The numbers for the super, the handyman, a next door neighbor, the dry cleaner. Menus for my favorite local delivery services and a few places in strolling distance. The warranty for my new garbage disposal. These are among the items that can be found in my home journal.
When I left my home in the care of a friend last year, I created a home journal to answer all the questions she might have about both my apartment and my neighborhood. When I got back, I kept it intact. It's become a handy reference tool for everything that has to do with my home.
If you're interested in making your own home journal, start with a three-ring notebook and a few dividers. While you'll want to adapt this to your own home, here are the basics of what's in mine:
• A basic introduction and a list of instructions for anyone who stays at my home
• A list of relevant phone numbers, from my landlord to my upholsterer
• Menus from the local places that deliver
• Warranties and instructions for the major appliances (refrigerator, stove, in-sink garbage disposal) and the receipts (if I have them)
• A note on paint colors and fabric swatches for each room
• A calendar noting things like the last time a room was painted and the exterminator's last visit.
• Lists of things that need to be done around my home each month and each quarter.
It's also the place I keep information I wouldn't know where to store otherwise: the details on the place that picks up and recycles holiday trees, a floor plan, the measurements of my larger pieces of furniture, the home projects I'm planning, a running list of pieces I'm hoping to purchase, information on my homeowner's insurance. Customize it to your own home: you might add want to add information about your pets, your kids' schools, the name of your mailman or the dates of your regular deliveries.