I decided to go ahead and begin to list the Basic forms I’m using daily, and how I’m setting things up in my Home Management Notebook System. Later I’ll post pictures and explain how I finally got it all set up.
I have five general color-coded sections in my system:
Food & Menu (Green – as in green, leafy vegetables which are good for you).
Schedules/Cleaning (clear/white – an overabundance of clear protector sheets).
Blogging (Blue – coordinate the “Bl…” theme – and it’s my favorite color and my favorite hobby – you get the idea…)
Personal (Red – as in “important” – it’s where I keep the girls chore / potty charts, and other information).
Contacts (Yellow as in “yellow pages”).
They are set up in this order because it is the order of the colored page protector dividers I’m using. =) They are also being implemented in two separate 3-ring binders. One is the Master Binder (“MB” or Control Journal – 3″ rings) which contains important information to keep at home, close to the phone. The second is My Home Keeper Notebook (“MHKN”) which I keep with me throughout the day and is more portable (1″ rings) and will fit into any of my totebags.
As I researched the vast array of downloadable or printable forms on the internet, it became very clear that three things were very important to me: Function. Form. Flexibility. It had to be efficient, and it had to be pretty, and I needed room to work with it according to our lifestyle. I can make my own Excel forms, but I don’t want to take the time to make all of them. When I came across a form that was user friendly, AND pretty, I almost always grabbed onto it! Even if I haven’t used it yet, I still have it saved so I have the option of trying it later.
For this last week – which was my first week – I used a few Basic, but Beneficial, forms:
A ruled weekly planner from Donna Young to manage everything that needed to be accomplished during the week. I need to have a weekly calendar available so I can prepare for upcoming appointments, keep track of Curly’s school projects, and record Roy’s work schedule.
A daily task list called the Daily Flying (Chores) Form at In Pursuit of Proverbs 31 [hint: the Word document is editable]. Because there are some things that need to be done once or twice a week, every week, the daily task list needs to be pretty well set for me and was the hardest part of getting myself together. The fact that a Morning and Bedtime routine (ala Flylady) were already incorporated into this chart made it even better. Borrowing from this chart and personalizing it for our lifestyle and my style in general, saved a lot of time and reduced a great amount of stress. It was a springboard for me to get myself going.
I am using these forms every day – throughout the day – and felt much more accomplished by the end of last week than I have in quite some time. How lovely!
I also used a Menu Planner and Grocery Lists to plan for dinners. I have not really ever done this before. Not purposefully, anyway. But this past week, even Roy commented on the great dinners we had – and it’s all because I took a few minutes on Sunday afternoon to see what we had, what was on sale that we would use, and went from there. I listed what meals (including sides) I could make with what we had, and made my grocery list (noting coupons & sales), and shopped accordingly. I even tried a new recipe, Impossible Ham and Cheddar Pie, which was surprisingly delicious and we plan to include it in our regular repertoire of recipes.
I only require planning for dinners/weekends, but there are other great menu & kitchen planners, and this week I am using the Menu page (with shopping list and separate ruled page for greater flexibility) I purchased (cheap!) at Busy Woman. Someday when I have mastered my Homekeeper Role, I will have everything in my Classic Dayrunner, and this particular form from Busy Woman was designed to fit perfectly. You can find a wide variety of menu planners, grocery or shopping lists, inventory charts and more at Donna Young, In Pursuit of Proverbs 31, and many other sites by searching google (free printable menu planner).
Now, Curly is only 3, but she is growing quickly, and we are teaching her to take care of her things (as opposed to tearing up her books or standing on top of her toys…) Since she likes to pick out her own clothes, and certainly has her own fashion sense (much to her father’s chagrin!) I thought it would be nice to begin incorporating a sticker chart for her. After using a simple one recording only 4 tasks, I realized she could easily be challenged by a few more. So, I created one in Word Document (using a table) personalized for her. She earns stickers for Making her bed, Dressing, Brushing her hair, Putting toys away, Reading, etc. Right now she is more excited about the stickers than any prizes or earnings, so we’re keeping it simple. =)
Georgie is potty training, and since she HAS to do everything her big sister does, she has a potty chart for placing stickers on it. She is being pretty consistent with 3-4 times of TELLING me she has to go, so she’s getting there. She’s just excited she gets to use stickers like her big sister. =)
These are the basic forms I am using. It seriously helps. I feel more focused and more “together” and more PURPOSEFUL in my daily routines. Although our weekend was difficult, I had accomplished much during the week, and we had more freedom to get out and go when we were able to. That felt really great. And Roy’s compliments on our meals – well, that was bonus!
THE KEY TO SUCCESS FOR ME: I am using a wide selection of planner pages from a variety of sources. Some are available free of charge, some websites require membership or purchase, and the more I use a variety of formats, the more I find which work
best for me. It just required me taking my first steps in the right direction.
Tomorrow, I will be sharing other forms I’m using for home organization, tracking personal information and more…