It’s hard enough to buy a home but then you have to take care of it. Between everyday tasks like doing the washing up and cleaning the floors, it can very often feel like you have no free time, but somehow you are supposed to track and complete larger maintenance projects, like replacing lightbulbs and keeping the dryer vent lint-free. Even the most organised people in the world agonise over keeping everything clean and in working order – until they compile a home maintenance binder. I know, I know, it’s very ‘Monica’!
Home maintenance binders help you run your household more smoothly by keeping track of all home projects, big and small. To ensure your binder is full of the most important tasks – and is a tool that you’ll want to use – you should take advantage of this how-to guide for building your own.
Assemble The Right Materials
Obviously, you can’t have a maintenance binder without a binder – but you need other supplies to build a binder that are both fun and functional. Here’s a list of materials you should consider using in your binder, although if you’re a bit more creative than me you can always take it to the next level!
- A 2-inch, three-ring binder.
This will provide enough space for all the information you need to contain in your binder as well as checklists, to-do lists and other task management tools.
- Indexed dividers.
These dividers have small tabs that are categorised on a table of contents at the front of your binder. With these, you can navigate quickly to the home maintenance section you need.
- Sheet protectors.
While you could hole-punch every page in your binder, your frequent use of this resource will likely tear through the delicate paper, once again creating disorder. Sheet protectors ensure everything stays in good condition, and they can be written on impermanently with wet or dry-wipe markers.
- Wet and dry-wipe markers.
You’ll use these to track chores and other maintenance responsibilities.
- Scrapbooking supplies.
Nice paper, stickers and other decorative elements will help make your maintenance binder feel personal. Plus, when your binder is cute, you won’t mind keeping it in the open where you’re more likely to see it and check it for tasks.
Note Your Emergency Contacts
The first and most important section in your binder should include critical contact information. These are the people and organisations you need to reach should something go horribly wrong in your home. For example, you should put your work and mobile numbers near the top, so your kids can reach you fast if they discover a problem when you aren’t home. You should also add the number for your home maintenance insurance policy provider; these are the people who’ll be sending service providers to fix problems quickly if you need it. A few more types of important information could be:
- Medical information.
Any allergies within the family, GP contact info and the location of the nearest hospital
- Veterinary information
For all pets if you have them, including pet medical conditions
- School information
So kids and teachers can be contacted in emergencies
- Pet and babysitter information
To help you procure supervision swiftly
- Other important contacts
Any reliable neighbours and extended family
Outline Your Regular Housework Schedule
This would be the bit I’d thrive on, I think. The next section needs to detail your daily or weekly tasks. This section should only include small tasks related to cleaning and tidying that need to be performed often. You might organise these in a checklist, so you can get satisfaction by ticking off the chores you complete, or you can build a monthly chore calendar to help you stay accountable to your responsibilities every day. You might also make separate chore lists or calendars for each family member, so everyone knows where to find their responsibilities.
Consider Other Responsibilities
Some tasks are seasonal, annual or even less frequent, but these tasks are no less important. In fact, when forgotten, some of these maintenance musts compromise the integrity of your home, increasing the likelihood of catastrophe. Some of these tasks are relatively easy to remember but others might be forgotten if they aren’t written down in your maintenance binder. You should survey your home, making note of these infrequent responsibilities, and create a timeline to keep your maintenance on-track.
Add A Financial Tracker
Finally, you might make a maintenance budget and store it in your maintenance binder. This might help you save up for cleaning tools, like a new mop bucket or a robot vacuum (very swish!). It might also help you plan a major home project, like renovating your kitchen or adding a patio to the back garden.
Your home maintenance binder should be your one stop for everything you need to know about taking care of your home, and with this guide leading you through the creation process, you should have a useful maintenance-tracking tool in no time.