Creating a Home Organizing Notebook
One of the keys to being organized is to have a central location for similar items. Be it the kids’ sporting equipment, your gardening tools, or laundry supplies, you get more accomplished when everything you need is right at hand and you don’t have to go searching for that stray hammer or the missing casserole dish.
The same can be said for information. By having a central location for all your important household needs, it will be much easier to remember to send out that anniversary card or call the plumber the next time you need him. You can accomplish this by creating a Household Organizer or notebook. Think of it as your personal organizer, but for the home. Here are the steps for creating your own household command center.
GETTING STARTED - THE SUPPLIES
- 3-Ring Binder—Start with a binder at least 1” wide. This
will allow for growth as you add pages. Select one with sturdy
sides if it will be kept upright on a shelf. Flexible binders
are good for drawers or for laying flat on the counter, but will
not stand on a shelf by itself.
- 3-Hole Punch—This will be necessary for adding your pages to
the binder. You will also need it to add paper from outside
sources such as school calendars or menus.
- Paper—If you plan to write out your master lists, then
standard lined notebook paper is a good option. Otherwise, if
you plan to use your word processing or spread sheet program to
create master lists, then have computer paper on hand.
- Tabbed Dividers—These will be used to separate the major
sections of your organizer. You can start with 5 tabs, then add
more sets as the binder grows.
- Folders—Purchase two-pocket folders with holes already
punched in them. These will fit neatly into your binder. · Page
Protectors—These clear full-page pockets can be used for a
single sheet of paper or for holding small items such as
- Paper Clips or Binder Clips—Binder clips are sturdier and are good for clipping notes to the binder cover. Paper clips are useful for clipping items to individual pages inside the binder.
SECTIONS YOU WILL CREATE
- General Emergencies
- Address, phone number and nearest cross streets of your
home—especially if you have children in the house. They can
supply this information in an emergency.
- Reminder to call 9-1-1 in case of an emergency
- Phone number for Poison Control
- Name and phone number of physician
- Name and phone number of veterinarian
- Name, address, phone number and directions to nearest hospital emergency room
- Name, address, phone number and directions to nearest emergency veterinary hospital
- Name and phone number of alarm company
- Non-emergency numbers for police and fire department
- Emergency Procedures
- Names and phone numbers of relatives, neighbors,
employers, etc., to notify in case of emergency
- Location of individual and main circuit breakers and how
to shut off/restore
- Location of water main and how to shut off water o
Location of other water valves to turn off water locally o
Location of gas main and how to shut off
- Name, emergency phone number and account numbers for all
- Fire escape plans
- Basic First Aid and CPR instructions
- Name, address, phone number, policy number of home/auto/life insurance policies along with agent information
- Medical and Dental Information
- Name, address and phone number of family physician(s)
- Name, address and phone number of family dentist
- Name, address and phone number of pharmacy
- Name, phone number, ID info, policy number, and group number of all medical/dental plans
- Vital Statistics
- Photograph o Full legal names and nicknames
- Birth date o Social Security number
- Driver’s license number
- Blood type
- Height and weight
- Description of distinguishing marks such as scars or
- Chronic medical problems
- Prescription medications
- School information (name, location, phone number, grade,
- Employer information (name, location, phone number, position held, contact name)
- Baby-sitter Information
- Children’s meal times and bed times
- Children’s routines, such as homework or sports
- Emergency information
- Rules and regulations
- Punishments and rewards
- Special notes
- Gift Information (for each household member, family member,
and if you wish, friends)
- Favorites (color, animals, food, hobbies, music, flower)
- Wish list (favorite clothing styles, stores, decorating style)
- Pet Information (for each household pet)
- Age or birth date
- Allergies o Medications
- Mealtimes and amounts
- Routines (play, outside)
- Name, address and phone number of veterinarian
- This is optional, as you might find it easier to use a
portable calendar that you can take with you in the car or to
meetings. If you want to keep a calendar handy for other family
members or the baby-sitter, you can transfer your personal
calendar information into a program such as MS Outlook or your
PDA, then print the pages for your notebook.
- You can also use this section to keep copies of school calendars or travel itineraries.
Phone Numbers and Addresses
- Friends and Family—Use this section to record the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all family and friends. Record alphabetically by last name. Write down the names of all family members in the household, along with pets. This will come in handy when writing out holiday cards. You can also include directions to their house, or any parking restrictions.
- Business—Use this section to record all business contacts—name, address, phone, fax, call phone numbers, etc. You can use business card holders for this section, or print out the Contacts section of your Outlook or PDA program instead of writing these out.
- Yellow Pages—Use this section to write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of companies you do business with, such as a plumber, heater/air conditioner servicing, carpet cleaner, dry cleaner, etc. Write down any notes about the person or company that you may need in the future, such as odd business hours.
Here is where you can get creative and start a list for any type
of information you wish to have handy. Here are some ideas to get
- Chores—daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally, annually
- Auto Maintenance
- Home Maintenance—both repairs and decorating
- Pet Vaccination Schedules
- Child Vaccination Schedules
- Illnesses and treatments
- Menu planning/shopping list
- Budget · Investment record
- Household inventory
- Credit Card Accounts (account number and name on account in
case of theft)
- Reward Plans (account number, cost, expiration date,
- User Names and Passwords to online accounts
Feel free to e-mail us at
firstname.lastname@example.org for sample forms of these master lists.
By now, you probably see the benefit of having all this information in one place. Not only does it make your life easier, anyone in the household has access to the same information in case you are not at home, or in the case of an emergency. One word of caution, however. Because of the personal and financial information in this binder, keep it in a secure place. Do not have it lying around, where a stranger, or even a friend or relative might use the information for unsavory purposes such as theft.
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