I am in disbelief that we closed on our house four weeks ago (tomorrow). For as much work and emotional build-up that went into buying the house, it feels like we’ve been here forever. Even though we have plenty to do decorating wise, it already very much feels like home and even more so with every passing day.
One thing that has been saving the day is a house binder. I put a little bit about this on my Instagram Story and my DMs blew up with responses. I’d say half the people wanted more information about how to set one up and the other half gave me so many great ideas for what they do in their own system.
The inspiration for me was that a few of the Airbnbs that I’ve stayed in lately have had incredible binders filled with every possible bit of information. All organized neatly. I knew I’d want something similar both for Mike and me as we upkeep the house over the years.
I have a filing cabinet where I store more sensitive information (mortgages, insurance details, etc.) so the binder is more for things around the house filled with information that is okay to be, say, left on a counter for anyone who walks in to see. (It’s actually stored in a drawer, but you know what I mean!)
Obviously, this can be completely customized for all kinds of information so if you do want to store your homeowner’s insurance, mortgage, deeds, whatever, in something like this, go for it! Just know that for us, it made more sense to have that safely filed away under lock and key.
Here are the various tabs I personally have:
– Wifi & Cable: Currently this is empty because I haven’t printed the information we need just yet. But will be fairly simple… once I get around to it. Ha!
– Electrical: The previous owner had detailed notes about the electrical set up and I am grateful. I immediately slipped that piece of paper they had into a divider and popped it into the binder. I also have some other notes about some recent work done.
– Design: After posting this on my story, a bunch of people suggested I keep a section with design choices. From paint colors to furniture details (warranties, instructions, etc.).
– Kitchen Appliances: We had a DRAWER filled with manuals for the kitchen appliances. Instead of keeping them scrunched in the back of a drawer where they’d be hard to locate and keep dry/clean, I popped them in the binder. I used page protectors to slip each manual into and then labeled the top of the page protector so I could easily figure out which was which. See below to see an example!
– A/C: Just like the kitchen appliances section… but everything we need related to the air conditioning unit.
– Products: I had so many random manuals for various household products, that weren’t considered kitchen appliances. In our old apartment, we had a little shelf in the pantry where we stored them and it was a hot mess express. Examples of what I have in there now: the washer & dryer manuals, vacuum manuals, our security camera manuals, etc.
– Yard: Oh, the yard. Ours needs a lot of work so this is more future-facing for the moment. We’re in the process of working through the design, getting fencing for the dogs, and setting up a contract with a landscaper for weekly service. I can already sense this section is going to be full soon 😂
– Service Log: So I’d say the one thing I’m looking forward to the least is actually having to, you know, do upkeep on the house. We’ve (surprisingly?) only had to have the handyman come over once and we knew something had to be fixed before we moved in. But I know it’s going to be a revolving door of upkeep on the appliances, heat/air, etc. I have a sheet of paper in this section where keeping track of who came over to fix what and when! I know I’ll be thankful for that log down the line!
Would love to know if you’ve done something similar and/or if I forgot to add something important or useful!