Binders can be your best buddy to get you organized.
You need a binder for your life if you don’t do file folders then a binder may work better for you.
Today we have a reminder of how an ordinary day can become an emergency. Watching the news and seeing how devastating Harvey has been to Houston makes me realize how important a binder is. So this is a good opportunity to revisit the subject.
Living in Oklahoma as you know is tornado alley. Every spring we would have the threat of severe weather. So when you think there is the very real possibility your home could be wiped off of the map or at the least have parts and pieces end up in Kansas you develop a special set of skills. One of the skills is you have things you know you need to grab on the way out the door.
We lived in Oklahoma on May 3, 1999, when an F5 tornado smashed into and through my neighborhood. Our weatherman said, “People in the path of this storm need to get underground or get out-of-town.”
Since we didn’t have an underground shelter. So we got out-of-town. We were rushing through the house grabbing stuff, our insurance information, homeowner’s policy, health insurance, car insurance, identification papers and even a list of phone numbers. Also, we had just purchased a new vehicle and had yet to notify our insurance agent of this new purchase so some information about our vehicle wasn’t a bad idea. This would have been so much easier and less chaotic if we had a binder.
Well fortunately for us our house was still standing. Our trees and fence were another story and we never did find the owner of a patio chair that blew into our yard.
After that experience, we created a home binder.
Home Binder –
It has copies of our deed to our home and our insurance policies. Each time we make a major purchase we document the purchase; warranty dates then add the warranty and receipt to our home binder. At one time I kept the manuals but now all this is readily available on the Internet. So I can’t find a reason why should I keep them. We do keep a list of maintenance, repairs, and upgrades we have made to our house. This information is helpful for you are selling your home and you have to make the necessary disclosures.
Important Paper Binder –
We have a binder for our important papers. This binder stays in a fireproof box.
For us, important papers are birth certificates, marriage license, passports, social security card, wills and trust documents other licenses and certificates. Additionally, we have a DVD of the inside of our home. (This is very helpful if you have to replace your contents.)
Home Management Binder –
This could be called the ICE or Mom Manual. It will have flyers from your kid’s sports, school events, schedules, and newsletters. Also, it will have an emergency contact sheet. This binder will have school, teacher, baby sitter or daycare provider contact info. Passwords can also be stored in this binder. You can add pages to include your budget and bill payment schedule.
I know some families use a binder for their kids’ artwork and school papers. Every child gets a binder. Papers you want to keep are 3-hole punched and placed in the binder immediately. Then at the end of the year, you can scan the ones you want to preserve forever.
There are lots of templates online for pages of anything else you might want or need to have.
The purpose of the binder is to put everything all together and easily accessible. I look forward to hearing about your binders, how they simply and organize your life.
The time to create a home binder is before you have an emergency situation.