Organizing a Home not just a House

We have just finished the first half of the Stay Moore Organized system, and I hope that it has helped move you in the direction of having a cleaner house!  However, cleaning a house and organizing a home are two different things, which is why I make the distinction today!  Houses are made up of walls, roofs, floors, kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets … Homes are only created when people live in and occupy a house.  Cleaning is mundane … I guess sometimes you could think about organizing the same way!

However, organizing should not be thought of as some mundane task of sorting through your junk deciding what to keep, what to get rid of, and lining up the keepers in neat little stacks and rows.  Organizing should be the creation of a system in your home that makes living in that home easier.  Organizing isn’t where the counters are cleared, magazines neatly stacked, and floors are spotless … Organizing is simply a system that makes finding your things and getting to your things an easier process.

I make this distinction, because first of all … I don’t enjoy cleaning … I really don’t enjoy organizing … I DO enjoy living in a clean and organized space.  Living in a clean and organized space is less stressful, saves time, saves money, and for me it saves my sanity.  Living in a constant state of looking for your keys, looking for a piece of paper, stepping over things, trying to find a space on the counter to put a bag of groceries … that is chaotic and stressful.

I hear all of the time … “I don’t have time to organize” … “I can’t find the time to get organized” … I will tell you on the flip side of that, I don’t have time to live in chaos, and that is why I make the time to stay organized.

For the next 3 weeks we will be doing some fun organizing tasks, and starting January 5th we will start the 52 weeks part of the Stay Moore Organized system.  My hope is that, since you started following the Stay Moore Organized system 5 weeks ago, that you have seen an improvement and began to dedicate 15 minutes each day toward maintaining a cleaner home.  Now, we need to steal a little bit more time each week and dedicate it to organizing.  Generally this time for me is about 1 or 2 hours each weekend depending on the size of the organizing task, and this will vary for you depending on the size of your organizing task.  However, you should be able to make good headway or be completely finished in one to two hours.  You don’t have to do this on a weekend, you can pick any day that you find time to complete the task.

For this weeks task we need to start a “Home” binder.  It doesn’t have to be a binder, but I find a 2 to 3 inch binder perfect, although you can just keep a folder.  I’ve seen people store them in home offices, kitchens, coffee tables, bedrooms, night stands … You need somewhere that is easily accessed, but probably not just sitting out in the open.  You will have the option of putting important documents in your binder, although a small fireplace safe is probably the best place to store those in case of emergency.  However, having a copy of those important documents would be good for your home binder as it could be easy to grab in the event you needed to evacuate your house quickly.

Below are some items that you will need to add to your home binder to start getting it organized.  We will customize it today and throughout the next several weeks.  You will add items to it as your home is organized!

  • Binder
  • Binder Tabs
  • Binder Sheet Protectors
  • Binder zipper pocket (1 to 5)
  • Paper
  • 3 hole punch

Below are some handy links to purchase these items on Amazon – please note these are affiliate links.

Today we will be working with the 2 inch binder and the tabs.  You will need a pen or pencil for this task.  The number of tabs you need will vary, but in my house we have 8 tabs.  One for each person/pet, Insurance, Major Purchases, Titles, and Misc.   Behind each tab you will want to put important documents and important information that you would need to reference in case of an emergency.  I’ve included examples of the items you would put in each section.  Please note that I do not recommend hole punching original documents – Originals can be stored in the sheet protectors.  Documents that are an odd size, and documents that are not easily replicated (birth certificates, social security cards, titles, etc) should be stored in the zippered pockets.

People –

  • Birth Certificates
  • Social Security Card
  • Copy of Insurance cards/Drivers license
  • Immunization records
  • Copies of the most recent sport physical/Medical forms that have been issued to insurance or activities
  • Recent Picture
  • Blood type/Allergy Information

Pets –

  • Shot Records
  • Microchip information
  • Recent Picture

Insurance –

  • Most recent auto/homeowners/renters insurance policies

Major Purchases –

  • Receipts for major purchases
  • Warranty Information with expiration date written on the top

Titles –

  • Automobile/Boat/Trailer/etc titles for items you own (or copies of these items)
  • Property deed or statement from mortgage company with account number referenced

Misc –

  • Financial statements including account number and phone number for institution
  • Contact numbers for family members and who to contact in an emergency.
  • Will, Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney
  • Organ Donor Information

You may not complete all of these items today, but as you are organizing your home and come across this sensitive information you will have a home to immediately put important items in.

I hope you have found this information helpful!  You never know when an emergency is going to happen, and having this information together and easily accessible will give you some peace of mind!


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