Figuring out how to organize my life was a challenge for me. I’m not that type of person who has it all together.
I’m a type A mom who lives life day by day. I remember dates and appointments off the top of my head with mental to do lists and scattered ideas roaming through my mind.
Year by year, with more responsibilities, including family member schedules to keep track of, this mental game led me to forgotten appointments, over-commitment, disappointment, and stress.
Lack of organization = stress.
Those of you that can relate know what I mean. With everything floating around in my head, I couldn’t fathom how I would get everything done. Worse yet, My husband would remind me of appointments on the day of while I had already made plans for something else.
In slowing down my life I had to analyze what was and wasn’t working. What was creating the most stress in my life.
For me, it was the day to day. Learning how to organize my daily routine in order to be a more effective mother and wife.
Organizing my daily routine with a home management binder.
I was never taught organizational skills. Sure I use a calendar planner, but organizing my daily responsibilities was something I had only heard of from those super organized mommy blogs.
As soon as I started to make a list of my daily responsibilities and threw in homeschool to the mix, I knew it was time to head back to those blogs and find out just what this whole “home management binder” thing was all about.
What is a home management binder?
A home management binder is a binder with different tabs to separate different categories specific to what you need organized in your life. The Nest Effect has a great picture tutorial of her binder.
In my search I found a lot of information which can be a bit overwhelming so I took bits and pieces of what would work for me.
A simple, yet organized approach.
I’ll never be SUPER organized but so far this is working wonders for me and the worry and stress of what I need to do is gone.
I can visually see what I need to do for the day, check things off my list and can honestly say no to things if I don’t have the time. I’m no longer over-commiting and at the end of the day feel great and even have time for new hobbies like crochet.
My home management binder
I’d like to share with you what is in my binder, printables I use, and a few that I’ve created that you can download for free. There are still a couple of printables that I need to create to round out my binder, but so far this has been a life saver.
Tab 1. Calendar page
I still need to create a calendar printable so I’m currently using a Calendar planner to write a monthly visual of what my month looks like.
Tab 2. Weekly Menu Plan (FREE PRINTABLE)
I created this printable to help me keep track of my menu plan for the week and allows me to not overspend at the grocery store or farmers market. As a real foodie, I also included a section of overnight/morning prep which reminds me to soak my beans, put out meat, or what I need to bake during the day.
You can download this menu plan for free by clicking here. It’s a pdf document with editable fields allowing you to edit it right on your own computer using Adobe Reader or you can simply print and write the old fashioned way 😉
Tab 3. Weekly Cleaning List (FREE PRINTABLE)
I created this printable to help me on stay on track with my house cleaning duties. When I see one thing down for each day of the week, it visually makes it seem doable. I get to check one thing off at a time which means I don’t procrastinate leaving everything for a stress induced Saturday.
You can download this weekly cleaning list for free by clicking here. It’s a pdf document with editable fields allowing you to edit it right on your own computer using Adobe Reader or you can simply print and write the old fashioned way 😉
Tab 4. Morning Bible Study
I’m currently going through a wonderful online morning bible study put together by GoodMorningGirls.Org. It’s an inductive bible study where we are currently going through the book of Ephesians verse by verse where we observe and apply the scripture to our lives. It’s a wonderful time of prayer and devotion with many facebook groups to keep you accountable.
The study includes printables for Monday through Friday and this is where I keep track of my papers. Visually seeing this category in my binder is a great reminder to get up in the word.
Tab 5. Homeschool Lesson Plans For The Week
To keep track of my homeschool lessons for the week, I use a free planner from Money Saving Mom. With my boys in kindergarten and preschool, I use the 1-week planner. This really keeps me on track, allows me to see what we’ve accomplished or make changes throughout the week.
Tab 6. Blog
To keep track of monthly posts, themes and blog ideas I use this blog planner from Between U and Me that I found on pinterest. It’s so cute!!
Tab 7. Garden Planning (FREE PRINTABLE)
To keep track of my seed starting, I use the seed starting plan I created above. I’ll also be including more garden printables soon as the 2012 gardening season is upon us.
Tips to starting on your way to a more organized life
- Stop to think about how you can be more effective and have less stress through organization.
- Write a list. What’s working, what’s not. Visually seeing this will help you understand what areas in your life you can be more organized in.
- Take the time to use charts and planners according to your life, not theirs. This is your life, don’t let the internet overwhelm you with ALL of it’s information. If one chart makes a difference, go for it! Start small and see what works for you. You don’t have to be super mom to be a bit more organized and feel less stress.
- If your life seems too chaotic and too busy, get rid of things. By seeing your life in an organized fashion, you’ll have a good idea on what needs to go. The more you let go, the slower and more enjoyable life will be.
- Commit. Once you start on an organizational plan, try to commit to using it. However, if things get sidewind, don’t worry about it. Start again the next day.
Do you have a home management binder? Do you have printables or links for them that you’d like to share? Please do in the comments below.
Have a great week and here’s to a stress free, simple life!