The first time I heard of a Home Management Binder I kind of laughed. My thought was "wow, that is a little unnecessary". I just didn't see a need for it. Two kids later...I totally get it! Between the boys schedules, doctor appointments, homeschooling Jack, Chad's schedule, church activities, keeping up with laundry and cloth diapers, keeping up with cleaning the house, and shopping for and cooking meals...it gets a little crazy. I found my self constantly playing catch up and feeling stressed out when I would get behind. On top of that, all of our schedules were starting to conflict. I would schedule a necessary doctors appointment on a day my husband had something big scheduled. It quickly became frustrating.
One day, I was looking at Passionate Homemaking, a blog I LOVE, and she was explaining her Home Management Binder. I started taking a serious look at the links she provides. I have to say...they are really cool! This is coming from a girl who loves to make lists! They honestly have every kind of list you could ever think of making. For me, it was love. Oh man...I know...I am a dork, but I do love it. I get so much more accomplished in a day, feel so much more organized, and a lot less stressed. So here is a look at my home management binder...
I am all about doing things the inexpensive way, so I looked around my house first to find what supplies I already had on hand to use. I grabbed...
3 ring binder
Colored Sharpies, glue stick, and scissors
Computer and Printer
The first thing I did was to decided what sections I wanted to have in my binder. I chose to include...
Menu and Recipes
There are a lot more you could include depending upon your own needs. Here are some additional ideas... Schedule, Finances, Inventory, Blog Posts, Contacts, Medical, ect. Add anything that applies to your families specific needs. I am planning on still adding a Contacts and Blog Posts section to mine.
Next I went through several different websites to pick out which templates I wanted to use. You can check out the Passionate Homemaking link above or check out my Pinterest board Organization and I have pinned the sites where you can find some of the templates that I used. I especially love this site and this site for free printables.
What I did...
Once I gathered all my supplies I started to organize. In the front of my book I put the week's calendar... this has the schedule and any notes I need to remember.
I also have the menu plan for that week...
...and a to do list that I fill out each day. I love this list because I can write in specific things I need to get done that day, as well as make up a new schedule for each day.
Next I have my sections. First is the Weekly Overview. I keep all of my extra copies of the weekly schedule shown above in here. Right now I am trying out several different types of templates for a weekly schedule...but so far I like the one found on this blog the best.
Then I have my Daily Overview section. Once again this contains extra copies of my daily schedule for the week.
The Menu and Recipe section holds all of the extra copies of my weekly menu plan, as well as a page full of meal ideas to help me fill out the menu plan faster. I plan on adding a grocery list template but haven't found one that I love yet. I might end up just making my own.
The template below is one I made myself. I copy down my favorite recipes from Pinterest so they are easily accessible.
Is it weird that the Cleaning section is my favorite? I think it is because it holds some of the things I am most excited about lately. Weird...I know, but since discovering that I can make all of my own cleaning products, save lots of money, and it be better for my family, I have become excited about cleaning. Again...excited about cleaning...weird...I know :-)
I found the cleaning schedule below at the Time Warp Wife blog. It is great for keeping up with basic household chores every day. It spreads them through out the week so it will only take you thirty minutes or so to complete, rather than trying to do it all in one day. This leaves me with a lot more time for the more important things...like my boys! On the first page of this section, I wrote out a list (not shown in pictures below) of the reasons why I desire a clean house. I did this to help my self stay focused and motivated on the real reasons a clean house is important to me. Here is what my list looks like:
Reasons I Want A Clean Home...
to have a feeling of peace
to feel comfortable
to do a good job taking care of my family
to keep my family healthy
to take care of what God has given me
to make our possessions last longer
to be able to be hospitable to others
I do not have to have a perfectly spotless home. Everything does not have to be perfectly in it's place at all times. With two little kids, that is just not possible! I do want to have a home that my kids and husband can feel at peace in, that they can feel comfortable. A lot of clutter or filthiness can make it very difficult to relax and enjoy time together as a family. I would encourage you to make a list for yourself that you can look at on days when it is difficult to remember why you are doing all this.
The next two pages I made for my book. The first page is for writing down the recipes I have for each of my cleaning products, and the other is for awesome cleaning tips. I love that the soap on the cleaning products page says "Make Awesomeness"!
I also added a Spring Cleaning Checklist that I found on this awesome blog, as well as a list of 60 uses for baking soda. How did I not know that baking soda could do so much?!
The last three sections do not have much in them yet, but I will be adding to them soon. The Family info section will have a baby sitter information page filled out for each kid. As well as medical information, family birthdays and anniversaries, etc.
Eventually the homeschooling section will hold lesson plans, schedules for the kids, and fun projects to do.
Can you even begin to guess what the Master Copies section holds? Yup, you guessed it..a master copy of each of the templates I am using. This way I don't have to go searching through websites to find the one that had the template I liked. I also did this so that I don't accidentally use the last one and can just make more copies.
It took a little thinking and planning to figure out exactly what I wanted, but I am so happy with the finished result. I added a lot of scripture to my notebook to remind myself of why I am doing this and to stay encouraged and focused. The scripture really is my favorite part.
The great thing about this notebook is, you can make it exactly what you need it to be. If you are looking for help and little bit more organization in your life, I would definitely encourage you to give it a try!
Linking to Raising Homemakers