Monday, July 19, 2010

Getting Organized

One of my goals this summer was to spend time getting organized in our new house.

In particular, I wanted to create a space where I could house important information like neighbors' names and phone numbers, CPR/First aid procedures, and who to call if we have a major problem with our septic system or well.

You know, for those big and small emergencies that life sometimes throws our way.

What's a house binder?

It's the place we'll go when the septic system alarm is going off and we need professional help.
It's the place we'll go when Lucy needs to go to the vet to get stitches.
It's the place we'll go when the water has stopped running in our house.

I didn't pull these events out of thin air; all of them have happened in the last two months.

So, without further ado, here's a brief look at what's in the house binder.

When you open the 1" blue binder, the first page you see has our contact information, along with the names and numbers of our parents. I just typed up the information in a Word doc and printed it out.

You'll have to use your imagination because I don't think our parents would find it funny if their phone numbers were plastered up on the internet. Nor do I want our personal information out there for all to see.

Inside the binder, I placed eight tabs that I had previously used in college. I just flipped them over and they are good as new.

1st tab: Neighbors
I grabbed a few sheets of copy paper and taped down the post-it notes that hold our neighbors' names and phone numbers. Our next door neighbor gave us his business card (he's a farrier), so I taped that down, too. I also scrawled down a few notes about each neighbor like whether they live on our street or the one adjacent to it and if they have any children.

2nd tab: Septic/Well/Canal

Brian and I took photographs of the numerous well gauges, labeled them in Photoshop and printed them at Costco. Then, I adhered two 5 x 7s to each sheet of white copy paper and slid them into the plastic page protectors.

Under the second tab, I also included a page with contact information for companies who could service our well or septic tanks--should the need arise again in the future. In addition, I added a page with the name and number for our propane provider as well as a pamphlet from PG&E regarding the irrigation canal that runs adjacent to our property.

3rd tab: Fire/Sheriff
I just logged onto the websites for the local fire district as well as the sheriff's department and printed out their contact information. I find it is helpful to have the non-emergency number for the police/sheriff in your area, so you only call 9-1-1 in a true emergency. The number for Poison Control is also in this section of the binder.

4th tab: Brian @ work
Although I usually talk to Brian on his cell phone when he's at work, occasionally, I'll call him at his station. Due to Brian's recent promotion, he is not at a set station all the time, so it is difficult to remember which number to call. With this in mind, I added this section to the binder, so I could easily access his station phone number.

5th tab: CPR/First Aid
Recently, I took a CPR + First Aid class. I hadn't taken one in four years, and it felt good to become reacquainted with the potentially life-saving techniques. There's peace of mind knowing that in an emergency, I could flip open this binder and access the handouts and booklet that were given out in the class.

6th tab: Vet Info.
This is where we keep the address and phone number for Banfield Pet Hospital in Roseville. We're looking for a veterinarian closer to us, though, so I anticipate updating this section soon.

7th tab: Library
This section contains a two-sided pamphlet, detailing the policies and procedures for our local libraries (e.g. how to locate books online, how to request them, what the charges are for overdue books). I love utilizing our local libraries, but I'm not quite up-to-speed on their ways of doing things (as opposed to Sac County), so this brochure has been invaluable.

8th tab: Misc.
This is the perfect spot for a Walking Tour brochure I picked up in Nevada City, some extra "We've Moved" cards to give to new neighbors, and hiking literature we've recently acquired.

After taking the pictures for this blog post and uploading them to Blogger, I noticed how boring my white tabs looked. A collection of blue patterned papers from Stampin' Up! was just what I needed to cover these oh-so-mundane tab sheets.

Here's two of the new tab sheets...much better!

Overall, I'm really pleased with the way this notebook turned out.
It's a work in progress, though. If over the next year, I find I don't use a section, I'll eliminate it or change it to fit my needs. Undoubtedly, other ideas will pop into my head and I'll want to store additional information in the binder.

For now, this house binder is stowed in the cabinet above our stove, keeping the cookbooks company, and ready to be easily accessed next time an emergency of sorts presents itself.
Does anyone else have a drawer/cabinet/binder/box where they keep handy names and numbers? If so, what types of information did you include? Please feel free to share your ideas.


Alicia said...

Love this!

Ed said...

Love your "Go to book"

Two ideas
1. Add tab for Vendors ie:
Plumber, Carpet Cleaner, window glazer, electrician, tree trimmer, fro those untimely events that you guys need help with.

2. Poision control Info for you K9 family member. See Pdf link:

Hope this helps Ed H

Jennie said...

Thanks, Ed, for your suggestions. I'm going to add in those sections soon.

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