Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Home Management Binder

Okay, so would you all believe that we JUST got our van back (yes, from the "great van towing of 2010")! Now, I can finally finish moving in (because you know I had already done as much moving in as I could, right? Umm...not so much!)

Anyway, I'm super excited to have all of our stuff in our possession once again (including the two hampers full of dirty laundry- ahem!) By the way, our cup now officially "runneth over" and my new stance is that no more stuff can come into our home until further notice!

In the recent influx of stuff, I came across my handy-dandy Home Management Binder, or Control Journal, if you will, (a la Fly Lady).

As you can see by the picture, the last time I used it and actually adhered to my routines, was November 18th! I was still getting ready for the move. I really believe that this will help me get back on track with my housekeeping and such.

Here's a tour of my Control Journal:
Here is the front cover. I had sent my husband to the store to pick out a new binder for me after back to school time (when all the school supplies were on clearance) and told him to pick out a "fun color". He picked out orange! Now I know you're all wondering how much we paid for it, but I don't remember now. Sorry! But you can likely get a binder like this for just a few dollars. Anyway, in the front cover, I inserted an inspirational confession that I adapted from Women Living Well. The title says "Your Home is a Haven" and basically, I changed all the pronouns from the example of Home #2 so that I could confess it over myself during those times when I need some motivation in my homemaking everyday. I think it's important to put something here that represents the vision that you have for your homemaking. It could be a picture from a magazine (or of your own home on a really great day), a Scripture, or something else inspirational that represents the goals you are working toward.
Here is the first page in my Control Journal. I took Fly Lady's advice, and used sheet protectors, and I also picked up some fine tip dry erase markers so that I could cross off the tasks that I complete. (And then wipe it off to start anew the next day!) I once learned in a Franklin Covey workshop that when you cross off items on your "to do" list, it releases endorphins. I'm all about any kind of perks that come with being diligent! The Fly Lady says that one should have a morning routine and an evening routine. You can even add in an afternoon routine if that helps you. I could see that as being something helpful for those with children that go to school or working moms (depending on what time you get home) or for college student wives, as I know some of you are. :)
Next is my evening routine. (Note in bold lettering the admonition "GO TO BED AT A DECENT HOUR!" I really need to read that everyday!) You can't really tell by this blurry picture, but this routine includes getting your clothes ready for the next day, as well as shining the sink. Can I just say that it is so refreshing to wake up to a nice, clean, shiny sink? Try it sometime if you aren't in the habit, and you'll want to make it a habit in a hurry!
Your Control Journal can include many other things, like important phone numbers and other information. Even a monthly calendar! Check the Fly Lady's site to get some more ideas. In the back of mine, I have past weekly menus along with shopping lists. One of these days, I'm going to get uber-organized and make some kind of master shopping list. Maybe even a master list of meals my family enjoys along with ingredients that are needed to prepare them. You can get really creative and make up all kinds of helpful sheets- whatever may help you run your home more efficiently.

Using my Home Management Binder helps me answer the question: "What do I need to do today?" I already know, at a glance, what I need to do to keep my home in order and when to do it. And, the more in the habit I am of doing all these things, the faster it goes, and the more time I have to spend doing fun things with the children during the day (and of course other stuff too)! 

She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Proverbs 31:27, NLT

What helps you to stick with your routines?