Home Binder – What is it? and Why do you need one?
Do you ever spend time searching for the take-out number for your favorite pizza place? Are you confident that the babysitter has all the information she will need in case of emergency? A Home Binder would solve both of these problems. Simply put, a Home Binder is a place where you keep all of your important household and family information. Keeping it in one place makes it easily attainable when needed.
What should be in a Home Binder?
There are lots of opinions of what things you should include in a home binder. Every home binder should be unique for the family it is covering. Here is a listing of a few sections you might want to include in one for your home. You don’t have to have all of these categories and this list also isn’t all-inclusive. For me, I actually have multiple binders and locations to keep this information handy for everyone.
This section could include emergency information for each family member such as doctor, blood type, allergies, prescriptions, and any special medical instructions. This is great for babysitters because they can easily find the information they need if there is an emergency. You should keep a sheet here for each family member with basic medical information plus school or work information. Since pets are a part of the family too, keep a sheet for each household pet with their name, vet’s name, date of birth/age, vaccination records and any other medical conditions/allergies.
Some people keep their family calendar in their home binder. It’s also a good place for a perpetual calendar that keeps track of important birthdays and anniversaries. When my children were small, I also kept a daily schedule here so the babysitter had their evening routine and bed times in writing. Saved many a babysitter from arguments with the kids.
This section should include the contact information for family/friends that you might need to contact in an emergency. It should also include home/repair contact information such as plumber, pool service company, etc. And, this is a great place for a local carry-out menu as well as reservation numbers for restaurants you frequent.
Cleaning & Home Maintenance
A home binder is a good place to keep a cleaning schedule with jobs assignments for all family members. You might also want to keep a listing of home maintenance that needs to be done including when you noticed it, who you have asked to repair it, and when the repair is completed.
This section can really be a time saver. It’s a great place for your current meal plan and a running shopping list. You can also keep lists of meals that are family favorites. In addition, keep inventories of pantry, spices, refrigerator, and freezer here so they are easy to update and you always know what you have on hand.This is also a great place for basic cooking information such as volume conversion charts that are handy when cooking. If anyone in the family has a food allergy, a list of common substitutions could be kept here also. Some people also keep their recipes in their home binders but I think that adds a lot of volume and they are therefore better kept in another location.
A great place to keep your emergency plan is in your home binder, as well as information on local emergency numbers and agencies.
Keep purchase information, license plates numbers, and insurance information in your home binder. A maintenance and repair listing for each vehicle in the family is also great in this section.
A home binder is a great place to keep information on household projects you are currently working on or hope to do in the future.
Some people like to keep their budgets, monthly spending plan, and account information in their home binder. Since I regularly gave my home binder to the babysitter, I didn’t think this was a good place for our financial information. I prefer to keep these in a more private area like my planner or a file or binder in my office.
Holidays & Special Occasions
You can keep preparation listings for holiday dinners, a listing of traditional events your family does, and ideas for upcoming special occasions in your home binder. Also, this is a great place to keep running gift lists so you know what you’ve given people in the past, as well as being a place to note any ideas for the future that you have.
A home binder would be a good place for family goals. Personal goals can also be kept here but I think they go better in a more personal location, like your planner, where you see them more regularly.
How Do I Create My Home Binder?
There are lots of options to help you in putting a home binder together from binders/contents that can be purchased as a set of printable contents that you assemble. You can also just decide what sections you want and grab a 3-ring binder and some dividers and start adding. For years, my home binder was totally homemade. This year, I decided to splurge and purchase a Home Base Binder kit from Emily Ley. I’m really pleased with the product and would highly recommend it as great starting point, and the binder itself is absolutely beautiful. You can also find printables on the web of complete binders or individual pages.
If you don’t already have a home binder, I encourage you to create one. While it might take a little time and effort in the beginning, it will save lots of time and hassles later on. Let me know how you keep this type of information handy in the comments below.
And here are some posts that might help you while creating your home binder: