Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Home Organization Notebook

Home Organization Notebook Files now for Sale! For Information, Click HERE!

I enjoy the freedom to be able to do what I want to do when I want to do it.
But
I also enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that I used my time effectively and accomplished things that needed to be done.

Basically,
What works for me is system that allows for flexibility, spontaneity, and unexpected change while also providing a solid, routine structure to ensure that I succeed in accomplishing what is important to me. 


And so  I present to you: 

My 
Home Organization Notebook!

I actually tried to make one of these about a year and a half ago, but got so caught up in putting every possible thing that I might possibly like to have in it that I never finished it and lost steam in creating it.

This time around, I decided to simply put into this binder the things I actually wanted, needed, and that would fit MY life, MY family, and MY (perhaps odd) way of thinking and organizing. Therefore, this is NOT a binder of all the ins and outs, all the information, all the necessary documents of our lives. It is NOT a place for EVERYTHING, but rather a place for the things that would help me be more effective.

But before we get to the Notebook, I have 3 other documents that are not actually IN the binder, but which revolve around the things that are in the binder. These I have posted on our fridge.

 The first is where it all comes together: My Weekly Plan which I have mounted on pretty paper and placed in a sheet protector so that I can use dry-erase markers on it and re-use it each week.
 

The top half has individual boxes for the following categories: 

Exercise - where I will write my exercise plan for that day.
Chore - where I will write the weekly chore I'd like to accomplish that day.
LM - where I will write what preschool activity I'd like to do with LM that day.
LB - where I will write what activity/song/etc. I'd like to do with LB that day. (gotta give 'em equal time, right?) :)
and 
To-Do - where I will list the things I'd like to get done that day.

The rest of the paper is a layout of the day by 30 minute increments from 6:30am to 10:30pm. This is where I can write down appointments, etc. and then write down when I'd like to accomplish the things on my To-Do list for that day. I've also blocked out time for my grocery shopping, storytime at the library, FHE, and Church. The other boxes that are darker are to indicate generally the times when the boys are napping or down for the night. That way I can plan to accomplish personal goals or things I can't do when they are awake. 

I've already changed this layout quite a bit and most likely will continue to do so to figure out what works best for me.

The second  thing on our fridge is our Weekly Meal Plan. (Also in a sheet protector to be re-used each week.) This will be where I write our plans for Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Dinner, what needs to be prepared the day before for tomorrow's meals, and a grocery list. At first I was just going to list dinners since that's the main meal that needs to be planned. But I thought that I would also list the other meals to help me and my family eat healthier. We'll see how it goes.



And finally, our Daily Chore List: 
I read a fantastic post called "The Daily 7 for a Highly Effective Household" over on the blog Totally Together. Basically, she has 7 chores that she and her family would like to accomplish each day. Like me, she says that she likes living in a clean house, but doesn't like to spend a whole weekend cleaning. By attempting to accomplish a few simple chores each day, you ensure that you don't have to spend hours and hours on a given day trying to do a major cleaning! She gives great explanations of each chore in her post. I adjusted the same idea to our home:


And now, the Notebook!

First of all, the basics: I just used a plane ol' binder. Nothing fancy.
And dividers. I put stickers over the tabs because these are actually some old ABC dividers I've had for quite a while.

Then I figured out just what I wanted in this book, and made the tables, charts, etc. just how I wanted them. I will attempt to explain my reasoning for these documents, and if you want a closer look, just click on the picture. These are extremely easy to create in Microsoft Word or Excel.


Section 1: Weekly To-Do. Basically, I wanted a place where I could jot down all the things that need to get done in the upcoming week. This  page has space for each of the 4 weeks of a given month, organized vertically. I have boxes for things on my To-Do List for that week, People to Contact, Personal & Family Goals, and things to get at the Store.Then, when I go to plan my week using the My Weekly Plan on the fridge, I just have to plug in what is on this page to my plan!

Section 2: Running To-Do List.
I wanted a place where I could quickly jot down things that I want to remember to do, but that aren't necessarily top-priority at the moment. When I'm planning my week, I look at this list and see if there are any of those things that I could finally get done that week. When they get done, they get checked off, and new things get added on as times goes by.

Section 3: Monthly Dinner Plan. 
One of the hardest things for me to do is to be organized with cooking. So, I had the idea to write down a month's worth of dinner recipe ideas so that I had a well to draw from when it came time to plan our dinners for each week. The numbers are not days, just a basic list of options to choose from. When I used this week, I realized that it helped to first write down what meats I had in our freezer, like chicken, ground beef, pork, fish, etc. And then based on how much I had, from there come up with recipes to be able to use it up for the month. I used recipes I've done a thousand times, some new recipes, and some that were just quick and easy no-recipe things like hamburgers, spaghetti, etc. 
As I wrote down each main dish, I wrote down in the far right column what ingredients I didn't already have that I would need to get for that recipe. That way, when I plan my meals for the week, I can quickly see what ingredients I will need to purchase.

Since I did this for dinner, I also think it would be helpful to come up with a list of healthy breakfast ideas, and lunch, and snacks. I will add those soon!




Section 4: Grocery Spending.
I am a couponer. And I love it!
Because I go to several different stores each week to stock up on the best couponing deals I can find, it has been difficult for me to keep tabs on exactly how much I am spending...especially when I justify my spending on the fact that I am saving so much money! So, I created a place where I can quickly jot down the totals of my couponing shopping sprees and make sure I am not going over our budget.

This is also a place where I can write down how much I am saving. Just because I like to see it! :)

Also in Section 4, I have another form for other expenses. Again, to help us stay within our budget.


Section 5: Chores
You saw the Daily Chores I have posted on our fridge, but unfortunately, there's more to it than just those! So I made a form to list several chores that I'd like to do each week. At the beginning of the week, I will assign these chores to each day (except Sunday) and when they get done, I will check it off for that week. I don't want to spend my whole life cleaning, so I determined that most of these chores could easily be done in about 5 minutes.

Also in Section 5 is a form listing monthly chores. These are the things I have listed on our Chore-Sticks (see this previous post.) I feel 10 minutes a day is fairly reasonable to accomplish, or at least attempt these. And once they are done, they get checked off for the month!

Section 6: Recipes
I don't have a whole lot of cookbooks, but when I skim through them, sometimes I find recipes that I think I'd like to try sometime. I figured if I had a place to write them down, then when I go to plan our month of meals, I'd have a quick resource of new recipes I'd like to try out!
I have papers for dinner recipes, dessert recipes, and other recipes.

I also have some blank paper to jot down recipes I find in books from the library, or magazines etc. that I'd like to try.

Section 7: Project List
It seems to be my lot in life to have an ever-growing list of crafts and projects that I'd like to do, and never enough time to do them. This list is a place to keep track of all the things I'd like to do......someday......when I have loads of time! Or at least accomplish one once in a while.

Section 8: Family Home Evening
Each week, we have family home evening. (What is family home evening? Click here.) As a way to both help me organize my ideas, and to be able to refer to them quickly when FHE rolls around, I created these pages to help us.

Section 9: Pre-School Plan
I am in the process of organizing my time with LM better, so I created these pages to aid me in the process. (More on this soon!)


Also in this section is a place to jot down awesome ideas I see on other blogs, etc. that I want to try!

Section 10: Health
Right now this section is focused on my personal exercise regime. This first page is a place to make my monthly exercise plan. When I'm planning my week, I look at what I had planned on here and make the necessary adjustments depending on our schedules, etc.......


......and these pages are a place for me to account for what I accomplish. I think it will help me stay on track to have a place to record my exercise endeavors. :)

Section 11: Scripture Study
As I study the scriptures each day, I learn & grow closer to my Heavenly Father.  As I study, the Spirit often teaches me, comforts me, guides me, or prompts me to do something. I have found that having a place to write it down helps me grow and also shows the Lord that I am listening to the inspiration He gives me. As I have done often throughout my life, this is my personal scripture Study Journal.



Section 12: Travel
I found these templates on orgjunkie.com. The first one is a checklist of things to remember to pack when your family is traveling (which is extremely helpful when you have kids and babies and their millions of accessories!). I haven't looked over everything on this list yet, but will soon, and cross off the things that don't apply to our family, and add the things that do.


The second checklist is for Camping trips. Again, a lot to remember to pack, and you sure wouldn't want to be out in the wilderness without your marshmallows!

Section 13: Fun Stuff!
In our neck of the woods, there is a monthly publication for our county that details all the fun activities that are going on. Since we've moved here, I have often looked through that calendar and seen many fun things we could do, but then forgot about them! So I added these pages to my Notebook. I'm going to go through the lists of activities and highlight the ones that are possibilities for our schedule and budget. Then, when I'm planning our week I will try to fit in some of these fun things!

Section 14: Notes
Blank paper for other notes, etc. (no picture)

Section 15: Family Dates & Addresses
And finally, in the back pocket I have a thin monthly planner. I am fully aware that this planner is for the year 2009---but the year is inconsequential. This planner has each month laid out and I use it generically to record the birthdays for our extended families. That way at the beginning of each year, I can quickly use this calendar to add all those special dates to our new calendar.

There is also a section for address which I use for our families' addresses for when we send cards, etc.

I also keep my stamps in there.
And there you have it!
I finished this last week and just started using it this week. So far, I'm loving it! I am going to test it out for a month and then make whatever adjustments I need to make to ensure that it is a help and not a hindrance in my life.

In the event that this post has inspired you to do something similar, I encourage you to figure out what works best for YOU! And feel free to let me know, because it just might work for me too!



Creating the documents for my Home Organization Notebook wasn't very difficult as I simply used Microsoft Word & Excel. Anyone could make them! But, it did take some experimenting and a small chunk of time to create them. If you don't want to mess with making them yourself, I am selling them all for $5.00!

The documents you will receive will have our personal information removed, and you will be free to edit them in order to fit your life, home, and family. NOTE: These files will only include the ones which have created. There's a LOT of stuff here so don't get overwhelmed. I actually use some of these more than others.

To purchase these documents just click on the Buy Now button and you will be taken to PayPal where you can set up an account, pay through credit card, and I will send you an email including all the documents I have created. The email will be sent to whatever email address you provide on PayPal. (note: sometimes it may take me a day or so get the email sent. But please let me know if you haven't received it after a couple days.)

 

14 comments :

Mommy Moment said...

You should make a file of these and sell them on esty! or sell the from your blog!

Wonderful, i just don have the time to make one!

Jody

famr_4evr said...

I love it!! Kinda like what we do, and has so much information. I don't keep track of my groceries like this, but maybe it would help me if I had a little book that I kept track of the spending to keep in my purse so it is on hand when I'm out. I currently keep it on my pc in microsoft money. but since I'm not always right on top of the checkbook ,this would help a lot!! Thanks for the great ideas.

Packer Family said...

You go girl!

The Ericksons said...

Great ideas! I want to be more organized but wasn't sure where to start...thanks for the inspiration - now I just need to stop being lazy and do it! =)

Jannie said...

This was such an awesome post! I just thrive on organization so this was so fun to read how you keep your time and such organized!

Jeff and Aubry said...

Oh my goodness, Linda! You are amazing! I'm totally going to have to work on something like that...I actually wish you would just mail me one, but I guess I better just get started! Thanks for the great ideas!

Emy said...

wow, what a great idea! I have thought of doing something like this for a while but haven't come around to actually putting it together. I wasn't sure of how to make it practical and pretty and useful and all that so thank you so much for this post since I now start to get a grip on how to make my own binder! :-) I believe that I really need a binder like this since I tend to put up the boring chores and that always leaves me in a really bad mood since it always ends up with me having tons of stuff to do and very little time to do it... A binder might help to keep me on track! :-)

(just gotta make sure not to loose my self in planning and putting it together(= fun stuff) and forgetting all about the laundry pile in my laundry room... (= boring stuff) ;-) )

/Emy

forskollarare.blogspot.com

familyofthree said...

Sooo organized! Love it!

Laurel and Jeremy said...

Yay!!!! You are flipping inspring! Thanks for sharing!

Luke said...

Holy Moses!

Michelle said...

I love it!! I have been wanting to make one for awhile now...thank you for motivating me to put one togther for our house :0)

The Wade's said...

I am officially embarrassed that you saw my house......

Remind me to tell you of my food storage/grocery list plan. It's right up your alley!

Tiffany said...

I just found your site via pinterest, and I'm in LOVE! I think I'm going to buy your organization pages and I'm so excited to start a preschool at home for my little one. I tried the preschool with my oldest and it didn't go so well. I'm hoping by using your organization tools and ideas, the second time around will be more successful. Thank you for sharing and God Bless!

Jeanine H said...

There is not enough thanks in the world to be given to you for sharing these formulas with us! I have come to a turning point in my life (again) where I need to be more health conscious and more involved with my children. I am an independent mother (single low-income) and I am always focused on the children, of course. However, it has been easy for me to get 'lost in the mix'. I need a simple, routine, but clear cut schedule as you have shared here, to implement what works in my life and our household as a family. There are sites that charge wonders for amounts of incredible pieces of information as you have shared with us and I cannot thank you enough for making this available to all.

Now, to get my butt in gear! I am starting with my own Exercise Chart first & Chores for the Girls. (That's after the first 3 Fridge Lists of course!) thank you again,
Jeanine H