Even in the digital age, a home binder can help keep you and your household organized.

There’s something satisfying about holding a three-ring binder in your hand to organize your tasks, plans and dreams. You can take it with you, and unlike a computer or phone, everyone in your house can access it. Add to the binder anytime and even find downloadable organization sheets and tips online.

Eric is a testament to the power of the home binder. He says before he came onto Home Wizards, he was “living in chaos.” He’s now more organized and has a section in his binder on how to run the television for houseguests. Brilliant!

For your home binder, you need are a relatively thick, sturdy three-ring notebook – probably at least a two-inch spine. A few inside pockets are nice, but you should purchase some zipper pockets with punched holes and a box of pocket protector sheets. You’ll also need tabbed dividers, a three-hole punch, paper and a fresh printer cartridge. This probably requires a quick trip to an office supply store.

  • Set up a few categories and tab the sections. One could be house projects, whether they’re ongoing or new. Or divide the category in two!
  • Cleaning and supplies makes a great category. Keep advice articles, ads or notes on what combination of products you used to get that smell out of your car. Keep track of when to change filters on vacuums, HVAC and water systems, along with contacts and parts or model numbers.
  • Meal planning can be less of a chore with a home binder. Keep favorite recipes and download a preprinted shopping list. You can get items sorted by store aisle or with standard vegetarian selections, for example. Simply check the items you need and you’re good to go. If someone else is shopping for you, take a picture of the list and send it to them. Done.
  • Create a section on gardening with favorite plants, ideas you’ve talked about for spring clean-up and planting. Put photos and articles in pocket protectors for reminders.
  • An entertaining section can keep track of guests you’re had, what you served for dinner and new wines and recipes you want to try. Break it down by holidays if you like.
  • Add a gift section to this year’s binder. Think how much help it will be next year to know exactly what gift you gave your brother, so you don’t give him a red sweater again! Jot down ideas you think of throughout the year or let the kids start a wish list right in the binder.
  • We all have dreams and plans. Why not start a binder section to collect articles, tips and thoughts to help us live them? They might be dreams of future classes or careers, or simple craft and gardening ideas you want to try someday. Keep them alive in your home binder!

Although it seems overwhelming to start your binder, it only takes a few hours. And once you have a binder, it saves you time and calms your life.