Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Help for the Hopelessly Disorganized

I have what I call "my book" that has made a huge difference in my life. Now, I am not one of those people who were born organized. I generally have scraps of paper everywhere with dates, phone numbers, important messages, etc. And I had now way of putting all into a cohesive system until I came up with my home organizing binder. Now, I can't truly claim brilliance here - there are systems like this all over the place. FlyLady recommends a "Control Journal" but that sounds too..."controlling" to me. And my binder is actually a recycled and reworked version of the "Keepers at Home Organizer" which I purchased at a homeschool convention. I just tweaked it and made it work for my purposes. So what's in it, you ask?

In my 2 inch binder, I have many good and wondrous things. Come take a look. I have my sections divided by think plastic clear, but multi-colored dividers. That way I can see through to the first page of each section, but the sections all have their own color. First up is a zippered pouch. In here I keep pens, stamps, envelopes, scissors - things that I might need that otherwise might never be found in a home with two, um, creative (?) children. That way I always have them when I need them. Next up is a printed 2007 calendar ( that I have noted birthdays and anniversaries on. Then, from the same website, I have printed out monthly calendars for the entire year. I just discard them as I finish up each month.

Flipping to the next section, Schedules has our daily homeschool schedules and a cleaning schedule for the home. After this is the next section To-Do/Goals. This is my most used section. First I have a thin spiral-notebook. As I prepare for each new week, I write the week's menu down and underneath that my "to-do's" for the week, transferring whatever is undone from last week to this week. On the back of the previous page (which would have last week's menus on it) I write my shopping list so it can be discarded once the shopping is completed. That way I just open up to the first page of that notebook and at a glance can see what I've planned for dinner and what else needs to be done for that week. Behind the notebook I have a Bible reading chart and my "101 in 1001" list for easy review.

Next up is a Homemaking section with a copy of "The Grand Plan," a 12 week plan for organizing and sprucing up your home. I also have in this section a very detailed cleaning plan, a chart of everyone's sizes, a travel preparation chart (what to pack and do beforehand type thing). Behind this is a Contact section with necessary phone numbers and addresses. Then comes an Encouragement section where I keep encouraging articles on being a godly wife and mother. Finally, the last section is devoted to papers and information on the homeschool support group which we belong to and I serve as Secretary. I keep things to do (bills to pay, forms to mail in, etc) in the front pocket of the notebook, and things to file in the back pocket.

I know for some of you this may seem totally basic and for others it may seem neurotic. But it has truly helped me avoid those times when Hubby will say, "Did you take care of this?" and I would never even remember what he was talking about. Now I can look right in one central place and get all the info I need!


Jerralea said...

Great idea! One question, where do you keep your binder? Flylady keeps hers on her kitchen counter, but I already have enough stuff there!


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