Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Preparing for baby: Home Management Binder!

I have been toying with the idea of a home management binder since the birth of my 5th child. At the time I was so overwhelmed that the thought of the binder was amazing, but not something I was up to doing at that point. Once he got a bit older we had a major move and the binder got pushed back even further.

With the birth of our 6th child looming (6-8 weeks!) it is again on my mind. I took the time today during nap time to get everything together and organized. It took me less then 2 hours to find everything I needed, find the printables I wanted to use, and assemble the binder.

First things first. I strongly recommend reading the book Large Family Logistics regardless of the size of your family. It is a wonderful book and really helps to break down the monster "to do" list that we as mothers find ourselves with. She approaches family life from a biblical point of view and helps the reader find joy in their work. The middle of the book breaks down each day of the week into specific tasks. Laundry day, Kitchen day, Cleaning day, Office day, Travel day, Garden day, Lord's day. Each day has specific tasks and specific goals to accomplish. I love that it is broken down and you are not expected to do everything everyday.

It was the ideas in the book that helped me to get a game plan for my home management binder. For the cover I wanted something pretty so I took the time to go through Microsoft's online templates of flyers and find one that I thought was cute. I decided to add a motivational quote to the front as well.

"What you do in your home is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, bit on account of the word of faith from which the obedience and work flow." Martin Luther

 First up before you even get to category in my binder I have some specific pages. First is my "Running to do list" page. I used page protectors throughout the binder so that I can write on the page with dry erase markers, wipe off things that are finished and not have to be constantly reprinting pages. After my running to do list is a neighborhood phone list, and an exercise log.

The first actual category in my binder is my meal planning category. At the beginning of this category, and all the categories, I added a pocket binder page. A good place to put receipts, lists, etc.

I printed out several weekly meal plan pages and again used page protectors. Since I meal plan for a month at a time I needed several meal plan sheets, I added 7 just to be sure I had enough!

This section also contains my freezer inventory sheets and grocery list.

Next up are the pages dedicated to the breakdown of days in Large Family Logistics. In the book the author has each day assigned to a specific day of the week. So every Monday is Laundry day that sort of thing. This however doesn't work for me. I don't need a travel day every week since I only do my grocery shopping and errands 1-2 times a month. Instead of leaving the days assigned to a specific day of the week I printed out a blank calender sheet and using my page protector and dry erase marker I  assigned the days as I needed them.

For each specific day I did a page with the specific tasks I want completed on those days.  Here we have my page for Laundry day. On the left we have a section for "the agenda" where I can write down my specific attack plan on the morning of each day. On the right I have the specific tasks that must be completed that day.

The tasks I assigned to my laundry day are:
*4 loads of laundry by 4pm (this is the #1 task on all of my pages)
*Complete any mending that needs to be done
*Empty all hampers
*Change all bedding
*All clean clothes put away

Under that section there is a section for what scriptures were read and another for scripture memory. Lastly at the bottom is a section for notes.

The next section is our financial category. Here we have our budget, a page with our wants and needs, and a section with our financial goals for the entire year.

Part of each office day is to balance the budget, pay bills, and do any paperwork that is needed. On each office day once I am done balancing our budget out using the You Need A Budget software I print out where we are at on that day and add it to the front of the category. With the date printed so I know where we are for the next week. I just have to glance at this page to know that I have $313 left in our grocery budget for this month, or that I have $100 for gas left for the month. It is a lot easier for me to keep up with the totals if I don't have to sign on to the computer every time.

Next up....the to do lists! Errands to run, goals for the week, honey do lists, people to call, notes to write, ongoing problems with contact numbers and resolutions.

Lastly we have a medical section. My oldest daughter has epilepsy and autism. She has a lot of doctors and tests to keep up with. I also have 4 other children (soon to be 5 other children) who I need to keep up with. Who needs a check up? When was the last time they went to the dentist? What was that specialists number? I didn't get a picture of this section as it has some pretty personal information for my children. You however get the idea.

Where did I get my printables? Well there are SO many out there! Here is the pinterest board I set up with the actual templates I used. There are however so many more out there. A simple search for "home binder" will bring up tons for you to chose from.

Hope you find this helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions of suggestions :)

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