Friday, January 20, 2012

52 Fridays: My Home Management Binder: My Lifeline

These are the tab dividers I used for my binder. I then have a Table of Contents in the front.
(I already had the binder and dividers so the cost for my project was FREE!!)

Week 3

This week we’re going to discuss how to create your own Home Management Binder. But, first, here's my WHY?! Why do you even need a Home Management Binder? I think through my story and the explanation of categories, you'll see why this is SO vital to a home! Especially one with children.

In preparing for my last three deliveries, I found myself taking time to type up daily routines, meal plans, doctors information for the kid(s), snack choices, medication dosages, daily medications, and the list goes on and on. When our 2nd child was born it wasn’t that much work. Planning for one child (3.5y at the time) was simple. Even planning for two was easy. BUTwhen I delivered our last child back in August, I found myself typing up so many new lists, routines and SO.MUCH.INFORMATION. Now, I can be guilty of over-doing it a bit, but wouldn’t you rather have too much information for those caring for your children rather than not enough? Yes, the Hubster was on vacation for a week, but I was in the hospital for 4 days FOUR DAYS!!!! If I had not put together a meal plan for that week (and freezer meals for the 2 weeks following) my children would likely have eaten fruit gummies, cheese crackers, chicken nuggets and french fries for days on end. So, after typing for days and weeks I realized there must be a MUCH simpler way to do this! So I began researching how I could better organize everything in our home. Bills, Meal Planning, Daily Routines, Doctors info, etc.  I found this wonderfully helpful site on Pinterest (where else?) and made my own binder. You can see how she makes hers and how I make mine, but you will essentially want to tweak it to what fits your family. (Check out this site for some other ideas on building your own Home Management Binder.)
And, don’t be afraid to change it up from year-to-year. Our family changes and grows, so why wouldn’t your Home Management Binder?

The categories that apply to my household are:
Calendar                     Schedules

Cleaning                      Menu Planning

Finances                     To Do

School                        Medical

Contacts                    Blogging

1) "Calendar" - I fill this out (or update it) every Sunday evening.  I created my monthly pages in a Word doc and print them from my computer. You can also do weekly pages and use these Week-at-a-glance pages from  Mommytrackd (they’re FREE!!!) or create your own!

2) "SCHEDULES" - This is where you would place all of the kids’ & family schedules (dance, basketball, lunch menus, soccer, baseball, cheerleading, boy scouts, church, etc... and my schedules for church, doc appts, etc...). It’s a never ending list. I hole punch everything and throw it out when it no longer applies.

        *NOTE: Since my children do not participate in organized sports (another topic for another post) I put a few different schedules here: my laundry schedule and the Baby’s Schedule and Party Planning sheets from mommytrackd here.  (Are you sensing a pattern?) I also have a rough “draft” if you will, of our daily routine so that when I need to be away for the day my children are still in their routine  somewhat.

3) "CLEANING" - This is a fun one for me (cleaning is not necessarily fun, but the section in my binder is!). I printed out this Fall cleaning printable (again, at and follow along with the cleaning schedule. You can purchase the Cleaning Kit printables from Clean Mama's etsy shop or follow her Kitchen Deep Clean printable or Quick Clean Ups in her FREE printables section, These are great so you don't forget anything! I also have a Chore Chart for my son in here that I print out weekly for him to put his completion stickers on. The printed copy goes on the refrigerator. I also have a Daily-Weekly-Monthly Cleaning/Chore Chart for us to follow. Feel free to download it here and change it to work for your family.

4) "MENU PLANNING" - Some great sets of printables for this section is at Faithful Provisions (they offer other printables too  ALL FREE!!!) or mommytracked (also free)! I use this monthly meal plan & a weekly meal plan with shopping list (I found on Pinterest). I've also created this Snack Options chart for those who come into my home to care for my kids.  The key is to use what works for you & your family. This binder is about making your life simpler, not more difficult or stressful. You can also check out my customizable printables here. 
           A) Daily shopping list by meal
           B) Weekly shopping list by category
           C) Weekly Meal plan (horizontal)
           D) Weekly Meal plan (vertical)

UPDATE: I just got an email with a WONDERFUL resource. Organic Grocery Deals has put together a list of produce monthly. They tell you in detail what is HOT, ripe and going to be gone quickly! They have it by month on their forum, but I've put it all together here in one document. Print it out and post it in your pantry (or in this section of your binder) to help you maximize your meal planning (and money saving) efforts!

5) "FINANCES" - I LOVE this section. I use it D-A-I-L-Y.  It’s my "financial brain" and without it I'd be lost. Even though the Hubster does all the bill paying, I like to know when things are due and how much we owe for what, etc. We do all of the bill tracking & budgeting here. We’re a very strict budget family and this allows us to keep track of everything in one place! In this section I also keep bill acct. numbers, phone numbers (mortgage co., banks, etc.) and online bill-pay sites, passwords, log-ins, etc. on a list. (Obviously I’m not going to post this, but its simply typed up in an Excel spreadsheet and printed.. Easy-peasy!) So if I have to make a phone call to a creditor, I don't have to look the numbers up every time and they’re all in ONE PLACE!!!

6) "TO DO" - Pretty self explanatory. I use the Clean Mama & mommytrackd printables. (see, I really do love them!)

7) "SCHOOL" - This section can hold each child’s absence excuse forms, teacher welcome letters, phone numbers, school calendars, etc. Anything pertaining to "school" goes here. It's been very convenient to have all of these papers in one place. We homeschool, so I put my weekly plans, monthly “plans” & my yearly goals and our school schedule in this section. I do; however, have a separate folder which holds all of his papers and tests and my record keeping is done online.

8) "MEDICAL" - All medical & health insurance information goes here. Phone numbers, copies of insurance cards, immunization records (copies) & physical records (copies) are kept here. You can use Clean Mama printables for this section or make your own. (I made my own.) I also have a mommytrackd (yep...I'm officially obsessed!!!) Babysitter sheet here and our kids medication dosages on a chart (daily medications as well as Tylenol, Motrin and allergy meds). Again, the medication chart is just typed up in a Word document.

The list of contacts you should have in your binder are:

Family                        Friends

Neighbors                    Doctors

Dentist                      Vet

Insurance                    Schools

Take-out                    Work

Local Businesses           Coaches

Kids "friends" Parents     Gas, Electric, Water, Cable, Cell, Mortgage

*I created a spread sheet in Word and typed up all of the names & numbers. Be sure to include the relationship they are to you (i.e. neighbor 3 doors north, Mom’s best friend, Jacob’s mom, etc.).

10) "BLOGGING" - I try to schedule my days well in advance so I know what I need to prepare for. However, these past few weeks have been a little crazy and I’ve been writing as I go. Maybe it has something to do with 3 kids having RSV and breathing treatments every 4 hours, 3 ear infections (2 on the same child  poor baby)m one set of ear tubes and numerous doctor’s appointments to take care of the aforementioned issuesmaybe?! (I realize this tab might not apply to everyone, so just make a tab that you think is necessary for your home to run smoothly when/if you're away.) 

Well, I hope that helps you get started on your own Home Management Binder!!! Let me know how it goes and what other tabs/sections you think of for your binder! I might just need them for mine! Happy Friday to you!!!


No comments: