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?

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links.

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. Janet Reynolds says:

    I love my binder, also! I always have a flexible schedule and routines in there, as well as things such as packing lists, grocery lists, etc. I don’t use it for homeschooling, though (except the basic schedule), bc I do everything for that in Word docs on the computer; nor for appointments, because I am dependent on my phone to ring at me for those! I tend to look at my binder for a couple weeks after updating it, and then I go along on steam for quite awhile, and then something changes and the routines don’t work anymore. I limp along for awhile until I realize I am trying to fit my new life into my old routines, and I update the book. After we’ve learned homemaking skills, it’s just a matter of staying motivated, and a binder helps me with that!

    Good for you on getting up early! Not every mom can do it, but it’s a very valuable skill for a mom to have. Such different moms we are when we have time alone with Jesus to plan our day and get it started rather than waking up to our children’s urgent needs.

  2. I keep something similiar to this and was in fact thinking of blogging about it sometime in the future. Mine is still in the development stage, but I also keep page protects for dentist info and dr info that we bring home from appointments, recipes I hope to try one day, school info such as phone numbers, etc,
    .-= Creative2xmom´s last blog ..Eating from Your Pantry–Week Four =-.

  3. Hmm, I’ve never even heard of a Homemaking Binder. Sounds like it could be helpful for me to organize my time. Thanks for the tips!
    .-= Jamie´s last blog ..The Rest of Thursday =-.

  4. I love my home binder. I use it for storing recipes, chore lists, phone numbers and our family calendar. The only thing I love more than my home binder is my holiday binder. My holiday binder has a list of everyone in my family and their sizes. It also has a list of gifts that have already been purchased so that I do not buy something else by accident. It holds my special holiday recipes for cooking and baking and lists out ideas for next year, after I have evaluated this year.

    Thanks for the topic!

  5. I do use one and LOVE how it organizes my thoughts and actions.

    You can see more about it at

    http://moosaidthemama.blogspot.com/2009/11/hows-that-homemaking-binder-coming.html

    and

    http://moosaidthemama.blogspot.com/2009/10/building-homemaking-journal.html
    .-= Kari´s last blog ..Mujadarrah and fry bread =-.

  6. I love the idea of keeping a homemaking binder! I currently have several lists that I refer to throughout the day and week, and I think that keeping a binder would be a great way to get them more organized and also motivate me to update everything. I need to have a schedule throughout my day, because I have found that I just don’t work well without one. I end up focusing too much time in one or two areas, and everything else gets overlooked. Thanks for a great post!
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..Do You Really Know Him? =-.

  7. Thank you for posting this – I appreciate the photos as examples. I will forward it along to my friend … I’m sure she’ll like it too.

    Have a wonderful day!

    In Christ,
    Joanne
    .-= Joanne´s last blog ..ALMOST =-.

  8. I have a binder too. It’s a great place to keep all the to do lists and goals for yourself or your family. For a busy mom who is trying to be intentional, I think it’s really a necessity.

    I need to do better with cleaning and staying on schedule with laundry. My trouble is I work as a night nanny so if I’ve had a hard night, the next day really suffers. It’s hard to be motivated to do more than the bare minimum, especially if I have to work again the next night.

    I”ll have to figure out how I can incorporate more cleaning into my days.
    .-= Noelle´s last blog ..one of my favorite go to meals =-.

  9. I would love to use one! Thanks for the tips!

    Hugs,
    Traci

  10. Great blog. My binder is the “What if something ever happened to me” manual of how to do household things and take car of the boy.
    @juliebavi

  11. Stephanie,
    Thank you for your ideas! I was just thinking the other day to start a binder like this! Now i am inspired and want to work on it right away. I really enjoy your blog…just found it a month ago. You are a blessing…i pray your husband is better and that everyone is managing well.

  12. One of the things I love most in my binder is my personal/family goals for 2010. It’s so nice to be able to look back and see how I am progressing toward those goals. I just started a binder last week and I being this organized!

  13. I haven’t been using my binder like I should be, but in it I have my to-do lists, list of cleaning that needs to be done, a section devoted to my food storage inventory, a section devoted to knitting patterns, and I have a couple of sheets of goals / things to go over each Sunday, but they are all really old. Think I’ll pull out my binder tonight and do some revising :-)
    .-= Kris´s last blog ..Puppy love =-.

  14. I have a binder and love it! I keep all phone numbers, daily schedule, family goals, doctor’s notes, etc. in it. I love that it is in one place. I also have separate binders for food storage, children activities, and coupons. I am not an organized person by nature, so I desperately need something like this to ensure I am being the most effective home manager possible.
    .-= Becky´s last blog ..Are We Ready??? =-.

  15. Love this! I too have a home organizational binder…but it’s more like a binder collection now. I have one for cooking where I have collected favorite recipes, and one for baking. I also keep a cooking journal with these that allows me to review recipes I’ve tried, whether I liked them, where they are located, and notes. I have a specifically homemaking notebook where I keep cleaning recipes, how to’s, cleaning organization charts and a miriad of other things. I don’t plan my day out in detail, but I have specific chores for different days of the week or month. It really does help to achieve tasks as often as you would like. I’m going to use your suggestion for meal-planning in the near future. I have two 1-year-old boys, and I now feel like I can take on more activities (like cooking more often!). Thanks for your suggestions!
    .-= Lee´s last blog ..Supermom (Cape not included) =-.

  16. I am also workong on my binder. I had not updated it really since having kids. It was ummm…not helpful at all anymore! So now its getting updated, one step at a time. Thank you for sharing yours, as its given me more helpful ideas. I also just got my copy of Steady Days (started reading over there at her blog when she did the guest post for you) and she also has tons of helpful ideas.

    Hang in there as you get back into the swing of things. Its always hard getting back to things after illness, being away, or other life events that throw things off. Do your best but keep your prioriites where they should be! The days you don’t post give me more time to digest what you’ve written :). Continuing to pray for your family…

  17. Once upon a time I started one of those FlyLady binders. Never finished it. I keep my appointments on my Blackberry since it syncs with my work Google calendar. I just started keeping track of my recipes/grocery lists/meal plans on a program called Living Cookbook. I do have a binder for workout plans and CSA vegetables though :-)
    .-= The Local Cook´s last blog ..Dilly Bean Potato Soup =-.

  18. Stephanie,

    Here is my post about my home management folder
    http://hopechestofwisdom.blogspot.com/2009/12/home-management-folder.html

    Also, I posted some home remedies including the stuff I told you about the onion and thought you might be interested in it.
    http://hopechestofwisdom.blogspot.com/2010/01/home-remedies-for-natural-mother.html

    Jen
    http://www.thethingswedoblog.com

  19. Stephanie,
    Here is my post about my Home Management folder. http://hopechestofwisdom.blogspot.com/2009/12/home-management-folder.html

    I also did a post about home remedies and put in the info about the onion that I had previously commented about on your blog awhile back. I thought you might be interested in it.
    http://hopechestofwisdom.blogspot.com/2010/01/home-remedies-for-natural-mother.html

    I hope your husband’s health is greatly improving and that you are finding answers.
    Jen
    http://www.thethingswedoblog.com
    http://www.whatscooking4us.blogspot.com
    http://www.hopechestofwisdom.blogspot.com
    http://www.legacyprayerjournals.com

  20. I’ve tried having a binder, but I found I didn’t look at it throughout the day (or even week). I have an “everything” binder now that houses my coupons, my calendar, my monthly meal plan (dinner only), my devotional reading schedule, etc.

    I really need to get into a better “homekeeper” mode – I really struggle to do any cleaning, etc on any kind of a schedule.

    I love looking at other people’s lists and such, though, to get ideas on how to better organize my life! :)

  21. Hi!

    I actually just updated my binder on Sunday. I revised my schedule, my daily chores and weekly chores. I have been using it for the last 6 months or so and it was time to update it. I use my binder for my calender, menu, chore lists, homeschooling planning and financial planning. I love it, it keeps me focused on what I need to get done and it also gives me peace of mind that I can write things down and don’t have to try to remember everything.

    Thanks so much for showing yours and giving me more ideas!

  22. Hello,

    I found you through twitter.com/gettingfreedom and I’m so happy I did. I love your mission and Godly values, I will definitely be checking back often.

    Last year I started putting something together, much like a homemaking binder, little did I know what I was doing, it now just collects dust on our bookshelf. But now, after seeing yours, I’m going to break it out again and revise it.

    Thanks!
    Andie

  23. I don’t have a homemaking binder…yet. You have inspired me to make one. I like the idea of breaking down your day in time increments. I tried this once, but had no idea of where to keep it. Now I know!

  24. While I do understand the need to feel and be organized, I do think we can become consumed by it. Sometimes, I think a simple “to do” list at the start of each day is better than scheduling and organizing our lives to the nth degree. I think if we just loosely schedule our lives, we’re much more likely to “go with the flow.” Getting up at the insane hour of 5:00 just to get it all done might not be worth it in the end. Your body might very well need that extra rest to stay healthy and strong!!

    • @Casey, I know that there are some moms and homemakers out there that function beautifully without a schedule or routine. I, however, am not one of them! I am easily distracted and can be inefficient and disorganized without a schedule in place, so this is something I’ve learned to do to help me better serve my family, and also stay sane in the midst of it all myself.

      As for getting up at 5am, it’s an experiement, really. I’d like to see if I can make myself go to bed early in order to get up earlier (otherwise I would get up more like 6 or 6:30). I think that I can have more efficient blogging hours without my family awake, and this will help me to stay focused on them during the rest of the day. We’ll see how it goes. If I’m not happy with it or I’m getting exhausted (which would mean that I’m not changing my night-owl ways enough!) then I’ll give it up. If it goes well, though, I think it could be really helpful!

      • I can see where you might think that it takes up more time to make up a life schedule like this then you may feel its worth…but for some of us (unfortunately) it really does change the way you can look at a day and the way you live. To see what needs to get done…in writing…in front of your face…well, sometimes is all it takes to give you the discipline that’s needed in order to make the most out of the time we have to offer our families and ourselves. I thank you for the time and effort you put into this blog! Its the first and only one that I’ve ever read and I LOVE IT! May God bless you and your family.