Reference Pages / Household Binder

July 29, 2011

There’s just a whole lot of information that each household needs.  It’s nice to have it all in one place.  That makes it easier to find when you need it.  I would encourage you to grab a binder, some dividers, and paper and create a Household Binder (I use Microsoft OneNote 2010 (aff link) on my computer).   This is the resource that will be the most helpful should you find yourself in need of your total household information.

© Matthew Benoit | Dreamstime.comI’ve listed some ideas for sections or reference pages that you might want to create, but you will need to personalize the information.  A good way of doing this is to go through your day and keep an eye on what information you have need of.  Do you need the number for your local library?  Look it up once and add it to your binder (why not create your own Yellow Pages?).  Need the name of your physician for an insurance form?  Look it up once and add your physician’s information to your binder.  Pretty soon, it becomes the reference book for all your household information needs.  No more scrounging through drawers looking for a business card or going through your desk drawer for a bill with the number to the electric company.

Here are a few links to printouts.  I rarely use printouts because I like to personalize what I do, but they are great for overall information and ideas.

Personal Information and Records Inventory
Important Personal Information
Important Personal Information and Documents
Family Record Organizer

(Just a note about having information sitting around your house.  You don’t want important information out where people can just pick it up and walk off with it.  You don’t want total information about a credit card sitting in one place.  You need to divide up information.  For example, you might want to list a credit card (Visa), the account number (last four digits so you can identify which card your talking about), and contact information should you need to report the card stolen.  Any full account numbers, passwords, pin numbers or codes should be put in a notebook hidden in a discrete place or in a safe program on your computer.  Another option would be to put the less sensitive, more day-to-day information in an easy to grab binder and put the more sensitive or financial information in a binder in your file safe (aff link) or tucked away in a less public place.  Please use wisdom.) 

The overall idea is to gather important information now when it’s easy to find, you have the time and you have your spouse’s help.  Don’t wait. 

Speaking of PASSWORDS

__ passwords to each computer in your house
__ password to anything financial online (banking, credit cards, etc.)  As you fill out the information below, ask yourself what, if any, information is online and gather appropriate information and passwords.

EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION (you may want to create a sheet just for your babysitter, house sitter, etc.)

__ 911
__ poison control center
__ pastor / minister
__ family contacts
__ lawyer
__ insurance agent
__ Who would you need? Make sure that all contact info is at your finger tips.

PERSONAL INFORMATION (about each member of your family)

__ date of birth
__ description (weight, height, etc. – it’s a good idea to keep current photos on hand)
__ allergies, medications used or health issues
__ cell phone number
__ Social Security number
__ driver’s license number
__ passport number


__ names & identifying information (breed, age, distinctive markings, etc.)
__ veterinarian, groomer, sitter contact info


__ street address
__ house phone number
__ alarm service, contact information (put code in password book)
__ utilities, account numbers and contact info (for service and billing)
__ list businesses that you have used like plumber, chimney sweep, electrician (tape in business cards)
__ basic information on loan, insurance, contact numbers


__ name, address and contact info for physician, account numbers
__ name, address and contact info for dentist, account numbers
__ medical/dental insurance information


__ basic information for every account that you have (checking, savings, investing, etc.)
__ name of banker you usually work with
__ location and number of safety deposit box


__ list each credit card with contact information in case the card is stolen
__ loan information and contact
__ investment information and contact


__ list properties owned, loan information, insurance contacts, etc.


__ list make, model, VIN number, license plate, and anything that will help you identify your car
__ insurance company and contact info, policy number
__ contact info for mechanic or company you use for car care

Start your reference binder now. Even if you only have a bit of information. Just continue to add to it as you come across new information or think of something else you might need. Even if the binder is a bit messy or disorganized, you will at least have everything in one place.

If your husband has already created some kind of reference binder, ask him where he keeps it so that you would have access if you needed it.

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