There are certain things every family needs, specific pieces of information. Sometimes the information changes often and sometimes, once it happens, it’s the law. Some things we need to inform other about and some we keep confidential. All of this information can be confusing and it’s easy to loose pieces of it with so much floating around. We just made a trip to the Social Security Office last week to replace lost cards after months of searching for them… trust me, I know how easy it is to lose things. Let me help you get some of these pieces of information organized. I’m going to show you how to set up a basic Family Information Binder.
What you will need:
– A Three Ring Binder (size will depend how much you decide to put in it)
– Sheet protectors
– Tabbed Dividers
I’m just going to stick with the basic stuff, the less personal stuff, right now. I have a different filing method for things like our birth certificates, passports and social security cards. Things I don’t want others to have easy access to. I’ll revisit filing more personal documentation some other time.
Here’s the How:
– First, decide what information you want in your binder. Some ideas include:
– Family Information
– Emergency Information
– Menu Plan
– Calendars for the family and for school
– Gift Ideas
– Things To Do (in your area)
– Family Savings Plan
– Household Chores Lists
– Contact Information for Family and Friends
– Child Tracker Sheets
– Sitter Information
– Frequented Take Out Menus
– Decide how you are going to organize your binder. I suggest having labeled, divided tabs to separate your sections. Be as specific as you’d like. I don’t have tabs. Instead, I organized it so that the information flows. For example, our monthly meal calendar is on one side and the weekly, more detailed pages are on the other.
– Begin dividing up the information by category and placing it in the binder. For information that changes frequently, you may want to consider buying some wet erase markers (like teachers use on overhead projectors) and writing on the plastic sheet cover. You can re-use the same page (like the baby sitter info sheet) over and over again without having to print off a hundred and three copies.
– I keep extra page protectors at the back of the binder, in case I want to add something else. You could keep all the take out menus in one protector, but I’d probably have each page of emergency contact info in it’s own protector.
– Once you have everything all divided up and in your binder, make sure all the information is filled in, up-to-date and accurate. Having emergency numbers won’t help if it’s for the wrong hospital.
PRE-MADE INFORMATION SHEETS:
I wrote up 17 pages of information that I wanted to include in my binder. If you would like a copy of my Family Binder worksheets, you can download them HERE. It is a 17 page Word document. The file is read-only, which means you won’t be able to put any of the information in electronically, you’ll have to print the pages and write the info in.
You are free to send your family and friends copies, use them for church activities, or girl’s nights or whatever your little heart desires. All I ask is that you please don’t remove the watermark at the bottom of each page. This way anyone you send them to will know where to get extras if they need them. At this point there are 17 pages in the booklet and it took me some time to put it together, so please just be respectful of those terms. Thanks!
This is just your basic, boring binder. Eventually, I will probably cutesty it up, but that in no way effects the usefulness, so it will have to wait for another day… Next on my to-do list: 72 hour kits!
If you want more information on family organization binders, check out these great sites: