Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Homekeeping Notebook Part 1

 Greetings everyone! I hope you are all having a good week. So far, so good here on our hill! I'm finally getting a chance to write about something I've been chomping at the bit to get to. Get comfy, this one could last awhile!

First, I'd like to start with a disclaimer. If you would like to start your own Homekeeping Notebook, DO NOT let mine intimidate you! I'm a crafty perfectionist that REALLY enjoys working on this! I'm sharing this because I feel that having a notebook like this, in it's simplest form and function, can be of benefit to every homemaker and her/his family. I also got a lot of wonderful ideas from "visiting" other blogs that featured their notebooks.

Ooops! Should have been up with the planning sheets!

 The pictures are out of sync, but aren't we all, lol! Anywho, I started with a 3 inch binder with a clear pocket that you can put a picture, etc. in. This is what I happened to have because when shopping for school supplies late this past summer, they were BOGO, and Teddy Bear needed one for school. I like the  3" size because I feel I have enough room for everything. Next I searched for my plastic sheet protectors, hole punch, pockets and fancy paper.  If you are using  your computer, (which I recommend) you can use different fonts, colors and clip art. I also like to use the computer because I can customize the sheets for myself rather than using pre-made ones, and it's more cost efficient. 

For my first section, "Planning and Scheduling" I have a monthly calendar, weekly sheets, daily sheets and the kids' school calendar. I use the weekly sheets, well, for planning things for the week that are outside of my usual routine, such as field trips, doctor appointments, and volunteer work. I only use that daily sheets for those crazy, hectic days when I have tons of errands and appointments. For the most part, the sheets in my "routines" section reminds me of what I need to do for that day.
Divider for my "Routines" Section

In my "routines" section, I have routines for weekday mornings, afternoons and evenings for both the children and I, and daily routines for each day of the week. I've split up my big housekeeping chores according to other commitments I have. For instance, Monday mornings are my women's Bible study, so after that I run any errands in town and then scoot on home to get the kitchen ready for the following day's grocery shopping. Wednesday is my "Weekly Home Blessing" time and big laundry day. (see here for an explanation of "Weekly Home Blessing", although mine looks different.)

This whole idea of having daily and part-of-day routines has made a HUGE difference for me! It can take some juggling and real planning, but I really recommend it. I wouldn't recommend typing up final editions for your daily routines until you have seen what works best for you and your family. For more info on setting up routines, you can go to this site.

My handy zipper pouch, ready to serve!
I need to back track for a minute here for the pic here on the left. This is what you first see when you open up my notebook. A messy pile of papers in the inside pocket (yikes!) and a zipper pouch. I love having this because I can always be sure to have a writing implement when I need it! I also have a single hole punch, a pad of post-its and some gel ink pens for fancy fill ins!

My next section is Menu Planning and Shopping lists. I've been trying REALLY hard to use this section! I have a menu planning calendar for the week in which I plan out everything. Main dish, side dishes, fruits, veggies, even dessert if we've been good or I have time and energy! Usually on Saturdays or Mondays
I try to take a peek at the freezer, fridge and pantry so I can plan my meals. I also like to see what is in that weeks grocery store circulars so I know what is on sale. I have a pocket folder to hold coupons until I can get them filed in my coupon organizer. This helps for when you find a coupon in an unexpected place, too.

Well, that's it for now! I'll get to the rest of my notebook in another posting. In the meantime, I'll post some links below to some of the sites that helped me to build my own. On one site, you can even buy a pre-made one if you don't feel you have the time or talent to do your own. If you're in my neck of the woods, I'd love to give you a personal look at my own and to help you if you'd like! (Did I mention that I REALLY like doing this!) Don't forget to scroll down for the links. For some reason this posting is acting weird with the pics and such, so everything is out of order!

Sample of my daily routines

The front cover

Folder pocket for holding coupons I haven't go through yet.
My daily planning sheet

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