How to Make a Household Filing System With Binders

Nov 29, 2012

Filing can be so tedious, and even more so when you don’t have a good system in place to regularly and effectively manage papers.

I used to keep a plastic file box that contained all our household papers, but once my husband and I moved into a house (a lot more papers to manage), I realized the system wasn't working for us. I switched to organizing with binders and accordion folders, and have not looked back since!

The key to using the binder system of organization is some careful planning before you start.

Here's how to get started:

1) List down main categories for your files and then underneath, create sub-categories for each type of paper you’d like to file. Of course everyone has different needs, so you’ll have to modify the categories to fit your household. The list in our home looked something like this:


  • Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Baptism/Confirmation etc.
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Social Security and Taxpayer ID Stuff
  • Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Baptism/Confirmation etc.
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Social Security and Taxpayer ID Stuff

  • Deed of Sale or Mortgage
  • Title
  • Floor Plan
  • House Insurance
  • Property Tax
  • Receipts related to the purchase of our house

  • Sale Documents
  • Car Registration / LTO (Land Transportation Office) Stuff
  • Car Insurance
  • Car Maintenance Receipts
  • Repair Receipts

  • Resumes
  • Acceptance Letters
  • Copies of Contracts
  • Taxes

FINANCIAL BINDER - see this post for detailed instructions on how I made one.

    HOUSEHOLD BINDER - detailed instructions here
    • Important Contacts
    • Housecleaning Schedule
    • Menu Planning Sheets
    • Important Emergency Information
    • Vehicle Maintenance Records

    • Prescriptions
    • Test Results
    • Medical History
    • Dental Records
    • Visits to the Doctor

    2) Take all your papers, documents, etc and separate them into piles according to the categories you created. Try to do this either on the floor or a big table so you have space to spread out.

    3) Go over your list and determine how many supplies you’ll need. From my list above, I would need to buy 7 binders, and about 50 (extras) clear page protector sheets. (Some people prefer to punch holes in their papers and file them that way, but I didn’t want to have to do that, so I opted to use clear sheet protectors.)

    4) Next — if you don’t have any of these supplies at home, you can get them at places like office stores or online on Amazon.

    5) Once you’ve purchased your supplies, slip the correct amount of page protectors into each binder and file. When you’re in the middle of filing, you might realize that you want to add or remove categories and subcategories. No problem, just do what works for you and your family!

    6) Label the spine of each binder and each page protector sheet, if you wish. ( For extra OC points, you can even decorate your binders with scrapbook paper or stickers!)

    • Get binders that can fit A4 size clear sheet protectors, because a lot of documents are that size.
    • Make sure you have a place to put your binders when you’re done filing so they’re easily accessible.
    • For items like passports, you can buy clear protector envelopes that snap shut and already have holes so you can slip them into your binders.

    f you'd like to start a binder organization system yourself, go ahead and list down your own categories and sub-categories! :)
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    1. Great idea! I'm not a fan of filing cabinets, this is a great alternative.

    2. Sounds goods!! this is really a good idea i always prefer to put my bills in drawer :-( ..but thankfully it really works for me.


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