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…


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? :)


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.).


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!).


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.


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!


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.


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.


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!


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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  1. Getting up at 5am isn’t that crazy! My kids usually get up at 6 so if I want anytime to say – take a shower in peace, say a morning prayer, unload the dishwasher, and compose my thoughts and see what the day holds – I need to get up that early. Besides, my husband has to get up between 4 and 5 anyway. The trick is you really can’t stay up til like midnight or you’ll be sorry. I ditch this 5am rising plan some days like after we’ve had a too late night or busy weekend or recently because of early pregnancy tiredness, but I try to get back to it because it that extra hour helps the rest of the day go smoothly. And taking a midday nap often works better for me and my family than sleeping in. Just some thoughts :)

  2. I thought I was organized, but you are AMAZING!!!! I can’t wait to start my own binder! This is really going to help me out in my quest to run a self-sufficient and sustainable homestead!
    .-= Natural Mom´s last blog ..“Clean Eating” and Whole Foods =-.

  3. kelly wright says:

    what a wonderful planning binder. i am pergo with kid # 5 and homeschooling. i NEED a binder like this. is there a place where we can print off your wonderfully made pages for your binder….why invent the wheel? :)

  4. stephanie
    i love your website trying to get mine started but my children are something happens daughter had a little toes surgery nothing serious they had to take to toenails off doing fine though droped by to say love your blog

  5. LOVE IT! i’ve been making a home journal & documenting it on my blog… mine is somewhat flylady-esque, but it has lots of similarities to yours. it helps me so much! and i’ve been getting up at 5:00 to have my Bible/prayer time & go running & get breakfast ready before the kids/husband wake up. it makes all the difference to me! i have to go to bed by 9:00 to get enough sleep, but it’s a small price to pay for peace.
    thanks for sharing your binder- it’s wonderful!

  6. I have tried to have a binder as well but it didn’t work for me. I work full-time and would often have a minute or two to accomplish something personal at work but would not know what phone calls I could make because my list was in my binder at home.

    I now carry a small organizer in my work tote where I carry bills that need paid, blank notecards, stamps, a time map and all my lists of things that come to mind during the day.

    I use my itouch a lot! I have my calendar on this as well as Remember the Milk on which I put my household chores broken down for each day of the week. I also use RTM to keep lists of books to read, reminders, shopping lists, wish list, etc. This syncs with my computer at home and is available to me offline on the iTouch.

  7. I tried to have a binder – at FlyLady’s suggestion – but I found that I never really used it. Now it just houses my tickler monthly file; it seems like such a good idea though that maybe I should revamp it and try again. I have things that I do each day and on certain days through the week, and I rotate around the house to do my deep cleaning monthly. I don’t have it written down though – just in my head (and FlyLady’s website). My “binder” right now is my to-do list that gets done everynight before bed. Does that count?

  8. Thanks for the great post! I need to make a Homemaking Binder and I will use your outline to plan mine. I will add to my to-do list.

  9. I’ve never had a binder but have been thinking of having my daughter start one for our household as part of her homemaking training. Might also just do the whole thing on the computer. Not sure. Great book recommendation! Thank you! I am going to order a copy.
    .-= MooBee Mama´s last blog ..I been everywhere, Man. =-.

  10. great post.

    i have (should say had) a home management binder as well. mostly along the lines of flylady with other styles and what fits me mingled in! i love having a plan and knowing it ahead of time when it comes to my daily chores, dinner, and etc. other than that i am more of a go with the flow type.

    but i have seen how having a schedule and daily routines benefits my daughter (10 yrs). especially since she hasn’t had it in the last year and a half (long story, we live with my in-laws, its crazy). i can really tell a difference in her. so when we get back in our own home (a couple more months prayerfully!) we will go back to it for her and start little man on something too (20 months)
    .-= tzigane´s last blog ..Pray for me =-.

  11. I just wrote a post about my “Mom” binder! It is similar to yours.

  12. I started a notebook when I was about sixteen, after reading “Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman” by Anne Orland.
    Since then there have been years that I’ve used it and years that I haven’t… but lately, I’ve realized my need for it! I say, jokingly (sort of) that when I had to learn another language, the space in my head for remembering details got filled up and now I have to depend on a notebook.

    The one thing that I really want to start is keeping a menu. When I lived in Haiti I used one because I could only go to the market 2x times a week and everything was fresh (nothing canned, frozen, etc…) and I loved the convience of it. Since being home, I’ve quickly fallen into the habit of cooking whatever is in the fridge. (which translates into using up all the easy things and then feeling like there is no food in the house when there is tons of stuff- it just needs a little more preperation!) And I hadn’t really thought of putting all that kind of thing in my notebook.

    So, thanks for the ideas!

  13. I would love to see a sample month of your daily and weekly chores. Thanks so much for this! Good luck.

  14. Two more things:
    1. Many, many years ago, I read that most women’s favorite time of day was early morning, before their families woke up. My friend and I call that our “simmer time.”
    2. I actually have a “To-Don’t” list. It’s my written list of things I’ve given myself permission NOT to do, at least during this chapter of my life. I have a tendency to beat myself up for certain things I think I “should” do (like garden or have a more labor-intensive hairdo), so this hard copy is a great reminder!

  15. I have had both a binder and a file card system regarding the management of my home… right now all I have is a lined piece of paper that shows our Winter Family Daily Schedule in 3 hour increments, I find I stress to much if its exactly down to the hour, plus I realized I have 2 children in my family who are NOT morning kids, never have since I had them and even though I can be a morning person I also know that I dont have to be up at 5am for my family to function 6 is more my hour since I go to bed at 10. Its one of those things I had to seek the Lord for to give me peace about it after I tried and failed to do that 5am thing and finally after much crying out He convicted my heart and said that I am not to compare my self to other folks schedule they have their rhythms and we have ours and that its ok as long as I am following the one He set for us… ha ha
    .-= Jeannie´s last blog ..Typical Farming Conversations =-.

  16. I don’t have my own homemaking binder. I wouldn’t use it because I like to organize things on my laptop. I have all my recipes in their individual word documents, in a folder labeled “recipes.” I keep all my meal plans and weekly grocery shopping in word documents too, under “personal.” My chore chart is written and printed on my fridge. I have “daily” chores (pick up toys, clear off table, dishes, etc.) and “weekly” chores (sweeping/mopping Tuesday, laundry Wednesday, grocery shopping Friday, etc.) and this way, I can refer to it easily. My meal plan is also on my fridge. Having it right in the kitchen is the only way I can get it all done. I’m also going to put up a large calendar in the kitchen and everything must be written on it. I told my husband if it isn’t on the calendar, it won’t happen. :) I just need to get out and buy that!
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Health News Tuesday: Headlines 14 =-.

  17. I used to use a binder all the time and then just got out of practice. Your timing is good as I was just thinking I needed to have one again. I like having all of my notes and “to do’s” in one spot.

    As for waking up early, I am up at five most days for my “mommy time” to study scripture or work on the computer and I love it!

    Thanks for the suggestions. I love to see how other people are practicing the fine art of homemaking! Best wishes to your husband for a recovery!

  18. Impressive! I think I might need to try something like this! I love being organized, but always feel very disorganized! Maybe some kinda of a binder would help me! Hmmmm.
    .-= Allyson´s last blog ..Now what do I do with that chicken? =-.

  19. Thanks for sharing what you do. I have some similar lists…recipes to try, favorite meals, menu plan, freezer inventory, blank grocery lists organized by section of the store, and of course long term goals as well as my day to day to-do lists. I also am lost without a plan each day. Something helpful I just started was a list of items to purchase at garage sales, on craigs list, online, or at the store. We also just did clothing inventories. I tend to not buy any clothing for myself and it was good for me to see exactly what I needed and that it wouldn’t cost all that much to get there. Putting all these into a binder is a great thought- right now they are floating in several different places around the house.

    I have been getting up earlier the past couple months to do computer work and it’s been amazing for me. I am much more intentional in my online time when it’s in the morning and I know I only have so long until the kids get up. But oh, it is so hard to get to bed on time at night! :)

  20. This is a great idea. Thanks for showing some samples.. it’s nice to see what other people are doing so I can try it out. I’m not a very organized person, but desperately need to be before the baby comes (our first). I’m a list writer, but my problem is that I always lose my lists! A binder would be good place to keep everything and it’s much bigger, so hopefully not as easy to lose!

  21. Carey (Alberta) says:

    Great ideas! All the list papers are wonderful. I have everything in my phone calender, but i do need a menu one, i did this for years but have got out of the habit of it. I can’t wait for the giveaway here. I am hoping your husband is well and your family is back to “normal.”

  22. I like the idea of a homemaking binder–I’m all for keeping everything in one place. In case someone hasn’t already shared this idea, here’s how I manage my bill paying: We have several rental properties (but this would work for those who don’t, too), and, between mortgage payments and insurance co. bank drafts, etc., I was having trouble keeping on top of things. I finally “invented” a financial calendar–a calendar I stuck in a notebook, which I keep on my desk. I have a Post-It Note for each transaction, with vendor, date, and amount, stuck where it needs to be–For payments due, I stick the notes a week ahead of the due dates. As soon as I take care of business, I stick the Post-It on the next month’s page. I actually bring my notebook on trips so that I pay my bills online from afar. For the past 3 years, it has been such a smoooooth operation!

  23. Stephanie-
    I wanted to first say I am really inspired by your blog and I really enjoy reading all your posts. Over this past weekend I spent some time putting together some binders. I really like to keep things organized but lack ideas for keeping important papers, etc in order. I made five different binders this week ( I am very type A personality) The binders are The Racing Keeper, The Home Keeper, The Manual Keeper, The School Keeper, and The Mommy Keeper. Seems like overkill, right? So I will begin with the Racing Keeper. My husband races stock cars as a hobby which on some days is more like a business minus the profit. Anyways there is always lots of car part receipts, news articles, sponsor information, and a million other things that I tend to be in charge of. So with those items I took a binder along with page protectors and organized a binder that I tend to be rather fond of.

    The Home Keeper is a binder that holds my husband’s employment information, insurance information, home improvement receipts, health/medical/ dental/ prescriptions information, etc.-the plan for this binder is more of being a home for all of these papers due to file folders systems don’t seem to keep the stuff organized or work for our family.

    The Manual Keeper is a binder devoted to all those manuals that come with appliances, toys, electronics, etc.

    Now on to the School Keeper and The Mommy Keeper, now these two binders could be combined but would be a rather large inconvenient binder-that would then not be used and would defeat the purpose of having them. The School Keeper is broken down into months, a year at a glance for field trip or general activity planning, resources, and upcoming things I need to work on…examples of this photocopies that need to be made, workbox activities that need to be set up, units and lessons that need to be put together, etc. So fifteen sections for the school keeper. and last but not least the Mommy Keeper which has my menu plans, nutrition information, coupons, recipes, cleaning checklists, etc. So Overkill? Maybe but for now it works.

    Whew it was a long weekend but the two main binders that I will be using is the Mommy Keeper and the School Keeper. I feel really organized and that’s a good feeling. I am also keeping my fingers crossed that this system works for us-as so many other ways seem not to be a good fit.

  24. This would be my dream! I’m going back to work part-time, so the need to get organized (and get all the information out of my head, and on paper where others can use it) is pressing!

    I totally understand the concept of trying to get up earlier. For me, I’ve set 5:30 as my goal. It’s imperative for me to have some “warm up” time without the chorus of little voices going on in the background.

  25. I have a recipe binder with recipes and also my list of meals and favorite meals. I keep my monthly meal plan on the fridge. However, this binder is in need of some work. I keep just shoving new recipes in one of the pockets w/o typing and printing it and it’s become a mess!

    I plan on implementing a homemaking binder in a few months. Our lives are very much up in the air right now (hubby is in Iraq and we’re preparing for a move over seas this summer – 4 weeks after he returns), so our lives are anything but routine right now. Homeschooling will be in full force with a 1st grader (and preschooler and 1 year old) when we move and I fully believe a binder with a routine would help me tremendously.
    .-= Bloggin’ Mama´s last blog ..Pantry Challenge – week 3 =-.