I like to keep most of my brain outside of my head. No, not physically (gross). I’m talking about all of the things that I might need to remember, find, or think about.
When those things are up in my brain, there’s a danger I’ll forget something important. When those things are all in one central location, I can always find what I need and I forget much less stuff.
Enter: The Homemaking Binder (aka: my brain)
I’ve seen some pretty fancy homemaking binders out there. You can purchase pretty worksheets and stickers and such, which is temping because who doesn’t love stickers…
A few years ago I ended up making my own homemaking binder, which was super inexpensive and maybe even more functional than a purchased one because it’s customized for me!
So let’s walk through making your own DIY Homemaking Binder.
DIY Homemaking Binder
Binder: I use a 1 inch binder. If you get a binder with a clear plastic sleeve on the front, you can make your binder cute with a pretty cover page or family pictures.
Pocket Dividers: I have plastic dividers that also have pockets and they’re a must. I can divide off sections in my binder and the pockets are extremely functional. If you’re going to get the dividers, make sure to get ones with pockets.
Page Protectors: For the basic info that I don’t need to take out or change very often, it’s nice to have page protectors.
That’s it! If you find a good deal, the supplies will probably only cost around $5.
Now you just need to gather all the stuff to go in it.
What Goes in the Homemaking Binder:
I print out my budget and spending tracker spreadsheet at the beginning of each month. This goes in the first pocket of my binder since I pull it out to record our spending and check off what bills I’ve paid every couple of days.
If you want access to my spreadsheet so that you can customize if for yourself or even just to see an example, it’s included in the homemaking binder packet you can sign up for at the end of this post!
Whatever you use to record your budget and spending, put it in a folder or page protector in your homemaking binder.
Bills to Pay
I usually collect all of our bills that need to be paid in one place until I have most of them. Then I pay them all at once. To make sure I don’t misplace any of them, I put them in a folder of my homemaking binder. I just have to pull them all out when it’s time to pay bills.
It’s simple systems like this that keep us from losing things or accidentally having unpaid bills.
Things to File
I get a bit lazy and don’t always file paperwork right away.
If something needs to get filed, I put it in a folder in my binder. Then when that folder starts to get full, I’ll file it all at once.
It’s helpful because I know that important paperwork can only be in two places: either it’s filed already or it’s in the folder waiting to be filed.
When I finish paying our bills, I move the paid bills to the “things to file” folder.
Keep any meal planning papers or menus in your binder.
I have lists of our favorite meals written down that I use weekly to create our meal plan. I keep these worksheets in page protectors since I don’t make changes to them very often.
If your family has various calendars for work, sports, or activity schedules, put them all in page protectors in one section of the binder.
I use a basic day planner to record all of our appointments and schedules so that they’re all in one place, but I still like to keep these separate calendars in case I need to reference them for more details.
A written contacts list is a great thing to keep in your binder. In fact, I’m making one for myself not that I thought of it 🙂
Phone numbers and addresses for family and doctors are so handy to have written down for if your phone dies or gets lost. Plus, if you have a babysitter over, you can pull out the page and you’ll have emergency contact info ready to go.
O, yeah. This is an important section!
We keep takeout menus from our favorite restaurants in one of the folders. It keeps them from cluttering up the fridge and we can see all of our favorite options if we’re deciding where to get takeout from.
I write down some of our goals each year and put them in my binder. It’s a good place to put them because I see them regularly which is a good reminder.
Sometimes our goals are a bit personal, and while I prefer to post our goals someplace very visible (and I usually do that too), it’s nice to know that not everyone coming to visit our house will see our goals sitting out.
If I’m working on a new routine, I’ll often write it down and put it in a page protector in my binder.
A brand new routine takes effort to remember before it turns into a full habit, so it’s nice to have it written and placed somewhere that I can see it often.
I’ve done this with new workout routines or a list of things to do before bed.
Basically, anything that I think we’ll want to look back on at some point and I’m not sure where I’d remember to look for it goes in the binder.
At our last house, the city gave us a paper of the rules and schedules for recycling and yard waste. I thought we’d want to reference it occasionally, but I couldn’t think of a good place to put it (where I’d remember to look for it). Into the binder it went, and I always knew where to find it!
Things like stamps, return address labels, random user names and passwords… Anything that is easily lost or forgotten can get corralled in the binder.
Creating your own homemaking binder is a great way to keep all of your important information in one place. Mine is such a helpful part of household and it is great for keeping important paperwork organized.
It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. Function is most important!
⇒ Do you have a homemaking binder? If you do, what’s in it? If not, are you going to try a DIY homemaking binder?