Wednesday, February 23, 2011

family notebook

Last year I read the book, Steady Days, by Jamie C. Martin. It was a great little book, one full of ideas and inspiration on managing my days as a mom and wife. A book that has encouraged me to finally take steps toward getting more organized. I've always thought I am somewhat organized, yet I live in clutter. Though I've still not been able to rid our house of clutter, I've finally created a family notebook that holds important keys to our family's organization. That way, even when my counters are full of clutter, I still know where to go to find things!! My next step is getting rid of clutter so when my boys are asked one day down the road, what is one thing you remember your mom saying as you were growing up, it won't be "Why are our counters always SO cluttered?! You need to find homes for all of these. . ., etc. etc."

Do you see what I mean? Full disclosure obviously. . .

Anyway, here's what is in our family notebook in case you are in need of something like this as well. You may have something like this already, but it has been so good for me, I want to share. . .

First off, I found a 3 ringed, 2 pocket binder. In the front pocket of the binder I keep some character traits and Bible verses we'd love to see developed in our boys. Next, in the front of our notebook is 12 months of calendars printed and hole punched. That way, when I'm making appointments or recording special days at school or needing to plan date nights, I can put it on the calendar and have it right there. Chad can look at this too and update his calendar. I don't have a personal agenda that I carry with me---I have a thousand other things like diapers, sippy cups, Purell, kleenex, etc.etc. So, this one spot in our kitchen is perfect for us!

I then have 7 dividers with index tabs. The first is Phone Numbers. I have a list of phone numbers ranging from our parents, neighbors, church, schools, doctors, to every home maintenance number we call (air, garage, plumbing, car, pest, etc). On the back on that sheet are Take-Out numbers, so we don't have to look things up in a phone book. Saving steps is quite helpful these days! Additionally, though I do have most of these numbers in my cell phone, we are the family that still has a land-line, so I choose to use it when I'm home anyway.

Our nex tab is for birthdays. Though I created my own sheet, here is a site that has hundreds of free printables you can download, among lots of other helpful tips to family/home organizing! I'm very picky about fonts and the way things are laid out visually. I love this site for so many of the items I've used in our notebook.

Our third tab is for Bible verses. I chose it to be third because I had a yellow tab and that makes me think of joy! So, here is where I have written some verses I want to commit to heart as well as some for our boys to learn too.

Our fourth tab is our Odds & Ends Master Plan. I have a sheet, again that I found on the site above, that enables me to list things that need to be done around our house. So often, we come up with things that need to be done, but forget about, when we have time to do them. This can be a place to list things like, buy/change air filters, change lightbulbs, print pictures out for new frames, hang this or that, pull clothes down from the attic, etc. Just a place for me to list things I'd like for us to do or work on that I can get out of my cluttered head!

Our fifth and sixth tab are currently empty, but I plan on using one of them for articles I rip out of magazines that I want to keep and peruse later. I have so many old issues of magazines with dog-eared pages that I want to return to. Therefore I have TONS of magazines sitting around--that equals clutter! So, I can recycle my magazines after I rip those articles out! The other tab, I am planning on using for expenditures. For example, this site I keep mentioning has a printable for health records. I have written down every dr. visit we have had already this year (which in less than 2 months down, has been A LOT). This way, I can look back at the end of the year and know how about how much to budget for next year. Yes, I'm sure there are online ways of doing this--but handheld things seem to work better for me. I'm hoping this and recording other things will help us as we get on track with our budget!

Our last tab is for our Family Mission Statement. Chad and I worked on this at the end of last year. We're still working on it, but we have goals and verses and our family mission laid out. We have it under this tab, so we can go back to it and update it as we see fit!

Behind all of our dividers are 3 separate folders with pockets. One for each of our boys. They hold things like flyers or reminder papers that come home from school, school calendars, or papers with milestones or funny quotes on them, so I can remember to put them in the boys' scrapbooks.

Then finally, I have 3 separate velcro folders, also hole punched. The first contains stamps and note sheets for teachers. The second contains, take-out menus, the third contains coupons. 

Now that our family notebook is up and running, I am feeling more organized already. And though our house may still be cluttered (though that will hopefully will change, just you wait) at least my brain isn't!!


Anonymous said...

Wow! All I knew about were the takeout numbers. So, I'm guessing the 4th tab is for me?

Thanks for doing this, babe.


Ashley said...

I love this idea, Lindley! You're totally inspiring me!!

Domestic Kate said...

This is such a great idea!

The Langfords said...

I would love a link to the character traits handout I see in the photo!

lindley said...

The Langfords---I'm SO sorry I haven't not seen this comment until now, not sure how I saw it today! I'm also not sure where I found the character traits, but I believe that Kat at Inspired to Action has something similar!


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