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What do I put in a Home File?

Starting from where the previous post in this series ended (What is a Home File?), I wanted to go through today exactly what should (and shouldn’t) be added to a Home File so that it really works hard for your house and family.

What do i put in a home file?


What goes in a Home File?

Information in it should be specific to you and your family – it’s a guide to running your specific home after all – and everyone’s will be slightly different, depending on what is done in your home and by the people in it.

I did a lot of thinking around what should and shouldn’t go into this file, and I suggest you do the same. If there is too much then it just becomes an unwieldy mess that you don’t really want to keep getting out and trawling through, and if it hasn’t got enough information in it then its simply not that useful!

You have to find the happy medium.

The key to a successful Home File is to only have things in there that you need to access quickly and easily on a weekly if not daily basis – and things that allow someone else to run your home should the situation arise.

Therefore you will create a collection of pages, all with information applicable to you and your home – probably separated by tabs so that they are easy and quick to find.

There are so many scenarios that the Home File really comes into its own for you – here’s a few that may well help you to get in the right mindset for working out what yours should contain:-

  • Your power / water / utilities fail – can you find the contact details of your supplier and your reference number?
  • Now – where did you get that cake from for that party last year?
  • A friend gives you a name of a great decorator – where can you put it so you can find it when you need it?
  • People are coming over for dinner – now – do any have preferences or even allergies?
  • You have a babysitter and need to leave the house asap – do they know what to do?
  • You have an accident and end up having to stay in hospital for a few days – can someone help you easily?
  • What’s for dinner tonight?
  • When do you need to clean x?
  • What do the grandparents need if they are having the kids for the weekend?

I have tabs to separate each section, and have created my Home File eBook to give all the pages I use in mine so that you can easily print them off for yourself if you prefer – but of course you could add whatever you need to make it your own of course.

printables available from the HOME FILE


Hopefully the questions above have got you in the right mode of thinking – and here is a list of possible categories for your Home File to get you started:-

1. Schedules

  • Per person – school timetables etc…
  • Events lists from organisations such as church, sports groups, playgroups, etc…
  • Master Year Planner with special occasions marked on
  • Master Monthly / Weekly / Daily Planners
  • TO DO lists
  • Morning and Evening routines / Checklists
  • Cleaning Schedule (including monthly, seasonal and annual tasks)

2. Tab for each person in the household

  • Personal Information including clothes, shoes sizes, medicines, medical history
  • School / Work information
  • Present Ideas
  • DVDs / Books / CDs etc…. to rent
  • Things to do Lists – such as rainy days activities for little ones, websites to look at when you have a spare few minutes etc…

3. Food

  • Meal planners incl. whats peoples favourites. Have a 4 week rolling plan to make things easy
  • Shopping List(s)

4. Around the House

  • Household Decorating information by room (plans, paint, wallpaper, carpet etc…. and where purchased)
  • Home Inventory List (in case of theft)
  • Suppliers Details (gas, water, electricity etc…)
  • List of recommended or previously used tradespeople
  • Car maintenance and breakdown information

5. Finances

  • Household Budget Information
  • List of all credit cards and who to contact if stolen (NOT ALL CARD DETAILS THOUGH FOR SECURITY!)
  • Receipts for this month (to be moved to filing system when older than this)
  • Shopping vouchers
  • TO BUY list

6. Emergency and Babysitting

  • Emergency Information (Emergency Services contact details, Who to call, Where to find documents, etc…)
  • Babysitters Information sheet incl. where switches are, first aid kit, bedtimes and routines, how to work the TV and remotes etc…

7. Contacts

  • Phone numbers and addresses and emails etc…. – copy from your mobile as you never know when you may lose it.

8. Holidays and Occasions

  • Party Planning Information
  • Day Trip / Outing Ideas
  • Preparing for Holiday Checklist
  • Packing Checklist incl. things to do around the house i.e. cancel milk

9. Memberships and Subscriptions

  • Magazine Subscriptions
  • Memberships (Zoo, Gym etc…

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Whats NOT in a home file?

Just as important as knowing what you need in something, is what you DON’T need.

Any paperwork that’s got more longevity and is only required very occasionally such as birth certificate, insurance certificates, passports etc…. are not what you want in your Home File.

These are best kept in a fireproof cabinet/box in a more hidden away place in your home.

The Home File should purely be a reference for the family and therefore should have checklists and reference to places that the main paperwork is kept.

You shouldn’t be having to leaf through several pages of bills before you find a reference number for example – it should be in a simple and easy to read list ready for when you need it.

TIP I like to think of filing in 2 parts – Deep filing for items that are important to keep but are not needed often, and your home file, which can be accessed easily and has more frequently used paperwork.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

What kind of things goes into a Home File?

Are you tempted to create a Home File for yourself? why not take a look at my post on HOW TO CREATE A HOME FILE for more help on this – and I look forward to hearing how you get on!

{ Get your copy of the Home File eBook by clicking HERE }



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