Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Home Management Binder

A little while back, Mary Jo from Covenant Homemaking wrote a great post on time-management resources. As a stay at home mom, time is one of those key resources that must be stewarded and efficiently managed so that we can achieve all that is asked and required of us. I dove into a lot of the resources she mentioned, but of those she shared, my favorite was an (free!) e-book called Time Management 101.

Simple enough, right?

So, I started reading it and I gleaned so much from it! In it, Crystal from Money Saving Mom goes through her personal routine and schedules while encouraging us and consistently reminding us that it will look different for every family, so it is not a good thing to emulate another's schedule or routine (and oh that comparison game... how dangerous it is!)

In it, one of the resources she (sort of) introduced me to was a Home Management Binder. The concept of this binder is simple... Keep everything that you will need to run your household neatly in one place (i.e binder) so that you remain organized and focused throughout your day. Can I just say, this has revolutionized the way I homemake! (is that a word? hehe) :)

So, I wanted to share with ya'll that which is in my Home Management Binder in hopes that you will find (or share!) something that works for your family, your schedule in this season of your (busy, I'm sure!) life. =)

The very first thing I have in my home management binder is a copy of my mission statement and my priorities. It's a good way to remind myself what it is that I'm working toward daily. I tend to be a "yes-[wo]man" and I have found it so helpful to have a list of priorities that helps direct me the things I should (and shouldn't) be saying yes to.

Next, is an Emergency Information sheet. I keep this mainly for two reasons. Number one, we are a family that believes in preparedness for disaster, should anything hit; and number two, Daniella knows what this sheet is and what to do with it, should anything ever happen to Cole and/or Daddy.

Then is my incredible daily docket! This is my money-maker. It is an overview of my day, personalized to fit our family. In our daily docket, I have our to-do list, chores, our menu, a prayer/scripture to meditate on, extra project and/or ministries for the day and a section for this blog (see, I think about ya'll all the time!) I refer to this at least two or three times a day (quite often, is much much more ) and it has helped me to never ever forget a "to-do."

I then have my daily cleaning list (which is more like a routine sheet) and a monthly cleaning list. That is followed by a monthly calendar so that all our events can be seen at a glance, and a list of birthdays/anniversaries for each month.

I then focus on our menus! :) I have a two-store shopping list and a menu-planner. Eventually I'll be adding the inventory sheet as well as a freezer menu plan. (What a GREAT idea to make meals AHEAD of time... who woulda thunk?)

Those are the basics of a home management binder. Some women run the finances in their home and choose to put bills and other such items in their list. Some (like myself) have added additional pages and checklists (first aid, diaper bag, etc) to have an at-glance reminder of all we need. I've also added my prayer lists (including the wonderful calendars to pray over my children and my husband) and two birthday party planners (I've got 3 birthdays in 5 months for hubbers, and two little girls!).

How do you keep your day and time organized? Do you use the home management binder method? If so, what' s in it? If not, what resource best fits with your family?


  1. Wow this is great thanks! I have been trying to get my home back together and I feel like I have just been all over the place. I'm praying to get in order and my family in order. How long did it take for you to get organized?

  2. This binder took me about 2 days to put together. It only took me so long bc I have a very active 10mo old crawling around. :) I can't fully say I'm "organized" quite yet, but I'm saying yes everyday and learning as I go. :) I'm here for you if you have any questions! :) :)

  3. Great ideas Nicole! I'm going to use some here as I take advantage of this relatively "quiet" month with only 2 little ones. Blessings as you continue saying "yes"!

  4. Nicole - thanks for your post! I'm linking to you today in my post about binders...