What works for me and what I strongly encourage you to do for your sanity and your spouses should they ever need to find important information is to make binders. I use binders for everything. My binders are important. I have binders for our finances, coupons, home services, my mother in law’s finances, her medical info, our nephew’s medical and school information has a binder. In addition to our investments, insurance, and just to do it, I also have one for plain paper. I know, a little excessive, but it works for me. I always know where to go when it comes to looking for anything that pertains to one of my binder categories because the binders have a home.
I am going to assume you are wondering why I love the binder system so much. Well, it is mainly because I can always find what I am looking for. Plus, I can compare last years information to current information with our investments or how much we were charged last year for our carpets to be cleaned as opposed to what they want to charge this year. That way, I can mention it to them when they quote their price. Another benefit is when I need to take my mother in law to the doctor; I can quickly grab her medical binder and all her information is right inside, I never have to go searching. Now, it does take time to set up a binder, but the time you speed setting up the binder saves so much time looking for a piece of paper you may need later down the road.
It is up to you what type of binders you could use in your home. When I started out, I made one binder because I thought one would be all I needed. But, the binder got too thick. That is when I decided to separate the one binder into many binders. And, it works really well for me.
If you are worried about storage, you can store your binders in your filing cabinet, in a closet, in a cabinet, really anywhere you have space. As long as it is accessible when you need to get to it.
Ready to make your own binder? Before we figure out what items you need to make up your own binder, let’s figure out what you will use the binder for. For example, in my Home Services Binder I include our carpet cleaning receipts along with their phone number, I have our pest control information in there, basically anyone who services our house in any way, they are in the binder.
Now, the items that are needed to make up your binder.
– 1″ binder
– clear sheet protectors
– label maker
– dividers (sometimes)
Let me tell you why I use sheet protectors and a label maker. Using sheet protectors makes it so much easier to get the papers in and out instead of punching holes and having to open the binder if I ever need to get something out of the binder, plus I label the top center of the sheet protector with the title of what is in that particular one. For example, the sheet protector that I keep our warranty for our air conditioner says “Leesburg Air.”
Once you have made your binder, found all your papers that need to go in your binder and have found a home for your binder. You are done! Doesn’t that feel amazing to know you have all your stuff in one place and you won’t have to waste your precious time searching for last years information.
As a side note, I do have a couple binders that require dividers. The dividers I buy are the ones that have pockets. They are very handy. So, when you go out shopping for your other items you may want to get some dividers just in case you end up needing them. For example, If you want to put your finances in with your investments, you may want dividers.
Is the binder system something you could see yourself or someone you know doing? I would love to hear what you think.