At the moment, I store all my household information, bills, gift receipts etc. in A4 lever arch files. I find them bulky and a little aggressive-looking. My plan is to use my A5 for current docs (the latest bills, payslips, receipts etc.) and have a clear out each month, using the A4 lever arch files as archiving for the documents we definitely need to keep hold of (P60s, payslips, important letters, tenancy agreements). It will make it much easier to locate things when I need to.
So here she is, my lovely beacon of the household:
I think setting up a home binder seems like a huge chore, but once it's set up it will definitely help organise your home life and make your filing system much tidier.
Here are some of the things I included:
The dashboard was something I had in my mind for a while. I wanted somewhere I could place important things, so I could see at a glance what bills needed to be paid, and any important memos regarding home checks or to submit meter readings, etc.
My dashboard consists of a personal size credit card holder (which I punched one extra hole in, at the bottom) with my cleaning schedule, and an A5 plastic sleeve for those important bills. At the moment I have my tenancy renewal form which I need to sign and return on 7th June (the post-it note refers to the deadline and who I discussed this with when I phoned the property management company). The credit card holder is my cleaning dashboard, it reminds me of the cleaning tasks I need to complete each week/month/year, and also some chores which I will do every other week, so there is a list for weeks 1 & 3, and weeks 2 & 4. I also have a list of what I need to check when someone comes to stay with us.
I used standard A5 tabbed dividers for my sections, I decided I didn't need anything fancy. I have made a contents page from a piece of scrapbooking paper and added a piece of personal grid paper to write on. My sections are: Home, Utilities, Food, Travel, Events, Medical, Contacts, Money, Shopping, Car, Work, Manuals and Media.
As I found colour coding very successful in my pocket Filofax, I have carried the theme over to this binder. I also love using colours because it brightens the pages up.
I never thought I was very good at cleaning. When I found these printables from Curbly I decided they'd be a really useful addition to my Home section. There are tips for cleaning different areas in your home, and also alternative uses for household items such as olive oil, coffee grounds and baking soda.
Click here to browse the free printables at Curbly.
Amongst all the wonderful printables on the internet, I also made some of my own (very basic) to record home information. This one shown below titled "living room information" states the paint colour, flooring type, and any cleaning tips we've discovered. We rent our home, so it's always important to know how to solve nasty stains and scuffed paintwork.
I added some project sheets - I often reorganise our room layouts, so I thought it'd be good to record these, what worked and what didn't. You can download this free printable pack from Pinch A Little, Save A Lot.
The stain removal printable is from MarthaStewart.com.
Home Organization 101
I found this AMAZING blog called A Bowl Full of Lemons. She has a series called Home Organization 101, it's a free online course that lasts 14 weeks, and gives you some excellent tips on organizing 14 different areas of your home. I've started writing notes on this as I plan to put it into action... one day.
Coupons and Receipts
I love coupons, they are saviours of modern-day shopping. I wanted somewhere to keep them, I don't like carrying coupons around in my purse as they always fall out and become bulky. They are in my home binder, kept together, and divided between food and non-food coupons. I used another personal sized credit card holder for these.
I used an A5 plastic pocket for my home purchase receipts (for things like the TV, new curtains for the bedroom, etc.). I also have one of these in my 'Events' section for receipts for gifts I have purchased for other people.
Apologies for not going into great depth on the other sections, some of the information is personal and it takes a while to erase all the name and address information! I hope this has inspired you somewhat, and even if you don't have kids you can still fill a whole A5 binder with home information.
Check out the links to the free printables, they are gold dust!