Tuesday, 20 August 2013

household binder

My home; when it's neat.
I spend a lot of time at home. It's my castle and fortress and small corner of paradise.  When it's neat and organised I'm at peace with the whole world.  When it's untidy and disorganised I feel like there's always something I'm supposed to be doing and that I have a battle waged on the universe.  It's crazy, I know, and even more so because I'm naturally a very very unorganised and untidy person.

In the past I have tried various systems and tricks to convince myself to pick things up as I go along or to put things back where they belong immediately after using them, but in my case it really requires discipline.  I would always rather be crafting or working on Hick! or playing with Sera than I would like to be cleaning up after myself.

A few years back I found a site called Flylady which promised to be my 'personal on line coach' to organising my home and clearing out clutter.  Sounded good but I took on to much at once and stopped following the system after a few months of an admittedly much tidier home.  The principle is pretty simple... join flylady and you'll get bite sized instructions of what to do in your home every day to keep it neat and clean. They call them baby steps.

One part of the system is to create and organise what they call a 'control journal', which is basically a binder where you keep all the important information for your home and family's lives to make things run smoother.  If you have a look on line you'll find a similar concept in terms such as home management binder or home management journal.

Since I've decided to try out weekly family meetings as suggested in the book I'm reading 'Positive Discipline', and since in that book the meeting needs to have someplace where you jot-down ideas during the week I remembered how much nicer it was to have the house nice and tidy when I followed my control journal. I dug it out and dusted it off, removing the stuff that made it complicated and brought it up-to-date.

So far it has:

an example of free printables you can find on line.
These are by Jamie at DIYhshp.blogspot.com
-a section with my important daily (repeating) to-dos such as:

  • making my homoeopathic medicines
  • laundry
  • meditation
  • tidying for 15 minutes a day (with a timer so I don't get stressed and overwhelmed)
-a regular daily to-do list

-a long-term to-do list with things to be scheduled

-a section with meal plans. Special thanks goes to my hubby, who even if he thought it was ridiculous, got on board for family meetings this week and help me plan out dinners for the whole month!

-grocery list this is divided into smaller lists based on the category of the food, dairy, meat, produce, cleaning supplies etcetera.

-a section where we can list the meals we like and dislike.  This list will be added to as we go along so that he next time we do meal planning we have a list of dinner ideas we can just point to.

-important phone numbers... docs, neighbours, family, poison control (though this is also on the fridge)

-monthly calendar with any birthdays I could remember written out on it. This will be easier next year because I'll have the reference already!

-packing list in a dry-erase envelope so that I can tick off items as I pack.  This one is awesome because we're going away to Tuscany tomorrow and it took me 45% less time to pack!

-a page sheet where we can jot down ideas for the meetings and outcomes of what was discussed. 

other pages I would like to add in the future:

- a seasonal cleaning schedule

-weekly cleaning schedule

-weekly calendar with overview of what's coming up each week

-favorite restaurants & takeaways

-movies to rent

-books to read

-chore chart (for when Sera is a bit older and starts doing chores)

My home management binder is still a work-in-progress and I'd love to be able to find the time to do some custom layouts and stuff like that. At the moment it's really really basic.  If you'd like to become a bit more organised and are thinking of starting your own binder then you can find some really great free printables on line, including these really lovely ones over at DIY Home sweet Home.

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