Household Notebook

Looking for ideas for your household notebook? Here’s a detailed look at my own notebook, with pictures and explanation of every section.

*I originally published this post August 26, 2005. I have left the majority of the post as originally published. I don’t currently use this system any more, but am leaving it in hopes that it will help someone else building a household notebook. *

Back when I first started doing things the FlyLady way, I made up a household notebook. I used it a bit, but eventually abandoned it, because I never made my own routines. I was trying to follow routines that just didn’t work for me. So I went through my notebook and redid most of it. I had the hardest time figuring out my schedule! I finally figured out that the reason I could never make a schedule is because even though I have routines, I don’t always do everything at the exact same time every day. I followed the directions on the Large Family Logistics page and made up my routines with no set times. It works much better now.

Most of the forms you see pictured in my binder are the old design of my forms. I am in the process of updating my binder but have not printed all new copies of every page.

When I bought the binder, I wanted one that looked like it would hold up well. I am very hard on notebooks, and I did not want one that would just fall apart easily. The one I found had a hard plastic cover – not much to look at, but very durable. I’ve had it for 10 years, and it’s still going strong! I never really cared for the way it looked, so I decided to make myself a cloth cover.

cover.jpg

This is a close-up of what the fabric looks like:

fabricclose.jpg

Inside the front cover is a zipper pouch. I keep a pen, pencil, some change, a few address labels, and stamps in it.

inside1.jpg

Right after the pencil pouch I have a copy of Proverbs 31:10-31 printed out. I’ve been working on memorizing it, and it’s here for me to see often.

nb2.jpg

My first section is marked Schedule.

dsch.jpg

I have my daily routines here. Since each day of the week varies so much, I printed out a schedule for each day. The schedules are in page protectors, and I write on them with a dry-erase marker. If there’s something that needs to be remembered longer than for a day or so, then I’ll write it down with a wet-erase marker so it can’t get accidentally erased.

sch1.jpg

My daily schedule looks like this:

Morning Routine
*Fix breakfast for my husband and I
*Quiet time
*Check calendar for appointments
*Shower and get dressed
*Computer time
*Hair and makeup
*Start laundry

Fix breakfast for son
Start dinner
Wash and put away dishes

Table Time – Homeschool

Read Aloud Time

Switch laundry

Noon Routine
*Eat lunch
*Wash and put away dishes
*Pick up toys

Quiet Time
*Son down for a nap
*My free time – computer, sewing, etc.

Afternoon Chore Time
*Fold and put away laundry
*Pick up toys
*Finish making dinner

Dinner Hour
*Eat dinner
*Prepare my husband’s lunch for tomorrow
*Wash and put away dishes

Family time

Evening Routine
*Wash and put away dishes, if any
*Prepare coffeemaker
*Lay out clean dishcloths
*Sweep floor
*Tidy kitchen
*Check calendar for next day
*Fill water for tomorrow
*Lay out clothes
*Get in bed

This is my last working schedule, and it really needs to be updated. With three more little ones and an additional home business, things have changed quite a bit.

My next section is labeled Cleaning.

dcln.jpg

My old cleaning schedule was based on a schedule I found on another blog (Dawne Michelle’s) but since her blog is no longer at the address that I had, I added a copy of my cleaning schedule here. It was basically the way she had it, but tweaked to suit my needs. I also went back and added the day’s cleaning schedule onto each day’s master schedule. That way I didn’t forget what I needed to clean each day (grin). I have FlyLady’s Crisis Cleaning page here too, but I rarely need to use it. I like the way she has it laid out, though, so I kept it. I also have her detailed Zone cleaning instructions here.

Here is what my daily cleaning schedule looked like:

Monday:
Home Blessing
Take apart and clean stove top
Clean all appliances
Wash darks
20 minutes of project

Tuesday:
Dust and clean all surfaces
Clean Mirrors and Screens
Wash whites
20 minutes of project

Wednesday:
Paperwork/bills
Sweep and Mop all floors
Wash towels and rags
20 minutes of project

Thursday:
Clean all sinks, tubs, toilets
Wash darks
Wash any miscellaneous laundry
20 minutes of project

Friday:
Groceries and Errands
Vacuum all carpets and rugs
Change sheets
Wash whites

Saturday:
Wash any miscellaneous laundry

The next tab is Menus & Shopping.

dmen.jpg

This is my most detailed section. The first page is my weekly meal menu. Since my husband tends to take the leftovers to work for lunch, I would end up not knowing what to fix for meals for my son and I. This has each meal spelled out for me for every day.

men1.jpg

Then, on the next page, I have a list of the 1,200 and 1,500 calorie Diabetic Exchange lists. I try to follow these in making and planning meals for my family. Across from that is my monthly menu plan. Actually, I have two menu plans. The first one I made up was my favorite for a long time. I even went so far as to make up shopping lists for each week, so that I could just check each list against what I needed in the house. That month’s menu is fine, but then I made up one for the “lean times” when I need more frugal meals on a regular basis. I have not made up the shopping lists for this menu though. When I do most of my planning now, I usually start with the sale flyers, and work my weekly menu around what’s on sale.

nb6.jpg
Exchange lists and Frugal Monthly Menu

nb8.jpg
Some old shopping Lists

*Update*
I now have more than a year’s worth of monthly menus in my notebook. I usually plan a month of menus at a time (3 meals a day, not just dinners like I did previously) and then keep that menu plan at the end of the month. The old plans really help me when it’s time to make up a new month’s menus, and it’s nice to be reminded of seasonal meals that I’ve forgotten about.

I also have a page marked “Recipes to Try” and an empty page protector to put recipe clippings that I want to try.

After that, I have all of the shopping lists printed out.

Then, in that same section, I keep a running list of things we need around the house. Those things range anywhere from jeans for my son to rugs for the entryway to major things like appliances that might need to be replaced soon.

The next section is my Emergency section.

deme.jpg

I have a list of all the important numbers on the first page. They include: poison control, sheriff, fire department, doctor, and vet. I have a note at the top of the page to call 911 if someone is hurt or if there’s a fire…in case something major should happen and I’m not thinking straight.

Then I have a page of all the contact numbers for me, my husband, our parents, and a close family friend. This page has home and cell numbers on it. I’ve never had to use it – it’s mostly there in case a babysitter needs to use it. I also have directions to our house from town in case someone other than my husband or myself would need to give emergency workers directions.

Next is a page with everyone’s prescription information on it. It is also handy when going to get a refill.

Last in this section I have FlyLady’s 11 Points to Preparedness for Evacuation.

The next section is Important Numbers.

Here I have a copy of the church directory, and a list of numbers we call often, like the music and computer stores we frequent.

Next is Financial.

dfin.jpg

There’s not a lot of pages in this section. First is a couple of page protectors with our unpaid bills in them – arranged in chronological order. I take the bill from the notebook, pay it, and then file the stub. This really helps to see which bills have been paid for the month yet. Next is my retail license for my jewelry business. I put it with the financial stuff because it’s business related. Next is a blank calendar with each bill due date marked on it, and then a list of our current debt situation. I hope to tweak that list eventually and have the number of months remaining for everything – for example – something like “Mortgage – $XX owed – XX months remaining – expected date of payoff X/XX/XXXX” but I haven’t gotten that detailed with it yet.

*Update*
We’re getting really close to being debt free! I am so excited!!!!! Right now I have a printout of our debt snowball and my business retail license in this section. I keep unpaid bills in that section until I pay them, but they don’t stay in there very long.

Then I have Projects.

dpro.jpg

It’s basically my long-term to-do list. Things like “paint laundry room” and “sew more short-sleeved dresses” go on this list. That way they don’t get forgotten, but I don’t have to wonder what it was I wanted to remember to do either. I also have a couple of my frequently used sewing patterns here. They’re not traditional patterns – they’re more just a couple pages of notes about patterns that I make quite often.

The next section is Training.

dtra.jpg

This is where I keep a list of things that I’m working on with my son. This is my homeschool section. Eventually it will probably end up needing it’s own binder, but so far it’s still small enough to stay in my main binder. I have a page where I keep track of what we worked on each day, a page of the memory verses he’s working on, and his worksheets.

*Update*
Now that our eldest is in school, I’ve moved homeschool information over to it’s own binder. It’s really helped to streamline this one. It was getting big enough as it is.

After that is Gift Giving.

dggv.jpg

Christmas gift ideas and lists go here, as well as measurements and sizes for everyone. That way if someone asks me what somebody needs for Christmas, it’s right there. I also keep ideas for last-minute gifts here. This is also where I have my lists of who collects what, which is also helpful for gift shopping.

The last section is usually Ideas.

dide.jpg

That’s basically for whatever I need it for.

The last section right now, though, is Moving Information.

dmov.jpg

*Update*
Although this section isn’t in my binder any more, I’m leaving it here in case it’s helpful for someone else.

Since we just moved, I haven’t removed this section from the binder yet. It has my lists of things that need to be done before we move (a list of general repairs, a list of things to pack last, and stuff like that), and my packing list and stickers.

Each box I pack gets 2 stickers. One sticker that goes on each box has the room it belongs in and is color coded. Boxes that belong in my studio have a giant STUDIO sticker on them, and the type is purple, so I can tell at a glance exactly where to put each box as we unload. We did this the last time we moved, and it made things VERY easy for people to help us unload the truck!

mov1.jpg

The numbered sticker corresponds to a list in my binder, but I still write the contents on the outside of each box. I can just look in my binder and see that box 4 has my china set in it, but I write on the outside so I can still know what’s in the box if I don’t happen to have the list handy. After the move, the stickers and stuff get removed from the binder, but the list stays. We didn’t unpack all the boxes, because we knew we’d be moving again soon, so that really helped us find things that didn’t get unpacked right away.

mov2.jpg

In the very back I sometimes have grocery store flyers. I don’t always keep them in my notebook, but often I place them there until I’ve had a chance to read through and compare the sales.

18 thoughts on “Household Notebook

  1. Tasha, I didn’t use dividers. I just got those little tabs that you stick onto a page and make dividers yourself with. I had a hard time finding dividers that wouldn’t be covered up by the page protectors. My solution was to stick tabs onto page protectors to make my own dividers. Then I could use whatever colors I liked.

  2. Hi, I wanted to know which brand of dividers did you use. I am trying to find dividers that will allow accommodate the other sheet protectors. I guess I’m trying to say is that I don’t want the dividers covered up by the other sheet protectors.

    Thanks

  3. I love this! I am going to start working on mine today! Could I ask you what is on your frugal meal list? We recently became a family of 5 (by adoption!) and I am really struggling with keeping our grocery bill low. Thanks!

  4. Your notebook is so pretty and SO organized!!! I’ve been thinking of starting one to help me stay focused on my day to day jobs around the house. Thank you for posting yours! I’ve gotten some wonderful ideas!

    His,
    Mrs. U

  5. Thankyouthankyouthankyou, Melody!!! You did a FANTASTIC job! I found your forms and downloaded them!!!

    I really need to make this now!!!!

    Thanks again!!!

    Blessings,

    QH

  6. *gasp* I’m sitting here with my mouth open! This is so incredibly WONDERFUL! I am soooo organziationally challenged. You inspire me…I need to make me a household notebook!!!! Where did you get your graphics? Are they from a program?

  7. Thank you Kayla! I’m a bit….ummmm….obsessive when it comes to organization and details….having the moving section set up that way helps me cope with all the disorder and clutter that goes along with moving!

  8. I am impressed with all of this and am using this as a guide to construct my own Homekeeper’s Journal. However, I am THOROUGHLY flabbergasted at how well you have your moving section set up. I will be printing this up so that next time we move, I can arrange all this. You are truly inspirational! God Bless!

  9. I absolutely love the idea of a notebook. I have seen it mentioned on other sites, but they never seem so easily explained as yours. I have started working part time since our fourth and last child went to school, and things are out of hand, now. My dh and I have decided it is time to refocus, add another baby, and get me back home.I look forward to starting a binder, your suggestions are great!

  10. So many people that show their household notebooks talk about and link to Dawne Michelle’s cleaning schedule, but the link no longer works. Does anyone know if it is still up on the web somewhere?

  11. Go right ahead Cat! When I re-did mine – I looked all over the web trying to see what other ladies did for theirs. It was so nice to see sites (like yours) that had a bunch listed in one place.

  12. Hey there Melody! This is EliandKaisMom from PH I just wanted to say that I am inspired by your binder! It looks so neat and organized and it doesn’t look like you forgot a thing. I have one also and am going to as soon as I get time post it on my blog which could be years, ha. Anyway, be blessed, Kelli.

Comments are closed.