Yesterday I spent some time shopping on Amazon looking for a few things to help me get our home command center organized for the new year that’s almost upon us. I know it’s still 2 1/2 months away but it’ll go quick. If you’re anything like me you’re already sitting around saying, “How is it already October?!”. You know January 1st will be here before you know it and you won’t have anything ready for the new year. I’m determined to not let that happen this time.
Right now we have a dedicated home office in the far end of our apartment. That space is dedicated to my career since I work from home full-time. For a while I thought about combining my work space with my home command space but that didn’t work out for me at all. I found myself feeling distracted during the workday by thinking about all of the items on my home to-do list. Eventually I told him the home command center needed to move. Of course, then it became a matter of where? The living room and dining rooms are full. There’s no space in the kitchen either. I don’t want it in the guest room because that’s puts all of our family records in the guest space. Ultimately, we left it in the home office but I created separation by placing the home command center behind my work space so it’s not in my visual line of sight during the day. It’s not ideal but for now, it works.
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I’m sure there will be a day here on the blog where I’ll show you around our home command center and talk to you about how to set yours up and detail the must-have items. One day, but not today. Today my home command center is a mess with piles of papers everywhere as I sort through bills, medical records, pet vaccination records, and so on. No way am I showing that. Instead, I want to talk to you about home organization and the binders you should plan to set up for your family records. When I was on Amazon yesterday I ordered these binders to use for our 2018 records. I always keep the current year + the 2 previous years records. The 2 previous years go in the closet and the current year stays out in the command center. The binders I ordered yesterday (two sets) allows me to color code records for easy access. I just print labels to stick on the front of them and put them up on the shelf. Super easy.
When you get your binders, I recommend dedicating one full binder to each of the following categories:
- Family Medical Records (Vaccination Records, Surgery Records, Prescription Records)
- Personal Family Records (Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificate, Military Records, School Records)
- Pet Records (Veterinary Records, Registration Paperwork, Proof of Vaccinations)
- Home Records (Mortgage Paperwork, Payment History, Home Repairs, Tax Bills)
- Automobile Records (Registration, Title, Copies of Insurance Cards, Maintenance Records)
- Financial Records (Tax Records, Retirement Records, Life Insurance Policies, Investment Records)
- Household Budget (Current Budget Planning, Copies of Bills, Bank Statements, Goal Setting)
- User Manuals (Copies of all user manuals and guides for household appliances, electronics, and other items)
The binders I ordered come in a set of 4 so I ordered two sets to cover everything I know I’ll need to be organized. As I receive new records I add them to the appropriate binder and file them away for those “just in case” moments. This way I know exactly where everything is and I don’t have to go hunting for it at the last minute. There’s nothing worse than needing a copy of something you can’t find even though you know you have it somewhere. That’s what happened to us. One year we were planning to go away for the weekend and I needed a copy of the dog’s vaccination records for the boarder. Our vet was closed and I couldn’t find them. It took me hours to figure out where they were and by that time we were late starting our road trip. That was my moment. Never. Again. If you don’t have a set of home command binders, it’s time to stock up.
Keep these binders from Jan 1st – Dec 31st then move them to the archives and set up new ones. I only keep the current year plus 2 previous years although some of the binders, like the personal family records, don’t change from year to year so you don’t have to start a new one for that. Just continue to use the same one year after year. Now, you’ll always know exactly where everything is and you’ll never have to randomly hunt for a document or record again.
Do you have any other home command center binders? Do you have different record keeping system? Tweet me @ashleyfromhp or drop them in the comments below.