When he was done I stared at him (with as he later said- a look to kill) -which I didn't realize it at the time because all I knew was, - I had NO idea what I was going to write down! I felt like crying and killing him in the same time and it was at that moment I realized, things had to change. When I couldn't enjoy talking to my husband, in the evenings - something fundamental was wrong. I had hit brain overload.
I am not an organized person. This is why I make lists. Tons of them. On random pads and pieces of paper all over the house. I used to be able to keep a running tab, a mental lists and know what I was going to do in the morning when I woke up. Not so much lately.
So I saw on a blog where a mom had a HUGE notebook. Huh. I had NO idea people did that. Except for 'really' busy moms who work and there-for have day planners. I just stay at home, - so I should be able to handle that, right? Hmmmm.
It was only a few days later that I visited Em and mentioned what I had seen and she told me that SHE had just made a Home Management Binder (HMB) that week!! - After hearing and seeing her ideas, and flipping through the book she was inspired by, I was ready. I knew right away it would be life changing.
We both agreed that knowing we weren't naturally organized people; we had notebooks planning our weddings, and every important event we were responsible for. - Why didn't we think running our lives and homes qualified?
When I got home I read this book cover to cover and felt amazed - this was what I needed.It provided a way to evaluate my life, - and a plan to get started changing it. Like so many things I found last week that the process is such a key part of the journey. -
Large Family Logistics
Kim suggests taking stock of your life by recording your day minute by minute, to see what you are doing. Then She gives great ideas of how to organize your time in each day, and week.She talks about creating and WRITING DOWN (key) your morning routine, including the small stuff... (take your vitamins!) etc. The whole concept of just writing it down was wonderful. It accomplished several things.
1) It helps you think through what makes those great days flow so well
2) It helps you choose deliberately what things are most important
3) It allows you to never have to think about it again. (until you want to re-vamp it!)
I realized I had waaay to much to think about, - ALL the time!! - There wasn't enough built into my week that I could just do without thinking about, and it was burning me out!
One tool she suggests is having Monday be Laundry day, Tuesday Kitchen day, etc.
Now I had heard of this before, - but my first thought was, -that would NEVER work for me!
What if you don't get all the laundry done on Monday? - What about having clean clothes to wear to Church? What if you miss a day? NO clean clothes that week?
What I didn't realize is that you create a morning routine that includes daily dishes and laundry (she suggests 4 loads by 4pm for large families) (duh, - yes, I guess I am that stupid!) But that you a lot certain tasks to the one day you want to do them... ie Thursday is the day for going to town, so you have menus, grocery lists, library books packed, planned and ready on Wednesday - office day or other days that have those tasks delegated to them.
- (she also talks about dressing for the day,- fantastic!!!)
This is already what I had pretty much done... I would plan for a day outside, gardening and mowing, then another for errands, - except I used to have to think about it constantly, - each week shifting things around... then there was always the thing I'd forget, (those books due back.. whoops, better run them in after super) or never actually get done.
This system provides a structure to make sure you accomplish everything you want and need to get done.It helps you put your brain in print. A hard copy. Something you can pick up and look at when you can't remember what you were going to do next. What mom couldn't use that? Large family or no! :)
So last week I started. - I first wrote out just our morning routine. I was amazed that just doing that all week has been a huge blessing... each day is going soo much smooth-er with the changes I realized I needed to make.
Here is a pretty cheap and bendy notebook I'd bought on sale for something else a couple years ago then never used. It is only 1" , (up to 3" is recommended) but I had it, lOVE the colors and wanted to at least start.
Isn't it pretty?I created 8 tabs. Some of these have files or larger notebooks that I already use for more in depth, or will add to when I clean go through my HMB each week... so these tabs are just a spot to start, and stick notes and ideas etc.
Weekly Schedule (This has daily sheets) and a list of 'to do' for the week
School Lesson Plans, Curriculum and Books for Justice I want to look into to or get, Activity ideas, Goals
Financial Budget Breakdown, Bill Paying Schedule, Receipts and Returns List Coupons, and To Buy list... Things I want to keep my eyes open for on sale, or craigslist etc.
Household Menu, Grocery List, New Recipes to Try, Projects,
Ideas for Organize, Prepare and Store,
Inventory, A list of clothing sizes for coming seasons and things I need for my kids so when I see things on sale, I don't have to think about it.
To Do lists that are not urgent (make medical chart for all my herbs etc)
Hospitality Phone numbers and Addresses, lists of gifts given and received and list of thank you notes to be crossed when sent, also list items lent to friends.
Personal List of books I am reading, Books I want to get and read, exersize/fitness goals, Craft, Art, Redo ideas or items to look for, Blog ideas, Inspirations.
Medical and Herbal Herbal remedies, resources, medical journal for kids, etc.
Garden Garden and Landscape Goals for 2011, Project lists, and plant purchase lists, Garden and Landscape Ideas and Inspirations
The weekly schedule tab (Monday is green:) with a 'to do' list for the week clipped on.
I wanted a small calender so I could have major events and plans right there. Was SOO happy to find matching sticky notes, and pens and pencils... the case, calculator and scissors needed to be a color Andrew and Justice would know was mine!!! :)
I really think making it pretty is key. - You are going to look at it a lot!! Make it enjoyable!! :)
I have heard that sooome of you (Mandi!?) have had an amazing system for while.... let me know what works for you!!! How do you organize your life? What things to you love and couldn't live without!?
Here are some cool ideas for personalizing binders or notebooks...
For the re-doer, re-maker, before and after gal....
I LOVE this idea... now it would be to small for my HMB but still trying to think of a way I could use it.
Single ladies or naturally organized moms, - this might be just the ticket for you! This shows you how to make a beautiful day- planner out of vintage book!
For the seamstresses...
who love creating with fabric - this idea is for making a child's adorable travel notebook on for those on the go, but I think it could easily be used to make a stylish HMB for mom! (for those of you with sewing talent!:)
For the scrapbooker / card -er
The artists with paper!
Sorry no picture, she had her's blocked but I thought these were cute! And I'm sure you gals could do some amazing things! (hollie!:)
Cell Phone tip-
A friend at church told me that for adding to your HMB when it isn't right there... Put adresses, web sites, lists, etc. on your notepad in your phone, - then transfer later - or set to an alarm that will remind you on the right day. Or keep a list (kids clothes sizes, incl. neices and nephews) (plants and prices) etc. perm on your phone... Haven't tried this, but she said it works great for her!
Here are some links to HMB's that may help you decide what you would want in yours.
If you are to busy to create your own but want cute pages...