I've promise and I've promise and I've promised to blog about my household notebook.
Well, it's time to make good on my promises.
I will include links where I can to the guts of my notebook. They'll be posted throughout so be on the look out. (Please Note: Everything that I'm posting is free to use on a personal level. I'm not promoting anything for personal gain. All those who know me know that when I see a good thing, I want to share it with the world. These are all good things.)
The Story Behind the Story:
Back in the day, when I was homeschooling, I had a wonderful network of friends. (Actually, I still have these friends -- we just talk about stuff other than homeschooling.) One of the common themes of various message boards that I became a part of was getting it all done. Some of my friends are more organized than...well, me so I hung onto their every word. Even after I stopped homeschooling, I still needed help so I went on a search to create my own notebook.
What is a Household Notebook?
A household notebook is exactly as it sounds -- a notebook for managing your household. What does this mean, Iva? It means that the heart of your household (well, in weird, organizational sense) is in the notebook. Chores, bills, addresses, lists, lists and more lists. A household notebook has whatever you want in it. This of course, means that the notebook is very personalized and different for everyone.
What do you need:
- Binder (I started out with a 1 inch...I quickly out grew it...like, before I finished putting it together -- so I now use a 2 inch binder:
- Dividers -- you really don't need these, but if you have several categories it just makes it easier. Mine have pockets in them. I plan on putting stuff in them. You know, like bills...the idea behind a household notebook is to keep everything in one place:
Nice to have, but not necessarily needed:
- Page Protectors (I use these on my daily to-do list because it never changes. I can just use a dry erase marker to mark off each to do)
- Pencil Pouch -- you can use one to put your calculator, pens, pencils, markers or whatever other tools you need/use to make your notebook work for you
While searching for notebook 'guts' I found a wide variety of forms, templates and designs but nothing quite suited my style. (I suppose once I become more proficient with Paint Shop Pro, I can design my own but that might take forever and by the time I get to designing my own my house could very well be run over with clutter, dust and laundry. I cannot let that happen.)
I finally settled on Oranized Home and their wonderful templates. Modern but not too over-the-top. Describes me a to a T, wouldn't you say?
My notebook is divided into five sections: Bills, Menu Planning, Household Chores, Bible Study, and Fitness/Wellness. You could also use your notebook for schedules (sports, music, homeschool, etc). And I'm sure many of you could come up with tons more categories than what I have. Let me know -- leave me a comment.
Grandpa Terry has a wonderful site that has tons of information on personal finance. He has oodles of free forms that you can use, too. While you're there, be sure to sign up for his *free* newsletter. It comes out every Sunday and is filled with great information.
I also have included a pantry and freezer inventory (makes meal planning that much quicker, dontcha know).
Household Chores: (the bulk of my notebook)
I have a daily to-do list and a weekly planner (where I've written out my Zones -- kind of like FlyLady, only not really). To help with my zone cleaning (I'll explain it in just a second), I've included what Organized Home calls "Spring Cleaning Grand Plan Challenge". I've printed off a challenge for each one of my rooms (not including the children's bedrooms or their bathroom) and made a list of every possible thing that has to be done in each room (vacuuming, dusting, washing baseboards, blinds, curtains, etc):
Each day, I have a different zone I work on in addition to my daily chores (laundry schedule and dishes):
The main difference between FlyLady and me -- her zones are time restrained. I work my zones until the zone is clean. Oh, and I don't wear shoes.
I headed on over to DLTK's site to print up the kids' chore charts. (These are a paper version of the charts the kids have on their commission worksheets that are posted on the refrigerator) Because the kids have so many listed chores (although they don't do every one, every day) I chose not to add graphics to my chart. But you can do whatever you want with yours:
I confess that I wasn't going to add this particular section to my notebook, but after putting it together, it just made sense to include it. You can find several versions of the address book at Organized Home
(My personal information has been blurred to protect privacy -- your copy will be much cleaner)
My prayer life is very important to me. It's also very lacking. This is why I've chosen to include a Bible Study section in my notebook. You could add anything you want: personal reflections, book of quotes, etc. This is just what I've chosen.
In looking for Bible Study pages, I ran across the Five Finger Prayer. I'm sure many of you have read it before. I hadn't. I just had to include it in my notebook as a reminder of what all I should pray for (I told you my prayer life was lacking). I chose this one to print out because it's so sweet...but there are tons you could add to your own notebook (if you choose to, that is):
(Isn't the picture too precious for words? In case you can't see it, it's a grandparent holding a baby and both sets of hands are in prayer position. A moment of silence please for this awww-some picture)
Bible Study Journal
Trying to find Bible Study journal pages that included everything I wanted was tough! I still am not completely happy with what I found, but this will do for now:
Each page has the date, the bible study title, speaker, chapter and page numbers, location, scripture memory verse/Bible passage, notes/outline/discussion points, and prayer for understanding/guidance/revelation/application. Do you see now why I'm not completely happy with it? I like that there is a place for reflection, but I don't need location or speaker -- oh well, as I said, I'll made due. I really would like a space to put prayer requests as well. (I think this will be the area that I work on creating my own document -- when I have time, of course).
The Proverbs 31 woman has always been a great mystery to me. I look up to my friends who look like they have it all together (the realist in me says that it's impossible for everyone to have everything together, but still I strive). But I really look up to this woman. She's loved, cherished, respected, industrious, and organized. What a gal! This chick could make Martha Stewart, Rachael Ray and Paula Deen look lazy. This is really an awesome lady.
But still, she's a mystery.
This is why I was so excited to find Hem of His Garment.
While searching through Ameerah's studies, I found Discovering The Purpose of Womanhood. (it's zipped, so you'll need a zipper...or I guess an unzipper to install it. That's WinZip to all you high tech readers. You'll also need a PDF reader. Here is a free copy of a unzipping program and here is a link to download Adobe Reader if you don't already have it)
If you do decide to download one of Ameerah's ebook, please share with me what you've learned. I'd love to do some of more of her studies once I finish this one.
Fitness and Wellness:
I'm not suggesting that I'm putting myself last by putting fitness and wellness at the back of my notebook. It's just when everything is all said and done, I would flip to this section less than I would the others -- hence putting it in the back. (Just wanted to put your mind at ease)
My Fitness and Wellness journal pages were found by accident. I couldn't even begin to tell you where I found it (I searched a lot of sites the day I printed out all these great pages) You can start by looking here to see if you can find something that suits your needs.
My journal page has a little box in the corner that helps me keep track by allowing me to check off my dailies: water, veggies, milk, oil, vitamin, activity, points (for the Weight Watchers folks) as well as what the author (creator of the page) calls 'Balance': exercise, eat healthy, clean something (I like this chick!), sleep 8 hours, create something (another good one!), journal (always important...does blogging count?), work, play, social and read. Under this, she has a whole page of lines that I can fill up with my mindless ramblings. You know -- kind of like this blog:
Well, that's it. Everything you wanted to know about my notebook (and probably a lot of what you didn't). I look forward to updating regularly and tweaking my system. But I will say that so far, my system seems to be working.
Laundry Room Before:
Laundry Room After:
If you decide to do your own notebook, please come back and share what's worked for you and what hasn't.