Credit for this does not lie with me, trust me. It was a long and winding road that got me to love my home management binder.
A long time ago, in the beginning days of my marriage, I found Flylady, subscribed to her emails and religiously shined my sink. I made a binder, and never once used it for anything other than to prop up the window that wouldn't stay open in the kitchen. I understood the concept, but was just too lazy and undisciplined to do anything with it.
Last year, my best friend started working on her own HMB. She was very excited about it. She eventually put all the pages she had made for her binder on a disk and shared it with me and a some of our other close friends. Her excitement was contagious, and somewhere along the line, I figured out exactly what my problem was. I needed to make my HMB pretty enough that I'd want to look at it, open it and play with it every day. :)
So, I went to Target and got a supercute pink binder. I already had sheet protectors at home from my previous failed attempts at HMBing, as well as white board pens, and dividers. Then I spent some time on my breaks at work designing my pages and printing off handy things to have in there from the internet.
Behold, the cover.... (with my last name covered so you wackos can't stalk me. You know who you are. LOL)
Doesn't it look cute on my table? :-)
Here's the list of what I have inside, and I'll follow that up with some pictures:
- Plain paper with a "Daily Planner" printed on it. It's basically a to-do list on one side and a schedule on the other. I list everything I need to get done in here, including work appointments and to-dos. This is because DH and I own our own business and sometimes things overlap.
- In a sheet protector, I next have "Important Information". The address, directions to the house, important numbers (mine, DH's, grandparents, neighbor, emergency numbers and doctors) A copy of this page is also posted on my refrigerator door.
- Next, in sheet protectors, I've got my Chores section. I have a basic morning, afterwork and evening routine mapped out on the first few pages. I have found that flexibility is a must. Part of my issues in the past with this type of thing was that I'd have this stuff planned and then something would happen, DD1 would have a bad morning, DD2 wouldn't sleep all night, whatever, and then I could get to something (or anything) on these lists when I was supposed to be doing them. And then I'd just give up. Not so any more! I tick things off with a dry erase pen as I get them done, whenever I get them done. Sometimes I don't make my bed. That doesn't mean I also don't make dinner later. LOL Sometimes, I don't get to run the dishwasher when I'm "supposed" to. I just do it when I have the chance and tick it off when it's done. At the end of the day, I erase all my little ticks to start it over again tomorrow. :) FLEXIBILITY IS A MUST.
- Following my daily routines, I also have "Focus Cleaning" sheets for each day. Basically, these are broken down into one room a day, so that every week, each room gets a thorough cleaning. Each sheet is further broken down into Weekly, monthly and seasonal tasks. And, I love this, the monthly tasks are broken down by week. So the first Monday of the month, for example, in addition to the regular cleaning in the bathrooms, I also wash the curtains and the shower curtain and liner. The second Monday, I do the normal weekly clean and Wash the windows. Etc. etc. And again, I tick stuff off as it gets done, and erase it at the end of the period (weekly, monthly, etc.)
- Next is my meal planning section. I keep a running inventory of what's in the freezer downstairs, here, as well as a calendar with BIG squares. I try to write down what we're going to have for all our meals at the beginning of each month and then shop accordingly. I kind of suck at this, though. I'm working on it. The calendar is NOT in a sheet protector, so I can write on it easily :)
- Next is the finances tab. This is a new tab for me; so far all it has in it is a sheet with a list of all the bills that come in during the month. When the bill comes in, I write in the amt. due and the due date, and then I put it in a sheet protector directly behind the list. So far, so good! Once the bill is paid, I take it out of the sheet protector and file it away in our filing cabinet.
- Next I have Birthdays and Holidays! I've got a list of everyone's birthday first. This is great for sending out birthday cards and for remembering to get birthday presents. Following that is a Gift List sheet. Everyone I have to buy presents for, along with what I plan to buy them, and check boxes for "Purchased", "Received" and "Wrapped" Right now, I have my working Christmas gifting list on it, so it's way fuller than normal ;-)
- Finally, I have some free form pages to write lists in :) I'm a lister. I have a Holiday To Do list in the works right now, I also have an ongoing gift idea list (when I see something that I think someone would like, but we're nowhere near a reason to buy it, I stick it on this list; then I can reference it when a store is having a sale and get it for a great price!). I have an activity idea sheet (right now, the number one item is SNOW TUBING! LOL), and a home improvement plan list.