My journey toward a peaceful, organized family, home and life!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Paper Clutter: Reference Binder

What I call my "Reference Binder" others might call a "Command Central Binder" or "Family/Home Management Binder." Simplify 101, where I've been taking my online paper clutter organizing course, has a FREE download here so that you can easily create your own! I HIGHLY recommend it!! This is where I store information that I may need to reference on occasion. Examples are:
  • emergency information
  • important phone and/or account numbers
  • business cards
  • school calendars
  • babysitter information
  • take-out menus
  • event flyers
  • recreation schedules
  • immunization records (my kids are still in the active phase ;) )
  • vital statistics
  • bill tracking
  • home and auto maintenance
  • etc.

Here is a glimpse of mine:

I found a lot of free printables here and while they aren't exactly what I'd like, I am using them until I have time to put together my own. (I'm no graphic designer but I do know spreadsheets!) You can also find more free organizing printables using Google. Printables are also available for purchase on Etsy (like I Heart Organizing, The Nest Effect and Clean Mama); some can even be customized.

My categories are:
  • Emergency Information (in the front cover)
  • Important #s
  • School
  • Church
  • Activities (includes Entertainment and Leisure)
  • Child Care
  • Personal Records
  • Financial
  • Home Management
  • Auto Managment
  • Local Businesses
Since I haven't had this binder for very long, I don't know what all will be put in here. Here is the general idea:

Emergency Information
This could include such info as home address and phone number(s), directions to the house, emergency services numbers (9-1-1, poison control, police station, fire station), family physician and dentist, school number, neighbors and other emergency contacts.

Important #s
Includes phone numbers and account information for utilities, health care/benefits, insurance, etc.
I keep all of my family and friend contact info in a lovely book we received for our wedding 10 years ago. I still plan on transferring over some of the more used ones into printables within this section.
I will have sheets with each of the children's friends: names, addresses, phone numbers, parents, etc.

School calendars and events, as well as the general school and teacher information.

Directories, assignments and recent bulletins are kept here.

This category includes Entertainment and Leisure, so any brochures or flyers for things such as the arts, museums, recreational activities and invitations all go here after appropriate dates are noted in our calendar.

Child Care
A list of babysitters as well as information on each child is kept here... So excited about this! Past and potential future day care info goes here as well.

Personal Records
Immunization schedule and records, vital statistics (every person has a ton of numbers assigned to them such as social insurance numbers (social security numbers in the States), personal health numbers, school identification numbers, driver's license numbers, etc.) and various personal info such as online usernames and passwords.

Banking institution info and account numbers in here as well as bill payment tracking.

Home Management
Keeping track of warranties, repairs, as well as cleaning/maintenance tips and the Call Before You Dig brochure. I also keep a list of items we plan on selling here (the timing to place an ad may not be ideal at the time). If we ever get around to painting, we'll store our paint chips here, too.

Auto Management
Keeping track of vehicular maintenance and tire warranties here.

Local Businesses
This was one of my favorite parts! This is where all our take-out menus are stored, as well as other local business brochures and flyers (for example, spas and other services).

Check out my archiving system (using a filing cabinet) in my next post!

I'm linking this at:


Anonymous said...

Dana! I'm so proud of you and your commitment to this all! I love following all your posted details and am learning things from you that I have never thought about before. Thanks for sharing everything and teaching an old dog new tricks. Keep it up. love Mom

tiffany @ the nest effect said...

Thanks for linking up to my etsy store! Your binder really looks great. If you're interested in purchasing any of my printables, I'll give you a discount - send me an email if you're interested (tiffany @ Enjoy your week.

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