Stuck at home? Get stuff done with a Home Management Binder
By Allison West
Life doesn’t always go as we planned. That knowledge hit us pretty hard during the past weeks as the entire country grappled with the COVID-19 outbreak. Social distancing and working from home have become the new norm and life as we knew it, even a short month ago, has come to a standstill.
When you’re stuck at home indefinitely, what can you do? Eating out at restaurants and enjoying a cocktail at our favorite bar aren’t options now. Downtime means finding new ways to have fun. You’ll learn pretty quickly there’s only so much reading, movie watching, binge eating, and game-playing you can do.
Something else also happens when you’re at home for too long. You look at it – a lot. And judge its flaws. Like the dripping bathroom faucet (why hasn’t your husband fixed that already?) And the huge stack of bills and important papers on the kitchen counter that needs to be organized and put (correctly) away.
A 2018 study by porch.com of 2,000 homeowners showed that 32 percent of them had been putting off at least one home improvement job for 12 months or more.
Whoever said “clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions” was absolutely correct.
Now that you have some time on your hands, why not get busy getting organized at home and assemble a home management binder?
These handy home reference binders go by many names – family management binder, home binder kit, household management binder — you get the idea.
Why you need a home management binder
As most of us already know, there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get something done around the house and not being able to find important information. Searching for the painter’s business card and tracking down the plumbing repair bill creates stress when you’re “in the moment” of a home project.
Home projects can be finished much faster with a household binder because you have what you need at your fingertips and help to:
- Get paper clutter organized
- Keep important information in one place
- Act as an important single source of information when someone else has to take care of your home
- If you think you don’t need to “write all this stuff down” because you have it on your phone or computer, you may want to reconsider. Wouldn’t it be nice not to always be the one who got all the questions about when birthdays, school events, and playdates take place? Quite frankly, there’s more satisfaction in choosing to “opt-out” of being the singular family resource, and referring the person (or kid) with the question to the home binder.
What goes inside a home management binder?
A home management binder should contain items you refer to regularly, like school contacts, medical information, home repair, budgeting, and bill paying. A home binder ideally will be used each day, so include things that you use daily, weekly, and monthly and go from there.
It’s not the place for licenses, certificates, passports, and the like. These items need separate, permanent storage in a place that’s not accessed every day. Including too much in a home binder would just make it so big and bulky it would defeat its purpose and become yet another place to just “dump” everything.
A complete home organization system
The UniKeep Home Management Binder kit provides a quick and easy foundation for a personalized home organizational system.
This kit’s 100% recyclable, snap-closing UniKeep case binder is something special. The case snaps closed so nothing can fall out and get lost. Three plastic rings are easy on your fingers while still securely holding your important papers.
You can’t say that about standard three-ring binders.
Along with the binder, this kit includes 10 pre-printed organizing pages and 25 binder organizing accessories. With all these goodies already inside, UniKeep’s kit is ready to work as a complete home management binder system by tracking home improvement projects and storing and organizing important information in one place.
The kit includes:
- Printed pages for listing insurance policies and contacts, emergency contact information, bill payment schedules, password logs, and household project budget estimations.
- Additional organizational accessories – five tabbed divider pages, five divider pockets, five photo pages, and 10 page protectors. Use them for categorizing your tasks and storing important documents such as receipts, business cards, and take-out menus.
You have the Unikeep Home Binder – now add to it!
Let’s say you purchased our home binder kit and have started using it. You may find out that your busy family and home need even more organizational categories.
Here’s what to do.
Purchase some additional UniKeep tabbed dividers
Use the tabbed dividers to separate your binder into categories that work for your lifestyle.
- Birthdays, anniversaries, and special celebrations
- Household chores
- Childcare information –teacher, school, and email information
- Contacts/Phone Lists (your address book, team phone lists, church directories)
- Meals and meal planning including favorite recipes
- Shopping lists and coupons
- Emergency Information (emergency contacts, basic medical information)
- Finances – lists for weekly expenses, budgets, receipt
- Pet information – adoption, vet records
- Home inventory list
- Tech info – providers, services, contracts
- Fitness goals and daily exercise log
- Debt and savings tracking lists
- A list of what’s included in your wallet or purse (in case they’re stolen or lost)
1. Include a few of UniKeep’s multi-shaped page protectors
Don’t let the names fool you! These pages feature unique pocket shapes, sizes, and configurations because they were made with your creativity in mind. Not only can they fulfill their original named purpose, but they also make great additions to the UniKeep Home Management Binder or a family binder you create on your own.
What should you put inside? Think about the things you’d like to track, such as receipts, bills, kids’ schedules, shopping lists, and so on.
Here are a few ideas about what to place inside UniKeep’s pocketed page protectors:
- Business cards
- Small nails and picture mounts
- Art supplies – stickers, construction paper, glue sticks
- Receipts, coupons
- Key tag cards for car wash, gym, grocery store, library
- Appliance user guides
- Printed magazine and newspaper articles
- Gift cards
- Appliance warranty
To see the entire collection of page protectors, click here.
Home and family details in one place
Remember, opening your home improvement binder should be something you look forward to, not dread. For that reason alone, add the pieces and parts you’ll need to make it reflect your lifestyle.
If your daily life centers around children and keeping on track with all their activities include a section in your home binder just for that. In addition to school contact information for teachers and coaches, including sports practice and game schedules, carpooling details, teachers’ conference dates, and school events so you have everything in one place.
Let’s say you’re part of a multi-generational family and you’re managing daily care for older relatives. Adding medical and prescription information and home care schedules, as well as any care practices for their specific needs would be a big help to other people who share their care.
Organizing can be fun
Remember you have choices in how you face your days at home. Stay positive and engaged with activities you enjoy and encourage others you know to do the same. Rediscover old hobbies you once enjoyed and try a few new ones along the way.