A couple months ago I made myself a house management binder. I looked on-line for management binder templates or kits I could buy. After looking at quite a few I realized that a lot of them out there were either missing worksheets or sections I wanted or had worksheets or sections I didn’t need. I decided to make my own. It was pretty easy and I have been asked by a lot of people how I did it. Here’s how I made mine. *Click on images if you want to enlarge them*
Step 1: Figure out what your family needs to be organized
You and your family are unique and different from other families. Figure out where your focus of organization needs to be. Whether that is budgeting, scheduling, or planning. I created an outline of categories that I wanted in my binder.
Step 2: Supplies
- A 2-inch 3 ring binder
- Dividers to implement the categories I outlined
- A three hole punch for worksheets
- Writing implements (obviously whatever tickles your fancy. I heart highlighters)
- Computer to create worksheets or hand make your own. I don’t judge.
Step 3: Create the dividers
Step 4: Worksheets, worksheets, worksheets
When creating worksheets think about what works best for you. I love lists, having plenty of room to write out my thoughts, and going month by month. I created my worksheets in Google Docs. Here are the dividers and worksheets I made. I have nine dividers in my binder.
Divider 1: To Do
I try to break down my to do’s into days. I love the double column because it gives me more freedom to create the to do list as needed from day to day.
Divider 2: Goals
I do monthly goals. I feel my to do lists are my daily or weekly goals. Again, I like having the big open space to really brainstorm my goals.
Divider 3: Management Calendars
This is my favorite section. This is where I put all our bill due dates, engagements, birthdays, appointments, etc. I downloaded this calendar template and printed off however many months I needed. I just fill it in every month. I like the big blank boxes to write in.
I also have these worksheets in this section that I labeled, “What Did I Clean this Week?” I tried remembering what days I cleaned my whole living room or when I scrubbed down my appliances. It was frustrating to keep all that in my brains. These worksheets allows me to log all of that and keep up on things. I broke down the grid into what makes sense for my house. I use the table tool on Google Docs and modify it to my liking.
Divider 4: Groceries
This section has a couple different worksheets. First is a planned out shopping list. I like to do this at the beginning of the week. I plan out a menu and then make a grocery list by sections. It helps with organization of groceries and makes shopping itself a lot easier. I leave this pretty blank in terms of tables. Some weeks I need to do a full shopping trip, other weeks not so much. The blank space feels less demanding.
We just bought a house and need to buy a boiler, so budget is a big focus for us. I like to keep track of what costs what where. I chose the three stores we shop for groceries at the most. I then broke it down to what I buy the most, sometimes, and almost never. This way if I have a tight week budget wise, I can figure out how much we’ll spend that week at the grocery store. These sheets are also great for comparative shopping. The table here works really well. It splits up the categories easily and helps differentiate between everything.
Divider 5: Shopping Lists
This divider is for the stores I don’t go to weekly. I create what I call “Build Up Lists”. Since I don’t go to these stores every week I build up a list until I feel like it would be worth the trips or really need the items.
Divider 6: Inventory
This worksheet is to keep track of what I have in my cupboards, cabinets, and closets. I like to bulk shop for toiletries, cleaning supplies, and some groceries at BJ’s. This helps keep track of what I have. It also helps to shape a weekly menu. I usually update every other week. I think once I go through the worksheets I printed out I might try a table outline. The four blocks don’t help me as much as I had hoped.
Divider 7: Bills
I do keep track of the due dates of our bills on my management calendar. This section helps to keep track of how much is due when. I also write when we paid the bill so we can always look back at the sheet when working on budgets.
Divider 8: Dates to Remember
Our family and friends all have birthdays and anniversaries we need to remember. I think sending cards is a lost art, I like to keep track so I can send out cards and wish happy celebrations.
I am also a big planner, even for the year. I like to know when the big holidays of the year are.
As I said, budget is a big focus of mine and my binder. I like to keep track of what we get people for gifts and about how much we spent on the gifts. I feel this will also come in really handy around Christmas time.
Divider 9: Projects/Ideas
When you buy a house your wheels are always turning on what ideas and projects your house needs or wants. These worksheets help keep ideas and projects altogether. I also have a worksheet for gift ideas, but it has ideas on it so no sneak a peaks for friends! I keep this a pretty open table format for scribbling and even drawing if I want to.
So, that’s the long and the short of how to make your own kicky house management binder. Of course you can always go online and find kits or templates if that’s what works best for you. I’ve always needed to write things down to remember them or get them done. Trying to run a household can get overwhelming, this helps with the anxious feeling. In our house I use this binder, but in your house maybe you can find a way to incorporate your partner or kids into using it.
That’s the great thing about creating your own. You can change it to suit what your life is right now. I’m sure later on in life I will have sections specifically for kids and their schedules. That’s why I bought the 2-inch binder. It’s ambitious for right now, but I’m hoping to still be doing this five years from now. I hope this helps you in creating the best kicky household binder for you and your family and that someday soon you can look like this:
One thought on “How to: House Management Binder”
Excellent post. I wish i had that self discipline.