Organization is a lot of work–initially. Once you’re organized, staying that way is pretty easy. If you fall back into old habits and the organization slips . . . I know, we don’t want to think about that. I bring it up, though, because it is important for each person to find the type of organization that works for them. In relation to work and life, some people have photographic memories and rarely need to write things down, some people can’t remember their name and have to write everything down. What works for me, may not work for you. That is my disclaimer for the day.
In my quest for peace of mind when it comes to my home and my work, I’ve decided to adopt the notebook system. I have three binders, one each for homeschool, home management, and work. I won’t bore y’all with the details of the homeschool binder as I don’t know how many of you homeschool your kids. Today, I’ll give you a peek at my home management binder, and then next week I’ll share my work binder (which is technically still in development).
MY HOME MANAGEMENT BINDER:
Here’s what items I needed to put this book together:
1-inch Binder (though I may move it to a bigger one at some point as I add and tweak sections)
A computer/printer (You could do it all by hand, but it’s the 21st century, so who wants to do that?)
I got the original idea from Flylady.net. She has what she calls a Home Control Journal. Now, mine is not nearly as in depth on the cleaning side as hers, but she did get me started. Then I found some other things to add in as I shopped around the internet.
As I put the Home Management Binder together, I considered the areas of home management that were in need. *cough* Cleaning. I considered how I wanted this to be a tool, not just for me, but for my husband (and eventually my children) as well. I have a lot of medical issues, and I get sick a lot. Every time I’m out for a couple of days shouldn’t send my home into disarray. My husband and kids should be able to pick up the slack and figure out what needs to be done.
Now, you should also know, that I’m all about routines and I love to check off lists. This is just fair warning.
This is how my binder turned out:
Colorful, fun insert for the front of the binder–Hey, I like my things pretty.
First page is the Emergency Contact page. It has all our names and birthdays, and lists all emergency numbers, closest family/friends numbers, our cell phone numbers, as well as directions to our house. This page is good for the kids as well as for any babysitter.
Tab 1: Daily schedule (which I also have hanging on the wall) and my daily routines. Our schedules change based on my husband’s job and school, so I might have to update them regularly. Some days are different, so right now I have one for M/T/W/F, one for Thursday, and one for Saturday. When our homeschool co-op starts up again in the spring, I’ll have to make a separate one for Wednesdays. The daily routine checklist is in a sheet protector so I can check off the list as I go. It has a morning, afternoon, and evening list of little things like getting dressed and emptying the dishwasher first thing in the morning. Short routines that will help my day go more smoothly (another Flylady gift).
Tab 2: Cleaning schedule. Yes, I have to schedule this so I can stay organized! I am mostly using the Flylady’s schedule, and doing her zones and daily missions. For me, I also assign a room or cleaning duty to a day of the week. My kids don’t have chore charts, but they are responsible for helping in the assigned room. I also have a page for jobs that get done on a monthly or semi-annual basis.
Tab 3: Monthly Calendar. Now, this is different from our schedule. This calendar is mainly for tracking birthdays, anniversaries, and irregular cleaning duties.
Tab 4: Financial. There’s a couple of pages with our monthly budget. Then, I typed up all of our regular bills with the company name, address, phone number, and account numbers, along with whatever was budgeted for that section. This is a good quick reference if need to contact someone. At the very front of this section is a blank monthly bill sheet to fill in, and at the back is a spreadsheet for logins and passwords.
Tab 5: Medical Histories. This may seem like an odd one, but do you realize how hard it is to remember everything about your medical history, not to mention that of your family and your extended family? There’s a page in there for each of us that records are basic information and lists other stuff like major illnesses/surgeries, diagnoses, and medications we’re currently taking. Of course, this changes and will have to be redone periodically.
Now, some people keep a calendar and a to-do list in their binders as well. I chose not to because I like having a calendar/to-do list that fits in my purse and can go with me easily. But I do make sure to refer to my home management binder when planning my calendar for the week to come.
So, that’s my binder so far. I’m sure I’ll find some more tabs to add as it gets more and more use. Other tabs I’ve seen include menu planning, Bible reading/devos, prayer requests/answers, and goals.
What about you? Have you ever tried the binder system? Would it be too rigid for you?