In many of my previous posts, I have discussed how mental clutter is a cause of incredible stress for many moms.
With the continual to-do lists, grocery lists, meal plans, bill payments, household projects, and school schedules.
Add to this the stress surrounding the current state of our lives, and one can easily see how it can all become difficult to sort.
Keeping track of all the non-physical parts of our family’s lives can be an overwhelming addition to our plates.
But with some preparation, these unseen tasks don’t have to bog us down.
Over the last few years I have found peace in the chaos by creating and implementing a household binder.
What is a Home Binder?
You might be asking yourself why anyone would need a binder past their academic years and the answer is… for the same reason you needed it then.
When you were using a binder as a student it was probably to keep things organized and easily accessible for your classes.
Well, organization and ease are the exact reasons I use a household binder and think you should too!
A household binder is a way to capture all the important documents of your family’s life and keep them in one space that is easily accessible.
By using a 3-ring binder you can add and remove items as needed without the worry of important pieces getting lost.
Why You Need a Home Binder
You might be thinking to yourself, “cool, but what’s the point?”.
A home binder is an incredible tool for any busy mom because it provides a landing place for all of that mental clutter we juggle every day.
Creating a home binder allows you the space to dump (and then navigate) all of those daily to-dos.
Additionally, once you start using your binder regularly, you will see how past meal plans, food inventory and household supply inventory will help to save you time in the future. You will no longer be re-creating the wheel each week.
How to Create Your Own Home Binder
What is included in each person’s binder will vary greatly from person to person but the general idea is the same for everyone.
Step 1: Collect the Appropriate Supplies
To start, collect the following supplies. Try to remember this is about function and purpose rather than visual appeal so don’t create added stress searching for the perfect color combination.
1. 1 1/2 inch 3 ring binder
There are some pretty adorable binders out on the market but don’t feel like you HAVE to buy a picture-worthy binder. If you are just getting started you can use any 1 1/2 inch binder that you can find.
2. Tabs or section dividers
As you put together your binder, you will likely have multiple sections, each pertaining to a different part of your family’s life.
These sorts of dividers are helpful in keeping the different areas of your binder separate.
There are all sorts of available tabs out there but here are a few options: 1, 2, 3.
3. A three hole punch
In order to get your important pages and lists into the binder, you will need a 3-hole punch.
This will allow you to keep all of your important printables and papers secure in your binder.
Step 2: Decide What to Include IN Your Home Binder
What each person includes in their binder is going to vary based on their family and their personal needs.
If you are creating a home binder for the first time, I would start by taking a look at the areas of your life that create the greatest stress.
Is it finances and paying bills?
Is it meal planning and grocery shopping?
Is it managing important dates?
Make these areas of stress your areas of focus. You can add additional sections as you’d like.
Step 3: Create a Section for Each Area of Focus
Once you have established the areas of your household binder, it is time to create a space for each.
I highly recommend using your dividers to
Here are the sections of my personal home binder and what’s included in each section.
Remember you’re building a binder that works for you and makes your life easier so don’t feel like you have to replicate my binder.
Section 1: Household Finances
This section is used to stay up to date on our family finances.
In this section, I keep printables of our budget, expense sheets, bill payment tracker, and debt and savings goals.
By having all of this information in one place I can be certain that bills are paid in a timely manner and our budget and financial goals are being followed.
Section 2: Meal Planning
This is where everything meal planning and all things food are kept.
In this section, I include my food inventory sheets, meal planner, family’s favorite meal guide, and favorite recipes I have found online.
Related: Meal Planning Made Easier
I utilize this section while completing meal planning.
This section has been particularly helpful during the quarantine. I have been able to utilize what we have on hand to create a base for meal plans and make our grocery shopping trips more efficient.
Related: Meal Planning During Quarantine
Utilizing these printables helps me to establish a plan for our meals and create a corresponding grocery list.
Section 3: Home Inventory
This is a smaller section but the usefulness of this tool should not be underestimated.
Prior to adding the Household Inventory Sheets, I was constantly over (or under) buying household supplies. This meant I was spending more money and more time at the store than I wanted.
To learn more about how these simple sheets saved me time and money click here.
Section 4: The Kids
The kids. This section typically includes planning sheets for their birthday parties and important dates for Asher’s school.
Related: Planning a Stress Free Birthday Party
Since the quarantine, this section has changed a bit. This section now includes our school planner.
Since we will be continuing with homeschooling next year, this section will expand to include those plans as well.
As the kids grow older this section will probably continue to grow and change as well.
Section 5: Household Cleaning Schedules
Keeping our houses clean often feels like an overwhelming and never-ending task, but with some simple checklists, it can become manageable.
Over the years of motherhood, I have tried my best not to stress over the condition of our home and rather focus on spending time with my little ones.
But I must admit it isn’t in my nature to “go with the flow” so I created some handy cleaning lists that I like to keep in this section.
I also like to keep my spring cleaning list in this section for quick reference when needed.
Related: Spring Cleaning Checklist
Section 6: Home Goals and To-Dos
This section is all things home. We purchased our house three years ago and though we love it, we knew there were a lot of cosmetic changes we wanted to make.
Shortly after purchasing the home, the hubs and I created a list for each room of the changes we wanted to make. As we have progressed over the years we check another project off our list.
Related: Household Project List Printable
Also included in this area is my yearly de-clutter Lists.
Each year I re-evaluate our home and check in on each space and handle any excess clutter that has been built up over the year.
Related: New Year De-clutter Printable
Create Your Own Home Binder
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