I figure what makes the most sense is to use (surprise!) a binder, tab dividers and page protectors. I happen to already have all this at home, so bonus points for not "needing" to buy any of the supplies.
Once upon a time I followed flylady and had a cleaning binder then, and one of the things was to use dry erase markers on the page protectors on certain sheets, so you could change or check off info without needing to print the sheet new each week or month. I like that idea and will probably incorporate it with some of the task lists.
Know what's scary? The more I read on organizers, the more detailed I want mine to get! This happens to me a lot. And then the project never gets done. So I'm going to start pretty bare bones and basic, and can create more binders or add on over time. I'll start with a more general list and move it around and narrow it down over the next few days.
So far the ideas I have are:
Phone list. Just for basics and emergency. No need for take out numbers or kids friends. Not yet and maybe not in this binder at all. Right now we'll do The Husbands cell, my work, grandparents home and work, police, poison control, kids school, maybe 2 family friends as emergency contacts.
"Events Calender" We keep a wall calender, but maybe a year calender of maybe not noted things. Not appointments etc . . . but school vacations, standing information like birthdays or other events that aren't as subject to change. Maybe I could put on here basic house maintenance schedules, seasonal chores, etc . . . too. I don't know, this one needs some refining.
Money and Finance I'm still deciding if this should be it's own binder. Things like: budget (the one that inspired it all!), bills, online bill pay and sign in information, insurance info, copies of vehicle information
Another category I found in my searches (that I never would have thought of) is
Health and Fitness: family medical information, medical authorization form, medical insurance info etc. . . .
There are so, so many resources (as I'm finding) for creating a home-keeping binder.
Some resources I've found:
*Mom Advice: Printables
*Organized home has a section of printables for your viewing and printing pleasure as well (and more)
*Chore Charts, Daily Schedules, etc . . . here
The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards doing a "facts" one (bills, maintenance etc . . .) the things don't change as much and can be put on the bookshelf or in the filing cabinet and doesn't need to be referred to on a regular basis and doing more of a family binder that includes school activities, chore lists, frequently used phone numbers etc . . .
I see that many people include meal planning in their home books, and well, meal planning is really a whole project in itself for me and I kind of already have a messy little system. I don't mind refining it and I'll add the basics to the binder (like a weekly meal sheet and pantry and freezer inventory and *maybe* often used recipes) but for the most part, meal planning and recipes need to stay separate for me.
I don't know where the binder system will take me. I do know that one giant family binder won't work. I've seen some sites where people have several binders:Home, Garden, Family, Holidays, Ideas etc . . . I don't really want to get binder happy either. For this week I'll start with one (which is where it all started) and that's the budget and bill binder. And I'll go from there.
Does anyone else use these, or have used them in the past? How does it (or did it) work for you? Any suggestions or tips?
And now, how about another years old picture I love, just because?