Today we are going to start building the workhorse of an organized home. We'll discuss the physical notebook today and tomorrow I'll cover how to make a digital version using Evernote. If you missed yesterday's post, head back and read about the Home Management Binder and why it's an important tool to control and manage your home. For my own home, I started with a physical file but have moved to a digital one so that I can access my information from any device that I have on hand.
When I first began working on my notebook years ago, I turned to Google to find pages I could print and use. After all, numerous women have made available an abundance of free home management printables. They come in an array of colors, designs and content included so you can make yours look fantastic too. You'll find links to a few good places to go for your own free printables at the bottom of this post. But after some time of editing and adding to the pages, I soon realized that one size does not fit all. And none of them were submissive or slavery focused. I had to develop my own idea of what to keep track of pertaining to my submissive goals.
Subsequently, I developed my own home management binder pages—pages that meet the needs of my home life. If you haven’t assembled a home management binder that works for you (or perhaps you haven’t even considered having one), then the following may be of help.
My old binder. I've not used it in years and was surprised to still have it!
Questions to ask when assembling a home management binder
- What topics need to be addressed in the binder? Your life situation will dictate which topics need to be included in your binder. For example, if you’re a parent, you may want to include things like your kids’ vaccination records or school calendars. If you don’t have children, then you likely won’t reserve space for these types of documents. Take time to brainstorm about all you want to include! This can be the most challenging aspect of assembling a binder.
- Do I want a printed binder or do I want a digital equivalent? I’m familiar with both home management notebooks that consist of printed documents contained in three-ring binders, and a file of home management documents on a computer and use this in place of a literal binder. My current binder is on Evernote. This might be especially convenient if you have a tablet or need access to your binder from multiple devices.
- Do I want one large binder or several small binders? If you choose to work with printed documents, then you’ll need to decide if you want to compile these all in a large binder or if you want to separate them into smaller binders that address specific topics.
- How will I make adjustments to the contents of the binder? Sooner or later the contents of your binder will need to be adjusted. This may be something simple like changing the contact information for a utility provider or it may be something major like adding a category to the binder. Assemble your notebook in such a way that you will be able to make these changes when needed.
My Home Management Journal
I decided to use a large binder (2 in.) filled with printed and handwritten pages. Most of the pages are printed, so when I needed to make changes I can change the file on the computer and print an updated version or, for those that are filled in by hand, I can print a new copy and fill it in with the updated information. I’ve used tabbed dividers to divide my binder into categories. I’ve written the category names onto white address labels and stuck these to the dividers. This allows me to peel off the labels and change the categories as needed.
For durability, I’ve placed many of the pages in plastic sleeves. I often write on the sleeves with dry erase markers (crossing tasks off lists, taking quick notes, etc.). The dry erase markings wash off easily when wiped with isopropyl alcohol. These sleeves are also useful for storing receipts, coupons, and other small documents that I need to keep handy.
Here are the categories and specific documents that I’ve included in my binder (we'll cover a lot of these different items in this month's series):
Calendars and Schedules
- Annual planner
- Monthly calendar
- Daily schedule
Contact Info for Family and Friends
- Addresses, phone number and email addresses of loved ones
- Sizes for every member
- Preferred colors or styles
- Emergency Kit checklist
- Emergency Plan
Health and Medical
- Family Histories
- Surgery and Illness Records
- Contact Information for Call a Nurse and Pharmacy
- Gift Planning Worksheet
- Holiday Meal Planning
- Family Special Requests
- Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklists
- Seasonal Car Maintenance Checklists
Butler's Book - separate binder
- Specialized book for entertaining, logging friends food allergies and requests, preferred beverages, favorite foods and activities they enjoy.
- Party ideas.
- DIY decorations
- Daily cleaning schedule
- Monthly deep cleaning schedule
Supply, Stockpile and Grocery Master Lists
- Master supply list
- Stockpile list
- Master Grocery List
Menus and Frequently Used Recipes
- Current and past weekly/monthly menus
- Favorite recipes
- Favorite Quotes
- Books to Read
- Month to month buying guide (what to purchase in season)
- Debt reduction plans
- Self-employment tax payments
- Charity receipts
Service Provider Information
- Utility provider information and account numbers
- Insurance provider information and policies
- Miscellaneous other provider infomormation
My Submissive Focus
- Current goals
- Inspirational quotes
There are hundreds of sites that provide free printables for practically every section of your own home management binder. I've collected just a few of the ones I thought were the most helpful or had the largest variety. There are also Pintrest boards for you to browse through to gain your own ideas.
- Keeper of the Home - Creating a Home Making Binder
- Pintrest - Homemaking Binder
- Intentional By Grace - Getting Organized with a Home Making Binder
- Passionate Homemaking - Building a Home Planning Notebook
- Household Management 101 - Making a Homemaking Notebook
- Pintrest - Home Management Binder
Tomorrow I'll talk about how I turned my physical binder into a digital one using Evernote and Google Calendar. So, if you are always near a digital device, like I am then this might be a better solution for you. But if you love having pretty paper and a notebook to keep it all together then definitely start putting together a physical journal.
Browse through the printable links and start putting together your own Home Management Journal. If you think you'd prefer the digital version I'll cover tomorrow, you can still gather your information that you'll want in it.