I am so excited for this post. I have been working on this project all summer long. Figuring out a system that really works for our family took a while, but I can’t even begin to explain to you all the time this has saved me. Introducing, my home management binder!
In this post, I’ll talk about the framework of the overall binder and its sections. Each section warrants its own post, though, so over the course of this week, the sections below will turn into links where you can get more information about each one.
First, I want to talk about the start of this project. My life is crazy. With Nash and Gray getting more and more active and Cameron starting Chiropractic School, I knew I needed to get myself organized. I started the summer with a motto of “set yourself up for success.” That idea really influenced how I thought about this. I looked for things that I did over and over again and figured out ways I could streamline those processes [i.e. menu planning, chores, projects, etc.]. I also combined things that I knew worked for me [my six-list], and trimmed them down to fit my new lifestyle. I also used this as an opportunity to set new goals [better scripture study.]
I knew I wanted a binder because I love having a new docket for each day, I love things to look clean, which means I need to be able to throw away yesterdays docket, and start today’s new. And I need it to be the first thing I see when I open the cover. I also don’t want any of those annoying paper shreds stuck in the binding of a composition book/coil-bound notebook. Also, I have to be able to give myself a day off once in a while. This is why I didn’t want a Franklin Covey planner. I used those when I worked full time. And it was great, because I went to work every single day. I was planned out. I was efficient. If I slip up, I don’t need the guilt of a stressful/messy/gross house, a stressed/gross me, AND the paper reminder that I slipped up. It’s highly discouraging. So, I nixed a calendar altogether in mine. I might add a monthly one/perpetual one in the future so I can keep track of birthdays and other special events, but for now, I’m doing just fine. [This is not an excuse to be lazy for me. Last week, Wednesday was HARD. I was so sad over something personal. And I could hardly function. So, I called the day off. I snuggled my boys. We watched movies. We ate leftovers. The chores didn't get done. I didn't fill out my docket for the day. The house was a nightmare. etc. But by Saturday, everything was back to normal. This is why I don't want a calendar. Because I needed that day to just be. But MOST of the time, I need my binder. :)]
I also knew that the cover needed to inspire me. Over the summer, I heard the perfect quote to use on the front. It explained my homemaking philosophy perfectly. It resonated with me completely. So I made it look pretty and outlined the page in Washi tape from Mindy Mae’s Market. I couldn’t be happier with it.
To download the printable, just click the image below.
For the rest of the binder, I used a half page binder. It measures about 6×9 and fits pages 5.5 x 8.5. I love how small it is. It fits in my diaper bag, fits on the checkout thing at the grocery store, fits in my scripture study stack. I also bought a package of 5 divider tabs for half page binders. They’re sold right by the binders at any office supply store. [I did check if you could find a half-page binder + dividers at Walmart and Target and didn't have any luck, so if you're looking to make you own I would stick with Staples or Office Max.]
To make my dividers cute, I just added a strip of the same Washi Tape along the edge of each one. It polished it up so great that I didn’t even mind the handwriting on the tabs!
Next Up, I’ll go into the Daily Docket. It’s the most important part of the binder. I’ve been asked before how I “do it all.” And honestly, I don’t “do it all.” You can do anything you want to do, so long as you sacrifice something else. But you can do more if you are organized. And this little binder is my secret.