Having a “family binder” has been a saving grace for me over the past year. I originally got the idea from other women online…and for a long time thought the idea was great, but that I didn’t really need one. But, last year, after our third child was born, I found myself desperatly needing some sort of orgainization.
I looked at lots of ideas online, noting how other women were making theirs. I took the information I saw and made one that works FOR ME. There were lots of fancy, intricate ones that enticed me. But, I kept mine simple. The great thing about this is…you can make it whatever you want, and need, it to be.
Here is mine…for ideas.
Section 1- Weekly Goals, Daily Goals, Monthly Calander
Every week I jot down a few “extra” things I want to get done. Next is my daily flow list. I found that every day is different with classes and appointments. So while my schedule is basically the same every day, I jot down a basic layout of how I would LIKE my day to go. I usually take a few minutes at night to do this. I rarely follow it perfectly, but it gives me an idea of what I was hoping to get done when the chaos of the day begins. I have found it to be very helpful. While it may sound like it makes my life rigid and structured, it actually gives me (personally) a sense of calm and simplicity. While I do put things down that are no fun at all…like cleaning the car, I also put things on that are fun, like bike riding with the boys. When I wasn’t keeping track of my time, things I WANTED to do, like taking the boys bike riding, got lost in the day.
My weekly goals and daily list
Section 2- Medical
- Insurance cards and info
- Immunization records
- Any info from the Dr. worth saving
I have found this to be invaluable. No more time searching for all this info when we’re on the way out the door for a doctor visit.
My medical info.
Section 3- Spending
- Recipts (only for certian things)
- Our budget speadsheet…always a good reminder to see it in print!
- Any dept. store credit cards/ regular credit cards we have…I keep these in a baseball card holder. We do not like to have them in our wallets on a daily basis.
- I keep a list of when certian stores I love have the best sales. (End of season clearnce, etc.)
- I keep notes in here of what sizes kids are in.
- Gift ideas
- I keep track of gifts I buy ahead of time if I find great deals
- I keep print out of any hotel/ vacation reservations I make in here.
- Passwords…so many passwords.
I usually clean this section out on a 6 month/yearly basis.
Spending section…recently cleaned out!
Secion 4- Contact Information
You know, all the numbers you need, and don’t have after your phone falls in the sink! I also keep any relevant business cards.
Section 5- Home Improvement/Ideas
We keep track of home improvement projects, paint colors, grout colors, tile types, etc. I also keep a little folder of “ideas.” That is my husbands least favorite section, because it means work for him!
I generally keep my binder at home in an area where I can refer to it easily. If we are headed out of town, I put it in the car. That way I have any of our information at my fingertips if I need it!
I found the book Organized Simplicity to be SO helpful when coming up with ideas for this!