Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Get It Together

I love to organize. You may take one look at my house and think otherwise but really....I love to do it! How do you break into the professional organizer business anyway?

These past couple of weeks I've been working on a home management binder to help me keep track of important, day to day tasks. I have seen examples of home management, also called home keeping, binders and my first thought was WOW. These people are NUTSO! Some women had huge binders with categories for everything from cleaning schedules to ovulation charts! But the idea stuck with me and I realized that I could create a binder for my family that wasn't fussy and ultra functional. Here's how I broke it down:

  • Important Numbers-These are frequently used numbers that I always have to look up on the internet if ever I need to call them. My list includes police, fire, poison control, my children's schools, doctors, dentists, my husband's work numbers and the local pizza place.
  • Birthdays and Anniversaries-I am good at remembering the months of these occasions....just not the day! So instead of calling my mother-in-law or my mom for the umpteenth time, I emailed everyone and created a chart with room to grow. I printed it out and BAM! Never an excuse to forget to mail that card on time!
  • Calenders-I included both of my children's school calendars as well as my husband's work calendar. It's easier to make plans when I can see what everyone is doing all at the same time!
  • Finance-This is my favorite tab. I have never been very organized when it comes to money. Can you believe I haven't actually balanced our checkbook in years?? I have tried using various computer programs to keep track but I never got in the habit of using them. I like to write things down. I included a register to keep track of purchases and watch our balance, and a list of automatic debits so I know when they will be taking money from my account. I also created a tax worksheet to keep track of our out of pocket medical expenses, car registration fees, and charitable donations.
  • Contacts-This one is pretty self explanatory. Putting my address book with all the other paperwork just makes things easier for me.
  • Meals and Nutrition-This is where I keep my list of my family's 21 favorite meals, along with my weekly meal planning sheets. I used to just write my meal plans on scrap paper but I'm hoping to keep them all in the binder and when I'm absolutely stuck I can just pull out an old plan and use it. Also, I find it helpful to track my food from time to time and this is the space where I'll keep my food journal.
The binder was incredibly easy to put together and I love that I have all the necessary paperwork in one place instead of stashed in drawers and piled on counter tops and desks. I like that that the binder can grow and change with my family's needs by adding or subtracting categories. I am fully aware that the "greener" option would be to digitize all of this information but  a)I spend enough time on the computer already and b) I wouldn't keep up with it! I like to write. It's cathartic. It makes me feel in control. Entering things into a computer program just isn't the same. This works for me and makes my life so much simpler!

Do you have a home management binder? If not, how do you keep the papers from piling up?



  1. I tried doing something like that but I never kept up with it. instead I have taken to carrying a big calendar that can hold schedules, meal plans, girl scout plans, coupons, etc. it isn't so big it won't fit in my purse either so I can take it with me everywhere and know what I wanted to try to get done. on Sunday I put my to-dos on the day I think I will have time. I review each night before. Ed Nd move things around. this is the only thing that has worked for me because I love my iPhone but prefer to also write ou certain things.

  2. I wish I could hang out with you. One thing I find hard to do is stay organized. It's always been a constant challenge for me. I try the best I can but I always find other people are more organized then me. I sometimes feel this is good thing because that just means I have more room for improvement.