Managing a home is a full-time job. House repairs, maintenance, landscaping, painting, cleaning, and organizing a home take a lot of time! All of our home paperwork and information is kept in this home organization binder.
When we moved into our home 20+ years ago, we were DINKs… Dual Income No Kids. I had a grand time redecorating and working on our house.
Over the years, I have pared back the documentation it takes to keep this house serviced into ONE notebook. I don’t need this binder often, but when I do, I am SO glad I made it! Let’s take a look inside.
When we moved in, the previous home owners gave us a landscaping map of our yard, which has been SO helpful throughout the years. Over the years, I have systematically replaced most of our landscaping with grass. 🙂
I also have our house listing sheet.
We have a beautiful cedar home. We did not realize how expensive it would be (and how often) we would need to paint that home! I keep our past estimates, invoice, and stain color in the binder.
Other home improvements that would be noteworthy if we move are added as well.
Since we have lived here for 20+ years and have no plans for moving, I like to keep our house repair and improvement receipts. It’s easier than keeping business cards and it gives me a framework for how long it’s been since the service last occurred, as well as pricing for what we had done.
For example, when we replaced our roof in 2005, we did a complete tear off. So the next roof can be an overlay.
Similarly, when we replaced our AC, we bought too small of a unit. So when we need to replace it again, we will buy a bigger one.
Another thing I keep in my binder are to-scale drawings of the rooms in our house. Back when I sold scrapbooks, I held workshops in our finished basement. I would move around the 5 and 6 foot tables in different configurations on paper before setting them up.
Recently, I was helping a client who was downsizing see how many pieces of furniture would fit in her new house by using to-scale movable furniture. It’s like a real life paper doll house!
I keep my manuals in a small plastic 3 drawer system in the basement, but I keep any warranties and receipts upstairs in the binder. Twice we have almost fixed an appliance ourselves by reading the manual. But for US, it is easier to have it repaired or replaced.
It is frustrating, wasteful, environmentally harmful, and expensive, but today’s appliances are only “made” to last so many years. When we bought our washer and dryer in 2000, we were told they would last 12 years. They did, to the day. And we were told our new set would last 7 years.
Now we could try to get these items fixed. But OUR experience is that they break again within 6-12 months, we end up replacing them anyway, and we’re out the $80-$200 we spent getting them fixed. The only appliances we do not just replace are our furnace and AC. Those we will get serviced.
So back on topic… In our home organizing binder, I keep all the receipts for the washer, dryer, kitchen appliances, furnace, water heater, AC, garage door opener, etc.
In general, if the item is not a few hundred dollars, or would be sold with the house, I don’t keep the receipt. Small items like the Keurig, toaster oven, etc. do not have receipts that I keep. I ONLY keep the receipt if I MIGHT get it fixed in the future, want to compare replacement cost in the future, or would sell it with the house.
If the toaster oven breaks, I’ll just buy a new one.
I keep similar information on our electronics in the home organization binder.
So, what about you? Do you have a system for organizing your home information?