Creating a Homemaking Binder

**We’re just back from Seattle after what has been a crazy week and a half! My blog schedule for January is now a bit off and I need to reassess it, but I will continue to putter along on my organizational projects that I’ve begun. More recipe organizing, and yes, the ListPlanIt download lists and giveaway, are soon to come. But first, here’s a glimpse into the homemaking binder that I’ve begun…

homemaking-binder-outside

My simple binder. Nothing fancy. That white rectangle says “Stephanie’s Homemaking Binder”. No cutesy decorations, though I did draw a little flower. Does that count? :)

homemaking-binder-2-months

First page is a 2 month at-a-glance calendar. I use this just for set appointments (doctors/dentist, hosting caregroup, coffee with a friend, helping someone move, bringing a meal, etc.).

homemaking-binder-routine-and-to-dos

Next is my daily routine (sorry, a few of the items are cut off on the right hand side, if you were trying to get a peek into my oh-so-interesting life!). The page to the left is my weekly to-do list (it usually comes after the routine, but I pulled it out to show you). I am working hard to limit my to-do’s to only 6 things a day, of items like cleaning, phone calls, projects, errands, etc. that aren’t part of my routine. And yes, I am attempting to get myself into the habit of getting up at the insanely early hour of 5 am to do my blog work before the family is up (currently, I’m averaging 5:30-6:00, but I’m getting closer!).

homemaking-planner-weekly-with-meals

My weekly planner, with my meals down the side. This was the page that I began on Sunday night last week, before Ry went into the hospital so it was never completed. Usually I would add in all of our meals, as well as any meal prep that I need to do for future meals (thaw meat, soak grains or beans, etc.). The left isn’t for my to-do’s (because that’s already covered above) but is a place to reinforce for myself any appointments or activities happening on a given day, to note that my husband is gone for dinner, that we’ll have extra guests, that it is someone’s birthday, that sort of thing.

homemaking-binder-tabs

Some of the dividing tabs in my binder. Stephanie’s words of wisdom to photographers out there… don’t try taking pictures at night without your contacts lenses in, because yes, you will misjudge whether your images are in focus!

homemaking-binder-21-meals

A familiar looking list (my 21 meals). This is the first page in my meal planning section. Behind this are all of my Favorite Recipes lists for easy reference. I don’t keep my monthly meal planning calendar in this binder, but rather on my fridge in a clip magnet so that I can always glance at it.

homemaking-binder-monthly-cleaning

My newest cleaning schedule. I made this by listing out all of the cleaning tasks that I need to/would like to accomplish daily, weekly and monthly, and approximately how long they take. I slotted them in over the course of the month, trying to include no more than 45-50 minutes of cleaning per day, which includes my 10 minute timer tidy every day. This is a time for taking a basket around the house to gather random items, return them to their homes, and just give a quick once-over to the whole house. Monday is entirely devoted to laundry, though I will still finish up bits of other laundry throughout the week (like cloth diapers). I’m just beginning to try using this schedule, so I’ll let you know how it goes.

homemaking-binder-blog-planning

My blog monthly topic planner. It’s now entirely off due to losing a lot of time over the last week and a bit, but I’ll readjust it. It is sooo helpful to plan like this, fellow bloggers! Helps me to be much more intentional!

homemaking-binder-sleeve-extras

This is my attempt to show you the plastic page protectors that are towards the end of the binder, holding extra page printouts so that I don’t need to print new pages each week.

Also in my binder are garden planning sheets, clothing inventory lists for each family member (which I’ve begun but not completed), a list of current household projects I’m working on or would like to work on, as well as some pages that I don’t currently use for my devotional times, but have in the past and might use again in the future (Bible reading plan, questions I like to meditate on).

I just finished reading my copy of Steady Days: A Journey Toward Intentional, Professional Motherhood by Jamie C. Martin (aka Steady Mom), and she gave me a few more wonderful ideas for adding to my binder, so I hope to implement some of those and share them soon, perhaps when I review her encouraging book!

There you have it. The simple beginnings of my homemaking binder.

Side note: All of these pages came from List PlanIt which provides fantastic printouts to create your own homemaking binder!

What’s in your homemaking binder? Do you use one at all? Why or why not?

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About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. I subscribed to list ListPlanit, and cannot find the weekly planner with meals. Is it no longer available on the website, do you know??

  2. How do you manage when your’e out and about to schedule things with people? I hate not having a schedule on me. Do you have a separate one that you tote around with you? Seems redundant if one did. Or, do you just not schedule things on the fly and always make sure you’re home to consult your binder before scheduling?

  3. I just signed up for list planit (through your link) yesterday and I’m loving it. One of my 2012 goals is to start a more routine schedule. As a WFHM (for an outside employer) I need to better mange my time since I must sit at my desk for 8 hours a day. I’m AT home but that doesn’t me I can DO home all day -make sense?

    anyway -thank you for sharing yoru binder it has given me some ideas (for my 2012 planning reatreat!)

    Blessings!

  4. Is there an “app” for something like this? I have one similar to this, bit I think I’d be more efficienct having it as an app on my phone/ ipad…..

    • I use the Cozi app on my laptop. I LOVE it! It helps me stay organized in so many ways. Cozi sends appt. reminders to my email and I can even customize it to send important reminders to our grown children or my husband’s iphones or computer. It has recipe ideas, grocery list, to do list and more. Try it out ~ http://www.cozi.com . It may just be what you are looking for.
      Blessings,
      Julie

  5. Beth Ann Schad says:

    I just had to laugh a little bit after reading this article. I also follow FLYLady.net and this homemaking binder sounds so much like a control journal. You have made yours the way you need it to be and that is also part of what Marla Cilley (FLYLady) teaches. I enjoy that so many moms are going natural and that I can read their blogs. It’s very encouraging for me, as I hope to go as natural as possible and hope to homeschool as well.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I LOVE this idea of a binder….ever since I had my third child I have been so scatter brained. I do have a menu notebook where I right down all the days of the week and then fill in with what to eat for dinner and then write the list on the back so it’s always handy. I really like this b/c when I get bored or just don’t have enough time to look through cookbooks I can look at earlier menus. I also write the cookbook I got the recipe from and the page for easy finding. But I love the idea of having everything in one place. Tomorrow I am running out and getting stuff for my own binder! Yours is way more advanced then mine will be but still love the idea!!

  7. How do you find and keep the motivation to do this???
    ugh! Motivation is hard to come by in my home… oh yes and the most consistent thing about me is my inconsistency!

    I have been praying that God would make me more type A… however I know that I need to take action. where do I start? Most people tell me a list. I get immediately overwhelmed… how do I work through that?

    Thanks

    • Erica – Let me put you at peace (I know you posted a while ago – but I’m just now reading it) . . . find what works for YOU . . . not anyone else. :) Look at ideas and take what works, and throw out what doesn’t. Don’t feel bad if you are not Type A . . . this world needs all the other types too! :)
      I’ve taught at MOPS groups about organizing (and my hubby laughs – becuase he doesn’t think I’m organized) – but what I try to emphasize is . . . It’s ok to be you!
      My sister is a “filer” – an OCD typer person who loves to finish everything she starts before moving onto the next thing, loves following a strict schedule (and diet), etc. I’ve NEVER been that way! My room was always a mess, I stay up late, I love having a flexible schedule that can change from week to week, and I am a “piler”.
      I have a “household manager” – but it is a mess (it’s like piles inside a 3-ring binder). BUT – I know where everything is in there, and it works for me. :) (though – it is about time to do some purging through it). I don’t use it as a daily planner for chores, to-do’s etc – as I am highly visual and need to see those things out in the open. But I do keep my monthly menu in there, as well as it mainly being a place to keep all our important phone numbers, school info, etc. I like to keep things simple – so I bought business card pages – and instead of typing up a nice sheet with the info for doctor’s, etc – I just stick in their cards when I get them. :) I want to have nice sheets typed up with each of my kids friend’s info . . . but again – with 5 kids here and a busy life – it’s not top priority. But I do have a plastic cover protecter pocket after each kid’s tab – so they can put all those little pieces of paper they keep their friend’s phone numbers on – right in there . . and find it when they need it.
      Is it a perfect and beautiful system? no. But is it working for us now? Yes.

      So – be released to be you girl! Start small. Step one – buy a 3-ring binder. The next week. Put in tab dividers. The next week – add 1 or 2 things that are important to you (a monthly menu, a to-do list, a phone numbers, list, etc). :)

      How do you eat an elephant?
      One bite at a time! :)

      Blessings!

      • I love making my binders, but I don’t really know how to use them on a daily basis once I’ve finished making them. I tend to resort to to-do lists in a spiral and a print out of my morning & evening routines posted on my fridge. I also use Cozi to track appointments and meal plans. I guess my “homemaking system” works for me…it just isn’t contained in one handy-dandy notebook.

  8. Would you ever be willing to post a template for us to copy? I would LOVE to have those pages to put in a binder. Oh, that would be great!!
    Thanks!!

  9. What a great idea! :)

  10. Caitlin Lopez says:

    O my goodness. You are all so organized. I think my brain would explode if I even tried…of course I do have a nine month old who still wakes up at night and another little bun in the oven sapping all of my energy….maybe someday I’ll be as organized. As for now, I think I’ll go take a nap. Just reading this made me tired. :)