Getting Organized when you buy a new home.

19 October 2020
Lea Barclay

Congratulations! You’ve made the leap and bought a new home. Now what?

The next steps can be simultaneously exciting and overwhelming but the focus on organization is key to your success.

A reference book or binder can be a very useful method of organization to store all of your relevant documents, invoices, receipts, and business cards.

I have found that a thick three ring binder is incredibly useful for this purpose as you can easily add, subtract and reorganize documents. It will come in handy whether you plan to move again or stay at your new home forever.

You may use it to:

  • Reference the name of a company that worked on your house, for example who installed the banister or roof
  • Keep track of where and when you purchased a major appliance or piece of furniture
  • Record all quotes and final costs from contracted services or moving companies that were researched (this can be excellent for making recommendations to friends in the future)
  • Store documents from the home assessment, listing, survey or home inspection

Here are a few tips to get you started but after that, you should create sections or subsections that make the most sense to you.

You will need binder tabs to label the major sections for the different documents that you want to include. You can always add more sections later.

Some categories that I suggest:

  • Furniture
  • Appliances
  • House Purchase
  • Mortgage
  • Renovations
  • Moving Notes
  • Landscaping
  • Service Companies

Under each section you can add sub sections (with different types of tabs) for example:

  • Under house purchase you can add:
    • Survey
    • Home inspection
    • Property assessment
    • The original feature sheet or listing
  • Under renovations you might add:
    • Contractor
    • Permits
    • Architect
    • Engineer
    • Trades like plumbing or electrical
    • Handyman
  • Under services you might want:
    • Alarm company
    • Cable company
    • Utilities
    • Any contracts you may have with other suppliers
  • Landscaping may have:
    • Pool Company
    • Landscape architect and contractor
    • Snow removal
    • Gardener
    • Patio furniture purchase and repair

The front and back sleeves are useful for storing diagrams, photographs or any notes that you have that pertain to the property.

Business cards can be stapled to the applicable documents so that they are not lost and can be found easily.

Another helpful idea is to create a spreadsheet with all the costs for the initial purchase, the renovations, the purchases of furniture appliances and repairs along with the names of the companies, relevant dates subtotals and totals. That summary sheet could be kept in front for easy access.

I have found this type of binder to be an extremely helpful tool and I hope that you do too!