1) I purchased a 1" presentation binder (so that I could make my own cover), divider tabs and a package of page protectors
2) I decided on the following tabbed sections for my binder:
Daily Chores - I have a list of all of my daily chores & my daily laundry schedule
Weekly Chores - I have a list of all of my weekly chores divided by day. For example, on Mondays I clean bathrooms and file paperwork, on Fridays I dust, etc.
Birthdays - I have a list of all friend & family birthdays separated by month
Finances - I have a page that lists all of our monthly bills by category. I still need to add a calendar that shows the bills on the day of the month that each is due and I also need to list where I pay each bill (online, through Bank of America Bill Pay, mail, etc.) Since I take care of paying the bills, I want to make it as easy as possible for my husband to take over if something should ever happen to me.
Menu Planning - I don't have anything in this section yet, but my intention is to create monthly menus with shopping lists that I can rotate through. My initial goal is to have three monthly menus. That is going on my list for February.
Andrew - I don't have anything in this section yet, either, because everything is at home, but I will keep copies (not originals) of his medical records, birth certificate, a list of known allergies (which as of now is just amoxicillin) and his pediatrician information
Pet Records - We have 3 dogs and 1 cat, so I will keep copies of their current vaccination records and rabies certificates here.
Contacts - In this section I have a list of all of our immediate family members' phone numbers. I still need to add a list of other important and frequently used numbers.
If you are just starting out making your own binder, you may have other categories to add such as school schedules or children's extra curricular activities schedules, etc. For our family, this is a good starting point. Sometimes it's hard to think that I have been married for four and a half years and I am just now putting something like this together, but I was too focused on other things before to really think about running a more organized household.
Okay, so I can now cross off starting a home management binder and making a birthday list! Fantastic! Oh, and in an effort of full disclosure, I'm swapping out 'making wipes solution' from my January list with 'clean out key chain' from my February list. I can't make up the wipes solution until I get home! I can not BELIEVE that there is only one more day left in this month and I will have accomplished 31 things!! (well, really only 30 because I passed off brushing the dogs for a week to my husband while I am gone! ha ha) It's a really good feeling to have come so far in a month and I'm excited to keep it up!