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Last week I shared some tips I’ve used to stay organized during home renovation projects. At the top of my list was to have a home renovations binder. I threw one together on a whim. At the time I had no idea how useful it would be during this project. I have found myself referencing it over and over. It has been a great system to keep all the information for home renovations in one place and so easy to navigate.
A few months ago I was in the basement going through our painting supplies. I was just looking around trying to figure out how to organize our supplies. As I was looking around I realized it wasn’t something I could accomplish quickly. There was an old binder in line for the trash close by and some sheet protectors. I just grabbed them and added some paint chips, floor samples and other information from previous projects we need to reference.
It was a small win and a small step towards organizing our projects. The binder wasn’t pretty. I didn’t even add a cover page. The plastic on the front cover was marked up and the spine was also torn but it did the job. It held everything together in one place and I was a
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when we jumped into a large renovating project and additional floor samples, color cards and owners manuals started coming in. I found myself needing to upgrade the binder.
Our New Home Renovations Binder
This time around I spent time thinking about how we would use this binder and what other information we could benefit from having in it. I wanted to keep it as a stand alone binder because it’s easier to take with me if needed and should we sell our house some day I can leave it behind for the new owners. I started by making a cover page that includes the year we purchased the house and the address. Then I made a checklist of sections that I think will come handy.
So what am I keeping in this binder?
- Color chips – If we ever need to purchase additional paint to refresh a room or for touch ups we have a color chip we can take to the store with us.
- Samples & brochures – I decided to keep our carpet and floor samples and their corresponding brochures. Having a small sample we can take with us has been helpful to compare to other floor samples and to make decisions around finishing touches.
- Manuals – We replaced light fixtures, faucets, towel rods, toilet paper holder and a few other things that are a more permanent part of the house. The manuals are great reference for proper maintenance and warranty information. If we ever had to replace something we are able to reference part numbers, brand, etc. We have this dream of replacing the vanity in our master bedroom with a double sink vanity. Our toilet paper holder is currently mounted to the vanity. It came with a mounting template which I saved in this section too. If we ever get to change out the vanity I plan on re-using our current toilet paper holder and now we don’t have to worry about trying to figure out how to mount it because we have an easily accessible template. I know it’s such a little detail but sometimes these little details just make a huge time savings difference.
- Wish list – This section holds brochures from vendors and products that we would love to use for other projects on our list.
- Worksheets – These are lists, templates and other sections that I thought would be useful to add to our binder. The details of each one is listed below.
Master project list
I already had one. It was a simple project list that I kept in a notebook. I made a new one with additional spaces to add any new projects that come up. Our master project list includes the things we know we’ll accomplish as well as some big dream projects. The list is now easily accessible to my husband too. From this list we can prioritize our home renovations and keep track of what we complete.
I keep finding all these little notes with measurements from windows, cabinets, mirrors and other stuff. It will be convenient to have a place where to jot down all these measurements and be able to reference them again when needed. There is a measurements page with blank sections. I did this because I find it easier to draw certain measurements. Doing so helps me visualize the dimensions.
There are projects that require an expert. This section will help us keep track of the different quotes we receive for specific projects.
Project details by room and place holder for samples
This section will help us dive into the details of a project specific to a living space and help us keep track of when the project is completed for future reference.
The blank page will help us keep samples of the products we’ve used in the project. Here is what the sample section looks like for our master bedroom:
I used self adhesive photo corners for the color card sample so I can easily remove it if I need to. The carpet sample is attached with a small piece of double-sided tape. The back of the sample has a section that is fabric allowing it to also be removed if needed.
I used heavy sheet protectors with a secure top like these. They are so much better than the thinner ones I was using with the blue binder. These sheet protectors help keep documents and samples in place and are sturdy enough to hold heavier samples like this piece of laminate floor used in my daughter’s bedroom:
At the last minute I also added a page titled Room Sketch. This is a blank page where I can doodle the layout of a room. I think I will use this more for organizing projects but it may come in handy if one of our big, big dreams comes true and we’re able to knock a wall or two.
Free Printable for You!
When I created the sections for our home renovations binder I was thinking about you too so I created a blank version. You are welcome to download it here. I included a separate section with no header in case I missed a living space or the ones I listed are not applicable to your particular space.
How do you organize your color chips, brochures and samples? What else do you keep in your home renovations binder? Please let me know in the comments below.