what I did there? Totally Rob's idea.)

Now that I'm full-time at home (thanks Rob & thanks Kate!), I am really taking a lot of joy in my role as a wife, mother, and home-maker. The verse " everything for the glory of God"(1 Corinthians 10:31) keeps ringing in my ears and I think there are no better words to live life by. Holding fast to that verse spurs me on to do things with excellence...but also keeps me tethered to reality and to a bigger picture of what's MOST important.

NOTE: In case you are reading thinking in any way that I have it "all together", let me remind you of these fun facts:
1. I wear either pajama pants or yoga pants
2. I often find spit-up in my hair.
3. I try not to cry when Rob says he will be home an hour late from work.
4. I am totally dependent on Coke for my daily existence/survival. 
5. On my bad days, all I can remember from my day is what was on HGTV.
I am not perfect, and neither is my life :) But I do enjoy organizing :)

One of things I've enjoyed spending some time on is getting our household organized and in order. I had worked full-time the whole time that we have been married and there have always been some things on the back-burner that I have been itching to do in order to whip things into shape. My main project: Operation Household Binder. One big ole binder = one place for all the important information that we need to organize and run our home.

Now, once I get organizing, there's a part of me that wants to go crazy and organize everything to the Nth degree. And for some of you, you may look at this and just think "I do not need all that in my life." :) But this is actually my dulled-down, only-what-I-need version. My holy-moses-I-love-organizing version has gotten paired down considerably for the sake of not spending too much time on things that aren't that helpful or worth the time.

I've been living with it for a couple months or so now, and have been tweaking it every week to make it work for us. When I don't use something, it gets thrown out. When I find myself needing to reference something regularly, it gets put in.

Here are the 5 sections of our binder: Meal Planning/Scheduling, Home Maintenance, Finances, Home Improvement, and Misc Important Info. A lot of my inspiration comes from Jen at IHeartOrganizing. And as we dig into it, you'll see that most of my printables/pretty designs come from Emily at JDC.

To set up our binder, I found a list from IHeartOrganizing of all the possible sections for a household binder. I simply went through the list and decided which things would actually beneficial for us and our home. Here is a list of all the possible categories, with the ones I chose to use in bold and notes in blue.

Freezer Inventory
Fridge Inventory
Pantry Inventory
Storage Inventory (**may do this in the future)
Important School Information/Schedules
Movie Inventory (**may do this in the future)
Cleaning Checklist
Menu Planning
Finances/Bill Payment Checklist
Product Warranty Information (**have this in our filing cabinet)
Important Contact Numbers {Contractor, Plumber, Electrician, Yard Maintenance, Financial Advisor, Home and Auto Insurance, Poison Control, Neighbors, etc…}
Babysitter Note Sheet (**this varies too much for our little one right now)
Pet Care Instructions
Travel Checklist
Idea Lists/To Do Lists
Home Inspiration/Paint Swatches/Fabric Swatches etc…
Blog Posts
Credit Card and ID Information (**decided this was too risky)
“Weekend Wish List”
Important Dates to Remember (**kept on my iPhone calendar that syncs with Rob's)
CPR Instructions
Emergency Pack List (**not sure in what situation we would need this :))
Business Cards/Vendors
Take Out Menus
Gym Information
Check In/Out Library System
Local Produce Availability
Personal Goals/Resolutions
Parenting Resources (**easier to keep these online
Family Sizes and Measurements
Computer Log Names/Passwords (**decided this was too risky)
Kid’s Daily Schedule/Routine
Kid’s Wish Lists
Greeting Card Checklist
Medical History
Auto Maintenance Log

Once I knew what I needed, I broke each of these into the 5 categories. In the future, I am considering adding an "inventory" category that would include a storage inventory of our attic, crawl space, cabinets and closets. But that's a huge project and things are always being taken from and added to storage so it might not be worth the trouble.

I invested in a couple things to make this binder work for me: a binder (duh), dividers, pencil pouch, and pretty printables.

1. A binder - First step was to find the right binder. I originally was using an old 2" binder I used in college. I didn't like the rings on it (I like D-shaped rings) but it helped me realized that I needed at least a 1.5" possible 2" binder. I used the old binder for over a month to make sure I would actually use the household binder regularly before I invested in a new binder.

I ended up buying a teal 2" binder with D rings and clear plastic cover. I'm not a big "labeler" so I didn't really want a boring "Shields Family Household Binder" cover on it, so instead I just used the November printable from JDC that I get as a part of her monthly subscription. It's fun and cheerful and I can change it out every month to keep it interesting.

2. Dividers - Instead of buying regular dividers, I decided to invest in some pocket dividers that have been extremely useful! I keep little things tucked in them for almost every section of the binder. 

3. Pencil Pouch -  I also got a clear plastic pencil pouch (throwback to middle school!) for $0.99. It holds some scissors (for coupons), an envelope opener, a mini calculator, sticky notes, paper clips, and some pens & pencils. It lays flat so it's not too bulky and it's really helpful to have it all on hand when I need something.

4. Pretty printables - Probably my favorite thing I bought for this binder was a monthly subscription to JDC. (see link above) At first, I made my own printables and they were pretty but I did a free trial for JDC Monthly and was amazed at how much prettier hers were and how useful everything was! I use every thing in the subscription and it's so fun to get a new batch every month. I really think it's worth the $10 every month (I use my fun money that I have budgeted monthly). And I am not getting any perks for promoting it - I just love it :)

Next up - Section 1: Meal Planning!

1 comment :

  1. Love this Nicole!!! What a great way to stay organized. I'm taking notes... :)


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