Thursday, December 6, 2012

DIY Home Management Binder Tutorial

What is a Home Management Binder? It may seem really obvious as to what a HMB is, but then again it may let me fill you in. A HMB is a tool you can use to work to your absolute advantage. Really it's the ultimate organizer, a one stop place with everything you need to be completely organized on a daily, weekly, monthly and yes, yearly basis. 

Step 1: Choosing your categories

- Planner: This includes a calendar, both a monthly and yearly one. I also have a printout of all my usernames and passwords for all the different sites I regularly use. This way I avoid forgetting a password and being locked out...again.

- Important Dates: A great tool to help keep track of birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions that you really shouldn't forget!

- To-Do: Daily and Weekly dockets go in this section. Dockets are a great way of keeping your day productive and you on track with everything. You can create your very own, to include a to-do list, to-call list, to-clean list etc. all on the one piece of paper. I bought a little notebook from my supermarket, covered it with 30 cents contact paper and wa-la! A cute little book I can take with me on the go and jot down a list if need be.

- Cleaning: I love this tab! Not necessarily doing the cleaning, however I love how organized and stress free it can be thanks to this section! I have all my daily, weekly, monthly and semi-annual cleans on lists. This is a great tab for me especially now that I have a newborn and a toddler.

-Finances: This for me is an extremely important tab. I follow a very similar debt reduction plan to that of Dave Ramsey's which you can read about here. I included my debt reduction plan in this tab, along with our monthly and yearly expenses, our bill payment checklist and an automatic withdrawals spreadsheet are also in this section. I put all these sheets within a display book, so I am able to take it out of the binder for convenience when I need to pay bills or manage our budget on a fortnightly basis.

(I will put links for the printouts down the bottom of this post)

-Menu Planning: If you have children, or you REALLY want to save money on your food bill, then this is a fantastic tab to have! I put in this section: my weekly menu plan, my pantry/freezer and fridge inventory lists, food ideas (covering breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) and my monthly menu plan. Like my finances, I have put my menu planning in a display book (which then goes into my binder) so I am able to take it out and generally to the shops for convenience.

-Contacts: Although I would rarely check anywhere but my Iphone for contacts, I still believe this is an important tab to have as I am able to jot down important numbers (such as Lily's preschool) and reference them quickly at my desk.

-Blogging: I LOVE this section! It helps me keep on track with this blog, now more than ever. I am trying to get a lot more consistent with my posts and their content, so having a blog ideas section, helps SO much!

-Medical: Now, more than ever we are making sure all our medical files are properly taken care of, and filed appropriately. You can customize an Excel spreadsheet to have: name, age, vaccination dates/names etc. I am planning on scanning and printing out copies of both of Lily and Jett's vaccination records along with any dental records they acquire etc.

Step 2: The Supplies Needed


I picked up everything I needed from Kmart and Target for under $30. The great thing of course is you may already have all of these items at home, tucked away in your office supplies.
You don't particularly need anything as you can completely customise even the binder itself to your wants and needs, however below is a list of items that I used to make my HMB.

-Plastic Sleeves
-Plastic Sleeved Display Book
-Post it notes
-White labels
-Coloured dots (for calendar use)
- Hole punch
-Coloured dividers
-46 pg notebook (for quick note jotting)

Step 3: Now for the Assembling!

This part is entirely up to you! I personally refer to my finance tab a lot so I keep that closer to the front, along with my menu planner (cooking section) so I can refer to this and my budget when making our grocery list/ menu plan for the fortnight.

Make sure the binders layout is going to work for you! Not just sit pretty on your desk.

 Customize it! Make it exciting to open! Add pictures or photos to the cover, cover the tabs in contact paper to give it more pa-zazz, this will make you feel more excited to be using your binder. Just remember, don't spend more time on making it look nice then actually making the binder relevant to you and your needs. 
Get inspired! Google! Get inspired by others who have gone before you and created their own personal home management binder. 

It may not be relevant to have a Home Management Binder! HMB's may not be for every household, so don't feel like if the binder system doesn't work for you then there's something wrong. Some people work just as efficiently with a notebook and pen or the system they already have in place

If you'd like any of the printouts I have spoken about, I have put the 2 links below to the sites I used: - This is where I got the majority of my printables from! Definitely worth a browse - I'm not sure how I came across this site, but I got a great budget spreadsheet from here.

What do you think about the Home Management Binder? Would it work for you? I'd love to know, so leave me a comment below.

Until Next Time, 

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