Creating a Home Reference Book
August 17, 2015
Creating a Home Reference Book
By Mar Jennings

There is no better way to 'Live sMARt' than by staying organized throughout your home.  This is never more important than when houseguests show up. I am all about getting organized by creating a very valuable home reference book to which every home and guest may have access. 

  1. The goal of a Home Reference Book is to provide you, your family, and even visiting guests all the information they need about your home. Creating a centrally-located and easily-accessible book provides fast access to valuable contacts and resources.

  2. The key to this book is to collect your information all in one place so it is easy to understand at a glance. 

  3. Creating this reference book does not need to be expensive and it can be fun. To start, all you need is a simple binder. Choose one to reflect your own personal style and family attitude. Next, add some clear sheet protectors - they allow you to slip in existing information, booklets, warranties, plus let you add more pages as you go. Your binder will never be "finished" as your house and family are constantly evolving. Now, you're ready to fill it with precious info.

  4. Start with the essentials. Make sure to include local municipalities, family doctors, medications, hospitals, walk in clinics, and emergency veterinarians.  These important numbers and addresses can save lives in an event of an emergency. I also include my schnauzer's registration, vaccination records and vet info. If you have kids, you'll want the poison control number, doctor and dentist number as well as any favorite babysitters' numbers.

  5. Build further with crucial home-related details like home security company details. All your favorite tradesmen: Plumber, roofing specialist, lawn service...and so on. A copy of the property survey has been used more times than I can mention. The map of the sprinkler heads. Appliance warranty information - from fridge to heater to toaster. Up-to-date exterior and interior paint colors and swatches. You get the idea.

  6. Enhance the book with guest-friendly reference. For example, using the TV remote can sometimes be a chore for guests from out of town. My guests can find the step-by-step instructions for watching cable TV, using the DVD player and watching Apple TV. Wi-Fi password, Town maps. Favorite take-out menus.

  7. Remember to keep it somewhere central where everyone can find it when needed!
So 'Live sMARt,' and have fun creating yours.

Mar Jennings is a TV Host, Lifestyle Expert and best-selling author of Life On Mar's, A Four Season Garden, an award-winning deluxe oversized coffee table book that chronicles the evolution of his Westport, Connecticut garden and how he planned it to provide visual interest and beauty through all four seasons.  Discover more about the home and garden world of Mar Jennings at Permission granted for use on

Posted by Staff at 9:34 AM