Is getting organized your 2012 New Year’s Resolution? 

Do you have little scraps of paper scattered throughout your house with important information on them?  Do you waste precious time everyday looking for the information that you need?    If you were to get sick or go out of town, would your family be lost without you?

Today I’m going to talk about creating a “Family Manual”.  Some people call it a “household notebook”, “homemaking binder”, home management notebook” or “home organizer”.  Whatever you choose to call it, it will be the key to getting your home organized.

Life is much less stressful when you are organized.  By creating a family manual, you will have more time to spend with your family and do the things that you enjoy.   It will help you save money by making it easier to stick to your budget and meal plan.   It will allow your family members to be “in the know” about the running of your household

The family manual is the command central for your home.   You will use it to keep your house running smoothly.  In it you include all things related to you, your family and your home. 

All you need to get started is a 1 inch binder and tab dividers.  You can purchase these for less than $2. 

Inside your manual you will have information including to-do lists, finance information, important phone numbers, home maintenance schedules and calendars. 

You should organize your family manual whatever way works best for you.  The following is a list of what I have included in my manual:

Holder  with pens, pencils and post it notes

Daily To-Do List

Family Goals & Mission Statement

Sign me/ important


  • budget/spending record
  • financial goals
  • bills to pay
  • list of bank accounts
  • account information/passwords
  • healthcare costs
  • insurance information
  • utilities/services directory
  • magazine subscriptions
  • warranty information
  • vehicle records
  • tax checklist


  • Monthly or weekly forms with fill-in fields for breakfast, lunch & dinner each day and a space for snacks & desserts of the week
  • grocery shopping lists
  • favorite recipes/recipes to try
  • pantry and freezer inventory
  • kitchen appliance manuals

Addresses and Phone #s

  • Emergency Information – Phone #s for 911; Fire Dept; Poison Control; our home, work & cell numbers; our parent’s homes, work & cell numbers
  • Family and Friends addresses, phone numbers and email addresses
  • Yellow Pages – Phone numbers for all businesses and individuals that we do business with
  • church/club directories
  • emergency phone numbers
  • take out menus

Home Management

  • household cleaning schedule
  • seasonal chore checklists
  • children’s chore checklists
  • home maintenance log
  • home inventory
  • home decorating ideas
  • party planners
  • Holiday Planning (home décor inventory, project ideas, gift lists, traditions, activities, recipes, to-do lists)
  • car maintenance schedule
  • recycling inventory


  • personal information page for each family member containing statistics such as  name, date of birth, social security number, sex, relationship, driver’s license number (if applicable), state of license (if applicable) and expiration date of license (if applicable)
  • master occasions list (birthdays, anniversaries)
  • gift suggestion list
  • birthday party ideas
  • vacation information
  • holiday information
  • recommended Web sites
  • list of DVD/videos to rent
  • list of books that we would like to read, movies that we would like to see
  • library information


  • school schedules and holiday list
  • school records for each child
  • school information page
  • school reading lists
  • extra curricular activity information
  • summer programs information
  • PTA materials

 Health and Fitness

  • diet trackers
  • blood pressure record
  • first aid kit checklist
  • medical information sheet for each family member
  • emergency directory
  • medical authorization form
  • prescription drug record
  • gym membership information
  • insurance information
  • pet health records


  • travel packing checklist
  • before-we-leave checklist
  • camping checklist
  • vacation idea list

 Notes & Miscellaneous

  • Blank pages to keep track of miscellaneous information
  • Magazine Articles
  • Inspiration (inspirational quotes, articles, etc.)

 Holder for stamps and return address labels

I’ve used a Family Manual for quite some time but I recently updated it.  In looking for ideas I have come across a lot of great information on the internet.  I am including links to some fabulous websites that you may find helpful:


Organized Home – Household Notebook

Cynthia provides a wealth of information on this site about creating a household notebook.  It also has a ton of useful printables.


By Sun and Candlelight – My Homekeeping Notebook

Dawn at Sun and Candlelight wrote this great post about how to create a homekeeping notebook.


Such Treasures – Our Household Notebook

Wardeh from Such Treasures provides lots of great information about what to include in your household notebook.  Some things that I didn’t even think about.


Foss Family Home Companion

Foss Family gives a great example of a household notebook.  Theirs is beautifully designed.  There are also many useful printables.


Living My Life on Purpose – Household  Organizational Binder

Shannon has created a household notebook that is not only useful, but also beautiful to look at.


The Imperfect Housewife – How To Build A Notebook

On this site javajayne gives great detailed information about what to put in your household notebook.  There is a wealth of information here.


Life…Your Way – Home Management Notebook

Mandi from Life…Your Way offers you over 200 printables that you can get for only $7.  This is a really great deal but there are also a lot that you can get for FREE on this site.


Life As Mom – Making A Household Notebook

On this site you can purchase Jessica’s awesome ebook that will provide fabulous detailed information on how to create a household notebook.  There are also some free printables available on the site. 


Steady Days

On this site you can purchase Jamie Martin’s Book called Steady Days.  This book is all about being a professional mother – one who is organized and enjoys time with her children.  There are also some free organizing printables on the site. 


A Virtuous Woman – Household Notebook

Melissa from A Virtuous Woman offers many wonderful printables that you can use in your household notebook.


Pieces From Me – Home Management Binder

This blog written by a quilter.  She gives great instructions on how to create your own home management binder.  All of her pages are beautifully designed and some of them can be downloaded for FREE


Money Saving Mom – My Very Simple Homemaking Binder

Crystal from Money Saving Mom gives you a video tutorial on how to create a homemaking binder.  All of the pages that she has included in her binder can be downloaded for FREE.


Passionate Homemaking – Building A Home Planning Notebook

Lindsay gives great information about what to include in your household notebook, including a video on how to create it.


Homemaking Organized

K. Quinn gives excellent information on how to create a household notebook.   There are also lots of great printables on this site.


Do you have a family manual?  What do you include in yours?


This post is linked up with the following:





Tip Me Tuesday at Tip Junkie






Works For Me Wednesday over at We Are THAT Family









Anti-procrastination Tuesdays over at New Nostalgia








Time Out Tuesday over at Reasons To Skip the Housework







Toot Your Horn Tuesday over at Silly Little Sparrow







Strut Your Stuff Thursday over at Somewhat Simple


Fun Stuff Fridays over at Toys in the Dryer








Organizing & DIY Monday over at Organize With Sandy