Creating a Home Binder

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Holy Moly! Let me start off by saying, I made a BIG mistake when I started working on re-doing my home binder. I looked on pinterest first. Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of resources and I’m going to share this post on pinterest BUT I missed one vital step BEFORE heading to there for info. What happens is you find TONS and tons of info and worksheets for things that you really don’t need and then you end up doubling up where you having things and then you eventually stop using one and sometimes both places you kept the important info. For that reason, before you go down the list and print all the printables, ask yourself a couple of questions.:

What do I want to get organized? What feels out of control?

My answer:

  • What bills go out? And when? How much to keep in our checking account? Our goal is to save a lot so I’d like to draft money out on a regular basis so we are saving instead of spending what’s in the account but I also don’t want to overdraft because I took too much out.
  • What do I clean? And how? What do I need?
  • We want to save more so how can we do that?
  • Starting the week better so on Monday mornings I’m ahead, not behind.

What things am I trying to learn or get better at?

My answer:

  • Taking care of our things so they last longer. This meant knowing when to clean as well as keeping track of things like when to change the water filter or oil changes, etc.
  • Losing the baby weight. That meant tracking my progress.
  • Cooking! – So we can eat healthier and save money instead of dining out so often.

What are my goals for this year?

My answer: I shared mine here.

What other tools am I using that make some worksheets unnecessary?

My answer:

  • Mint.com – For finance tracking
  • Plan To Eat – For meal planning. This website is pretty awesome. There is some startup work that takes a bit of time, but once that’s done, it’s an awesome timesaver. Planning meals is definitely harder these days. When it’s time to hit the grocery store, I am rarely prepared. And preparation helps me spend less so. Once you add your recipes (which you can pull straight from Pinterest), you can drag them to your calendar. Just pick one from your list. Then, it tells you what ingredients you will need in an itemized grocery list.
  • Things – For my to-dos. More info here.

homebbinder5 DO NOT abandon other systems that are working for you just so you have it all together in one binder. If you make things harder on yourself just to keep it all in the binder, you will never use it. Here are the worksheets I have come up with based on my own needs. After you’ve asked yourself these questions, I’d love to hear what other worksheets you want. I’d like to share a follow up posts with worksheets from some of your suggestions.

  • Bills Paid – This is my list of what goes out and when each month.
  • Networth – To track our progress, each month, I input where we are. This is incredibly helpful to figure out seasons where you aren’t saving much and pinpointing the causes.
  • Through the Week To-Do’s – Here I write down all my chores and divide them up within the week. Following a schedule helps it to not pile up. I specifically did not design a section for Sunday. We all need a day of rest once a week. Whether you call it a Sabbath or simply a day off, it’s still important and will make us more refreshed and actually more productive when we are working. homebinder3
  • Through the Year To-Do’s – Here I make my lists of things to be done daily, weekly, bimonthly, monthly and quarterly.
  • Measurements – Some of you might hate this one but I track my fitness goals on the first day of each month by measuring and weighing in. In the past I did this more often but I’ve switched it up so I don’t become obsessed with the numbers and instead, use it as a simple measuring tool.
  • Say No To – This is my FAVORITE! I wanted a place to put down things I might want to buy but will say no to. I think this is important, especially as we work to save for a house. Penning these things to paper stamp it on my memory to and help me to truly say no to something without wearing me down a month later. Right now on my list is dying my hair (I can do with it) and Warby Parker glasses (I only where mine beforebed so it doesn’t really matter what they look like). I also added sections for Projects because as I try to create more margin in my life (as I’m reading about now) I’ve got to say no to projects. And Thoughts because I can tell myself some pretty silly lies.
  • Our Risk & Rest worksheets – I shared these last year and am incorporating them as well! They conveniently coordinate with these new worksheets designs! ; )

homebinder4 How I keep it organized: 1. I didn’t have any fancy dividers on hand so I cut manilla folders (which I have no shortage of here) to create dividers with tabs. I added these after I took photos so they aren’t pictured. 2. I have three sections, Home, Finance and Wellness. homebinder6 3. I use a monthly calendar to write down things that I commonly have to remember to change on an ongoing basis, like air filters, oil changes, water filters, etc. 4. I specifically made this not a catch all. This doesn’t contain anything for work because if it did, it would be four times this size. Also, if I’m working on home stuff, it typically means it’s during non working hours and I would rather not see work or be tempted to work. This is just my preference! I would love to know your tips for how you keep your home organized or what’s inside your binder that is particularly helpful. homebinder2

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