Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekly Challenge #1: Home Management Binder

I had so much fun with the 21 Days to Getting Organized challenge, I figured I'd keep on keeping on with the new weekly challenges.

(And I apologize for the quality of the pictures. Our other camera had a bit of an, um, Unfortunate Event earlier this week, and when we found a camera we liked at the Target store we were at last night, the cameras were out of stock. So, I'm using our very first, very old digital camera for now.)

The first week was all about setting up a home management binder. I'd already had one, sort of, from doing the FLYLady thing, called a Control Journal. But the only section I really ever used on a regular basis was the finances section.

When there were any changes to other sections (emergency contacts for one) I'd either hand write the changes on the paper, or worse, put loose pieces of paper or post-it notes in the section. I had lots of things in the inside pockets, where yes, they were in the binder, but not in a useful fashion.

I'd thought what I had was OK. Sure, it could always stand to be improved, but it worked. Mostly.

Until I was talking with a co-worker at the library about who pays bills in the household, and what would happen if someone else had to come in and try and make sense of the system being used. My husband came in to see me, so we asked him. He said, "Oh, I don't think I'd have a problem. I could just follow the information in that binder you keep in your office."

Uh, yeah. About that.

With that in mind, I started updating and redesigning the flow of said binder. I got a new binder and new divider tabs because this was my fresh start. (Besides, I'm really LOVING that color of the new binder. I'm pretty sure I'm going to paint my office that color this upcoming painting season.)

I started by really thinking about what all needed to be in there, and what categories would be most helpful to me. I finally decided on having a pre-section section and four other sections, with one held in reserve for now.

The pre-section section is all about who to call in case of an emergency.

I have our doctors, dentist, and veterinarian, insurance agent, all of our cell & work numbers, and next of kin. I also have a separate sheet of family addresses & phone numbers.

For the four other sections, I have:

  • Finances: This section has a list of what bills are due when and how much they'll be. We have most of them on auto-pay, so that's good. I also have the addresses and phone numbers for all the companies, banks, and utilities. I also have a page with insurance information.

  • Cleaning: For now, this section just has the FLYLady zone detailed cleaning lists. I'm going to add a list of other household things that need done or checked on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis, as I tend to forget what's been done when.

  • Projects: I'm working on making a project list for myself for this upcoming Home Improvement Season. Last year I painted all the upstairs closets, hung some curtains, and re-did a room to turn it into an upstairs TV room. This year I'll be working on the main floor, so I need a better idea of what all needs done.
    I may also subdivide this category and add a craft project list.

  • This & That: I printed off my favorite quotes and put them here. I also put cartoons and old notes from the Kid here because they make me smile.

The last section I'm keeping open because I'm pretty sure I'll need it for Menu Planning when we get that far.

Here's what it all looked like while it was in progress:

And here's what it looks like all done:


Jasmine said...

I LOVE that you have "home improvement season" and "painting season"! I totally get that!

Lisa said...

Yay! I think my husband refers to it as "oh goody, the house is going to be turned upside-down and I won't be able to find anything for 3 months" season. :D