Build Your Own Home Reference Binder

You may never have heard of a home reference binder, but once I explain what it is, I think you’ll agree that it’s a pretty handy thing to have around. A home reference binder is a place to store all sorts of information pertaining to your home (scroll down for a list of things to add to yours). You can use files or a box, but I really like the convenience of using a binder.

I started our home reference binder as soon as we bought our house, but it’s never too late to start one and it’s a never-ending project. I keep ours handy, both for referring to and for updating. It’s so much easier to grab a page from the binder to take to a store than to go searching for things or try to remember.


– 2″-3″ binder

– hole punch

– clear page protectors

– sturdy cardboard or plastic dividers (you can make your own with the hole punch)

– strong glue (I use GOOP)

– pen, marker, scissors, stapler, tape, glue stick…

ITEMS TO COLLECT (as much as you have or want to include)

– paint chips with your wall colors

– swatches/samples of your flooring, siding, baseboard, etc. (or color photos)

– manuals/warranties/receipts for appliances, furnace, smoke alarms, etc.

– information from your municipality about things like garbage pick-up, bylaws, etc.

– business cards and/or contact information for contractors, plumbers, electricians, suppliers, etc. that you have used or might use

– pamphlets/brochures/printouts that contain pictures or information about home improvement products you have in your home/yard/garage

– color photos of other items around your home/yard/garage that you may want to refer to when you can’t actually see them in person

1. Divide your items by area (i.e. basement, main floor, 2nd floor, exterior, yard, garage, etc.). Label your dividers.

2. Decide what order you want things to be in the binder.

3. Glue samples to your heavy dividers. Write details beside them (room names, color, item numbers, etc.). Place them in your binder.

4. Place your other information in page protectors or hole punch the pages.

Write in additional details (purchase/installation date, product numbers, etc.).

Attach smaller to large pages with glue, tape or staples.

Put everything into the right sections of the binder.

5. Keep the binder up to date by removing things you no longer have and adding new information as you add things to your home.