Here is my long-awaited, much-requested post on my household binder. I'm sorry I kept you waiting - teasing you with recipes and such - but here is a nice reward for your patience and loyalty! (Man, I wish we had a sarcasm font here!)
My household binder was born out of something a long-ago boss said to me. His words, "If you fell off a cliff today, how would we know how to run things tomorrow?" Yeah, morbid much? Anyhow, it has stuck with me for many years now, and forces me to think about making things easier to run/maintain should I get hurt or sick...or even fall off a cliff. It's just a smaller part of my quest to make my home organized and easier to take care of.
My household binder consists of:
- A master home chore list
- Master copies of my master shopping lists (Target, Costco, Groceries)
- A copy of our household instructions (used for house and pet sitters)
- A list of our doctors, repair companies, warranty information, & other service providers
- Past months' meal plans
So what the heck are each of these things?
The chore list is exactly as it sounds. It's a spreadsheet of all the household chores including the frequency with which they need to be done and when they were last performed. They are broken up by frequency - daily, weekly, every 2 weeks, monthly, every 2 months, every 3 months, and every 6 months. We don't so much check off and date-stamp the daily or weekly things, but having a way to track those obscure less frequent duties sure is helpful. For example: cleaning out the pantry, replacing the AC filters, changing smoke detector batteries. It took a while to create, but it's a great resource for my monthly planning and such.
The master copies of shopping lists, are just the printed versions of the lists I keep on my computer. Although I print those lists as needed for my use, I keep a clean copy of each in my binder so that I always have a backup.
The household instructions also took some time to compile, but it's great to have them ready to go for our house and pet sitters. Our instructions (spanning about 3 typed pages now) cover the daily care for each pet in our little zoo; plant watering schedules; general instructions for the house and information on our neighborhood (gates, etc); directions for operation of the appliances and electronics; locations of necessary items (batteries, fire extinguishers, first aid kits); and emergency phone numbers. The set of instructions is essentially everything someone would need to live in and care for our house for an extended period of time.
In addition to all this information, the binder has a spreadsheet listing contact information for each of our doctors and health care providers; service and repair providers, and warranty providers for our furniture and appliances. This includes phone numbers and addresses for each, as well as any notes to remember for each.
And lastly, each time we move on to a new month, I take the previous month's meal plan (calendar) and file it in this binder. It's a helpful tool when I look back to figure out some meals that worked well together.
So that is all that the binder has for now. It's been a little work in progress for some months now. As I add to it, I will certainly post an update for you all. And if anyone would like more information on any of this, please don't hesitate to ask. Hope you find this helpful in your own quest for home organization!