Thursday, October 6, 2011

Everything You Need to Start a Home Management Binder

Okay friends...this is the post you've been waiting for! Or maybe not...but I am going to share this anyway in case any of you out there are trying to put together your own Home Management Binder. Now that mine is complete, I want to share all the great FREE printables I've found or made during this process. I am so happy with my binder I want to take it with me where ever I go to show it to people. But...I thought this would be a little easier :-)

So, I already posted about the main materials you need to get started, but I will list them again:
1. An extra wide binder
2. Tab dividers w/pockets
3. Page protectors
4. Hole punch
5. Dry erase marker (I'll show you why later)
6. Pen/pencil to keep with your binder
7. Paper and a new printer cartridge :-)

Once you have all your main supplies, you can get your binder set up.

And of course choose your tab categories. This was actually kind of hard for me, because I wasn't sure how I wanted to divide things. Some people like to include recipes and home projects/crafts in their binder but because those sections would be out of control huge for me, I decided those needed their own binders :-)

So I stuck to some pretty basic tabs.

Let's break them each down shall we? I will also link to all the great printables and info I used in each one.


Under this tab, I included anything that was important for our family to keep track of:

I decided to create the Annual Appointments Calendar so that I could have a quick reference sheet to help me remember when to schedule biannual dentist appointments, jewelry inspections, yearly "Lady Check-ups", kids well-checks, etc. 

I am also using the Emergency Info page as my "Babysitter" page because it has all the necessary information they would need in the event of an emergency. I have also included some CPR instruction under this tab because that is something important for all of us to have on hand, not just babysitters. You can find those instructions here:

 I have also included an extra pocket folder under this tab to keep important prescription refill information. This is a lot easier than digging through my file cabinet :-)


For some homes, this section may need a binder of it's own :-) But because we are only dealing with preschool, tot classes for Blake, ballet, and a few other activities, this tab works great. I didn't use any printables in this section, other than a blank calendar for jotting other important activities dates that don't have their own calendar. You can find that blank calendar here:

Addie's preschool sends home a calendar each month, along with their Scholastic Book club forms, field trip and class activity information, etc. and I love having it one place. I also have Eric's softball schedule, the catalog for our Park District Classes, reading times at our local library, hours and events at the zoo, and any other activity flier or calendar we acquire :-)


Eric thinks it's hilarious that I have a "housekeeping" tab since all of it should be pretty self-explanitory. But I guess he forgot how much I love lists, even if everything on the list is already in my head. I came across some AWESOME cleaning checklists on, as well as Here are some of my favorites:

The seasonal checklists remind you of all the important cleaning tasks ahead, but also remind you to check other household maintenance items you might forget about (like checking smoke detectors). Eric and I are working our way through the Fall & Winter checklist right now and even he said it was helpful to remember to do these things.

You might also find that you just need your own blank cleaning checklist to designate your own tasks and I've got you covered :-)

I've also been using this tab for other housekeeping tips and tricks that I have ripped out of magazines over the years. I have been getting Real Simple for years so I have some great clippings of how to care for different types of fabric, how to treat certain stains, how to make your own household cleaners, etc. Again, it's just nice having all of this in one handy place.

This is also the section where your dry erase marker will come in SUPER handy. Instead of printing countless sheets of checklists, especially ones you will use on a daily/weekly basis, put your lists in a page protector and check off your chores with a dry erase pen.

Then you can just erase and start over when you are done!!! Go green people :-)


I don't know about you, but I am a sucker for ripping exercise routines out of my Fitness and Women's Running magazines in the hopes of actually doing them. But then of course I stick them somewhere and when I actually have the motivation to do them, I can't find them! So now I have a handy place for those, as well as any other health and fitness clippings I collect along the way.

I know that "Health" is in the title of this tab, but I have decided to keep all important health/medical information in it's own file in our cabinet. This section is more for basic health and fitness, so I have included some food logs, calorie counters, and other things I have collected along the way. I also see that a lot of people keep their exercise logs and running logs in tabs like this. I use my iPhone for that, but I am sure there are some printable logs online.

This is also where I will keep all the fliers for the races I plan to run in the future, along with a "Race Calendar" so I can set goals for the year :-)


Like I said, I am creating my own binder for recipes because I have WAY too many to stick in this one section. So what I have decided to use this for is menu planning and party planning. I will also be adding all of our take-out menus to this section as well.

I did come up with my own Weekly Menu Planning Sheet with shopping list, and you can download it here:

But while I was on a cleaning mission last week, I came across this fabulous menu/grocery notepad I purchased from MomAgenda ages ago! It has a side for the weekly menu, and then the grocery list is perforated so you can rip it out and take it with you to the store!!! So much smarter than my large list that I have been taking with me! And, it fits perfectly in my pocket divider folder :-)

As you can see, the grocery list is really only big enough for one weeks shopping trip, so if you really want a great comprehensive shopping list, you can print this one for free at MomAgenda.

Grocery Shopping List

I've also seen lots of printables for pantry and freezer inventory, which I guess is pretty smart (if I would take the time to do it). OrganizedHome has a few nice ones to work with.

Pantry Inventory
Freezer Inventory

As I said, this is also going to be my party planning and entertaining section because it makes sense to me to keep those things together. MomAgenda also has a great free printable for party planning and you can find it here:

The number of printables I've found for this category is incredible! If the ones I've included aren't what you are looking for, just Google free printable and you will find a million. These are just the ones I liked the best :-)


As of right now, we aren't big travelers in this family. We don't really have the time/money/availability to travel as much as we'd like, but Eric and I made a promise to go on at least one trip (small or big) with the kids each year. This section is a great place to not only keep travel arrangements, but ideas for future trips. Once we get our camper, Eric and I have a stack of brochures for places we would like to take the kids. This is a great place to store them :-)

Eric also goes on a yearly hunting trip that requires permits and paperwork and again, this is a great place for him to keep it all together.

There are lots of great printables out there for this section too, but these are the two I've printed off so far:

Vacation Planning
Travel Packing Checklist

This section is FULL of Disney right now and I love it. I hope this section always has a little Disney in it!


My FAVORITE tab!!!!! This is still a work in progress because I am using so many great apps for my holiday shopping and planning, but I did come across and oh my Lord...I am in love! They have a TON of awesome holiday printables, but here are some of the ones I am currently using:

Christmas Card List
Holiday Budget Sheet
Gift Closet Inventory
Favorite Holiday Recipes
Holiday Baking Planner
Holiday Menu Planner

And speaking of menus, Christmas is not the only holiday that falls under this tab. I also host Thanksgiving at my house every year (which i LOVE) but it takes lots of planning. So, I also printed out this great Thanksgiving Planner from

Thanksgiving Planner & Checklist

She also has some other great holiday checklists like:

Cookie Swap Checklist
Holiday Party Timeline

I could seriously go on and on and on with the holiday checklists, but you can explore the rest for yourself :-)


As you can see friends, the possibilities are endless with a Home Management Binder. What I've found is that the key to a successful binder is making if work for you and your family. Don't make it overwhelming or inaccessible. Just have fun, make tabs that fit with your lifestyle, fill them with things you will actually need or want to look at, and don't get bogged down in lists. Just include ones you will actually find helpful at some point. And of course, feel free to leave a comment if you have a Home Management binder and share the tabs, printables and ideas you use!!!

Thanks for stopping by today!! I will have a really fun recap of Addie's first fieldtrip up sometime tomorrow so stay tuned :-)


  1. Thanks for this post - great to have the links to all these printables. I am busy printing them up right now!!

  2. Thank you for posting this! I have my binder and inserts ready...just need to print and assemble!

  3. Thank you so much for posting all these great ideas! I am in need of some organizing and a Home Management Binder is a wonderful idea!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.