Welcome Home, Now What?

In November my husband and I bought a new house. There have been so many things to unpack, decorate, and organize. Moving around the MyUntangled holidays only added to the typical move chaos. The previous owners were kind enough to leave many of the manuals for the various appliances and systems in the house. We added to the pile of manuals when we bought a few new appliances. I started printing lists of how to save money at home and how to prepare your home for winter. Then I promptly stuck all of the papers we were accumulating into a big pile on the corner of my desk. There was no way this pile could stay as it was. Home organization binder to the rescue!

Mess of Home Papers

How to Get Out of a Real Bind

Fortunately, I knew just what I wanted to do. A few years back, we had rented a house for a summer vacation. The owners had created a binder with contact information, maps, local guides, and manuals for the various appliances. When we bought our condo, I quickly adopted this same idea, creating a binder with the various condo documents, local information, and our manuals. When we sold our condo, I left this binder for the new owner. Now it was time to tackle the binder for our new home.

Home Binder before

An Organized Home is a Happy Home

First, I bought a large binder, tab dividers, sheet protectors, and some pocket folders. Next, I took the whole stack of papers that we had accumulated and organized it by category. For me, I had four categories: house-specific information; local information; tips and ideas; and manuals. In the house-specific information I included our original listing sheet, the floor plan, the plot plan, emergency contact information (plumbers, electrician, utility providers, etc.), and the report from our home inspection. The local information I had compiled included the recycling and trash pickup schedule, a few take-out menus, maps, and voting information. While I am sure I could fill a whole separate binder for tips and ideas, I had gathered cost-saving tips, gardening tips, and decorating ideas. The manuals were easy to sort by room–kitchen appliances, laundry room, systems, and exterior.

If you’re using your binder to help you manage your household bills, then it’s important to update your sources from time to time. For instance, if you’re trying to keep an eye on the cheapest and best internet providers near you, then you should, perhaps once a year, take a look at a comparison website to let you know what deals are available. Updating the binder is vital, or else the information inside can become obsolete pretty quickly.

Home organization binder

MyUntangled Binder

Once I had the information sorted into categories, I simply started filling the binder. Each subcategory got a separate tab. Then the corresponding materials went into a sheet protector or a pocket folder and into the binder. I left a few tabs blank at the end and added extra sheet protectors so that I can add new materials at any time. Within an hour I had untangled my mess of papers and created a new home organization binder that should be easy to maintain over time. Plus, now we know exactly where to look the next time something malfunctions or we need to figure out if we can recycle something. Oh, and I have that corner of my desk back too!

MyUntangled Home Organization Binder

Beyond the Home Organization Binder

Be sure to check out some of our other DIY project ideas, especially the posts on tips for surviving a long distance move, DVD organization, simple ways to organize your closet, and quick and easy recipe organizing tips. Also, please join us on our DIY Organize Pinterest board.