Organize Everything – Family Binder

Hi everyone!  My family binder is now organized and up and running.  I still have a few more sections to fill out as I go along but good enough for now!
I must give a HUGE round of thanks to Jen from I Heart Organizing for sharing her fabulous checklists and forms!  She will be selling them in her Etsy shop but is offering them for FREE until April 9th. Hurry on over!
I have seen many Family Binders out there and they are definitely unique to each family.  I think they really are a constant work in progress – adding things as needed and occasionally purging forms that are not used.  For my binder, I wanted one large (2 1/2 inch) binder that would hold everything nicely in one place.  Unfortunately, all of the cute binders tended to be 1 inch binders so I had to settle with a plain black one.  I mounted the title page on green cardstock and slipped it into the cover and trimmed down the title to add along the spine.
I found these pretty dividers at Target and created 5 categories:
  • Schedules/Goals
  • Family
  • Home/Auto
  • Finance
  • Medical
Schedules and Goals
In this section, I have a monthly calendar, my daily goals sheet {from I Heart Organizing}, a yearly goals sheet, and my blog goals.  
I have an overlay over my daily goals sheet so I can just erase it at the end of each day.  I have been spending a few minutes each night to go over my plans for the next day.  I always make sure that the first three goals are my top priorities.  No matter how many items I have on my list, if I get the first three done I consider my day a success.  There is nothing worse than running around all day and feeling that you didn’t accomplish anything!  I tend to focus on everything that I didn’t do instead of what I did do.  This provides me with a nice little reminder of what I actually completed {and what I didn’t can just get transferred to the next day}.
Family
  • Our Family’s Important Information Sheet {from I Heart Organizing}
  • Our Family’s Important Dates {from I Heart Organizing} to keep track of those annual dates such as birthdays and anniversaries.
  • Things To Do/Things To See Sheet {to record places that I would like to go or take the kids as I come across them}
  • Travel Planner Sheets {in the hopes that a vacation will be in our plans at some point!}
  • Instructions for Babysitters
  • Instructions for Housesitters/Petsitters
Home/Auto
  • Our Family Cleaning Checklist {this includes a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly list of cleaning tasks around the house}.  We have a large house {over 4000 square feet} so I definitely need to be organized with my cleaning schedule to get everything done.
  • Our Home Maintenance Checklist {from I Heart Organizing}
  • Household Repairs Sheet 
  • A Painting Log {to record what color, brand, and amount of paint used in each room that we have painted}
  • A Home Improvements Sheet {to record what was done, cost, date, and contractor used}
  • A Household Items Purchased Sheet {to record where items were purchased, date, cost and warranty info}
  • Our Family Auto Log {from I Heart Organizing}
Finance
  • Our Family Finance Checklist {from I Heart Organizing} to record all of our monthly bills, due dates, and amount paid.
  • Our Monthly Budget Worksheet {to record all income and expenses}
To organize our bills, I have this mail system in the kitchen.  
Any bills that I open during the week, just get put into the file section.  On Fridays I take everything out, pay them, and mark them off on the Family Finance Checklist.

Medical 
  • A Healthcare Log {to mark down major illnesses, tests, or appointments}
  • A Medication Log
  • Our Doctors Sheet {lists medical doctors, dentists, specialists, etc and contact info}
  • Children’s Health History Sheet {for all shots}
  • Medical Insurance Sheet
  • Pet Doctor’s and Information Sheet
At the back of the binder I have a contact section for Emergency Contacts, Family Contacts, Neighbours, and a Quick Contact List.  There are also a couple of sheets to fit business cards {which I seem to collect a lot of!}
At the end of each section, I also have a pocket page to temporarily store any loose papers, cards, bills to file after they are paid, etc.
And there you have it!  I am amazed at how much I actually fit into the binder and there is still lots of room left for growth if I choose to add anything in the future.    The plastic pocket pages {pictured above}, some of the other forms, and the business card sheets were purchased from here.  I bought these many years ago but it looks like they still have many of the items.

Happy Organizing!


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Comments

  1. says

    Great job! You’d be surprised how many people don’t have one of these!

    You should add a section for information about Wills, Life Insurance, 401(k), and lawyers. List where they can be found, when they were written or bought, what companies they are with, etc.

    I know people don’t like to think about it, but if something (heaven forbid) should happen, you’ll know where to go to get all the information you need.

  2. says

    Hi, I only just found out about the binders so haven’t created one myself but decided to peruse around and see what everyone came up with and get some great ideas!

    Love your bill organizer!

  3. says

    I have had two very good friends lose thier husbands recently to sudden heart attacks at a relatively early age of mid to late 50′s. I thought about what I would do, where would I go for info because it is scattered everywhere. heaven forbid if I go first because my sweet husband of 38 yrs. would have no idea where everything is. I am going to have a binder by Mother’s day completed!! it is my Mother’s Day gift to myself! Thank you for the guidelines!

  4. says

    Love it! I’ve used binders for years. Got the idea from http://www.flylady.net I’ve had to move my children’s information to their own binders as they both have a rare genetic condition and developmental delays so their binders are pretty involved.

    The best thing I’ve had is the business card holder. Any time we move and I have to fill out forms for medical visits and new therapists, etc, I just go to the business card holders and find the information I need to get old medical records. It’s been a life saver for me.

  5. says

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I actually clicked over to your blog from a pic that I saw on pinterest for this binder. I love it. I wish I could get things together enough to make one of these for our family.

  6. says

    I am working on our Family Binder too. I got several print out from IHeart Organizing as well…just havent been able to get it all together yet.
    Thank you for a few more ideas!
    Great job!

  7. says

    I especially love the idea of the transparency overlay, creating a reusable form!

    I also need some of those business card holders to file all the doctor appointment cards they like to give out a year in advance. :)

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. says

    Thank you for the great pictures and explanations. I have a binder, but as stated, it is a forever work in progress. Thanks for a few new ideas. @Christa… I refuse the appointment cards. I put the appointment into the calendar onnmy phone while standing at the counter. For appointments a year or two in advance, I have planning calendars in my Franklin Covey planner that cover up to 2017. Grat for remembering to get my pneumonia shot (due every 5 years)

  9. says

    Thank you for the great pictures and explanations. I have a binder, but as stated, it is a forever work in progress. Thanks for a few new ideas. @Christa… I refuse the appointment cards. I put the appointment into the calendar onnmy phone while standing at the counter. For appointments a year or two in advance, I have planning calendars in my Franklin Covey planner that cover up to 2017. Grat for remembering to get my pneumonia shot (due every 5 years)

  10. says

    Hi Jenn

    I love how you have designed your family binder. It looks super organized. I like how you have managed to include the different sections all in the one binder. And that you might still have room to include a few more sections if need be.

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