PDP Exclusives by Rebecca

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How-To: Home Management Binder

Today, we have our dear friend Brandi back, with an really awesome tutorial on how to create a binder to manage a busy family. This would be an amazing help for not only larger families, but even smaller families that need to streamline their day-to-day more efficiently. This would also be a good project for a WAHM or WAHD looking to keep more on top of the balance between work and family!

 I gave up on New Year’s resolutions a long time ago because I just don’t enjoy setting myself up for failure. Instead of making resolutions for the New Year, I like to set goals for myself. I’m not sure why, but my success rate is higher if I think of it in less formal terms. Anyway…I’ve decided that 2012 is my year to get more organized!
I knew I needed a method to my madness and the sooner the better! So…off I went to Pinterest (of course!) and that’s where I stumbled across the idea for a “Home Management Binder” that involved cute printable lists and a binder. Since I am a total sucker for lists, I was sold!!!
I got most of my inspiration from this blog post. Her binder is SO pretty and much more extensive than mine, but I’m trying to start simple!
You will need:

  • A binder
  • Sheet protectors
  • Tab divider inserts
  • LISTS!!!!!
  • Writing utensils
(***You could use a laminator and a three hole punch as well as a label maker if you like…I’m just making use of what I had on hand, SO…)

First things first, you will need to decide what categories will work best for you. I went with Calendar, Cleaning/Schedules, Meal Planning, Finances and Miscellaneous. I am positive that these will change after I’ve used my binder a bit more; these headings just made the most sense to me at the time. Once you have your sections outlined the REAL fun can begin! I literally spent hours looking at all the different printables available online. There are a TON of them so it’s easy to find something that fits you. I chose to use printables from multiple sites instead of having a uniform look because some printables worked better for my needs than others. I’d really love to make my own someday because even the ones I chose don’t completely work for me, but that’s a whole other project I could get lost in!

The first thing in my binder is a blank monthly calendar because I like to have an overview of what’s going on. I found a complete set for 2012 here and printed out the entire year just to save me the hassle of doing it later. I like to pencil in the important dates as it makes for easy changes later. I also added a blank weekly calendar and a weekly routine list to this section for my regular weekly planning because as I said, I like to know what’s going on in one quick glance. I found my weekly routine and ‘Peek at the Week’ printables on the iheartorganizing blog. She has a TON of awesome free printables as well as an Etsy shop for custom lists!

Next up is my Cleaning/Schedules tab. In retrospect, schedules should have been its own section, but I’ll make it work for now. This section is by far my most used and favorite section as it is home to my daily and weekly schedules for overall time management and housecleaning. I got a super cute daily and weekly checklist from this blog, as well as a general inventory log and a bill payment checklist for use later on in the binder. Instead of printing out a new daily sheet every single day, I decided to use a dry erase marker right on the sheet protector! So far it’s working well for me; I can just erase everything and start my checklist over the next day! 

This section is also home to my 2012 Declutter calendar. My goal is to get organized in EVERY aspect of my life this year and I really love this approach because you only tackle ONE organizing task per day! I tend to get overwhelmed easily and when that happens I usually freeze up and nothing gets done. So, this makes what seems like an impossible task much more simple and attainable for me!
OK! Next section is Meal Planning. We struggle big-time with this and I’m determined to do better! I HATE not having things on hand to throw together a meal and being forced to the store daily or every other day to get groceries. In this section, you can find my weekly meal planner and recipe references list as well as an inventory log for keeping track of pantry items. The meal planner is especially neat because it downloads with a cover and back page so you could also choose to have it printed and bound into a book! SO cute!

In the Finances section you will find a monthly budget worksheet and a financial checklist for keeping track of bills paid. Pretty self explanatory stuff and there’s definitely nothing fun about this section so we’ll just move right along! 

I went with a generic Miscellaneous for my final section because there are always things you want to keep track of that don’t fit neatly into any other category. Right now this section consists of a home projects list, a car maintenance log and a Cub Scouts calendar.

I made up my own binder cover in Microsoft Word, put all my pages and dividers inside and I was DONE! Well, maybe not entirely. I’m already thinking I’ll add a folder for each of the boys for things like school excuses, vaccine records, etc. AND I definitely need a pencil pouch to keep my markers and such in one place, but regardless, I am happy to be the proud owner of a spiffy Home Management Binder! And yes…I AM a geek for being so excited about it! I’m still breaking it in but I already LOVE it! 

Come on….you KNOW you want to make one too!
Here’s to a more organized 2012!!! 

Brandi lives in West Virginia with her two boys, and her awesome hubby.


  1. I may try something like this on a smaller scale for my art projects. Sort of "studio management." Yep.

  2. I highly recommend it! It's such a versatile project; I really couldn't be more happy with it!