Our Household Notebook

I finished up our Household Notebook last night. I am so so thankful to have it done. It should be a big help in our household. Many times Jeff will bring home a receipt or a bit of information and I would put it in one of my few places. Sylvia would call them “hot spots”. Sadly, the bits would pile up and it would literally take me hours to sort through it all and catch up. My hope is that with this notebook, I can sit down almost immediately with any piece of information and put it in place. I think Jeff is thankful, too, that he now knows what to do with his gas receipts instead of wondering if I’ll really take care of it in a timely manner like I should!

Making this wasn’t too hard, but it did take me all week to pull it together. I started by printing off all my recipes and organizing my recipe binder. I have had that working binder for about 5 years. My friend Tiffany will remember how long ago that was because she led the activity of making it at a MOPS meeting. How long ago was it?? :) I haven’t had a working printer for almost a year, but I have been typing up recipes and saving them for the day when I would be able to print them. All my recipes are in page protectors and divided into categories similarly to those on the Recipes page of this site.

Then I worked on the Household Notebook. I reorganized our contact information in a spreadsheet format. I printed off a bunch of fill-in forms that I created in Excel. I like making dividers by slipping a piece of white cardstock in a page protector and adhering a self-sticking binder tab to the outer edge.

Edited: Since making this notebook, I transferred all the financial information to a separate binder that I call our Financial Binder.

mapssection.JPG
The “Maps” divider in my notebook — created by slipping a piece of white cardstock into a page protector and adhering a self-sticking index tab to the outer edge. When the Notebook was finished, I decorated the white cardstock in each “divider” with the title of that section, stickers and simple doodles.

cover.JPG
I decorated the cover and spine using stickers and doodles, too.
Using stickers makes the doodling so easy and pretty!

These are the sections I’ve included for now. I can always add more later, if I feel we need it.

*This part of the notebook is in a page protector.

Emergency

  • *Phone List — 911; Fire Dept; Poison Control; our home, work & cell numbers; our parent’s home, work & cell numbers
  • *Statistics — for each family member: name, date of birth, social security number, sex, relationship, driver’s license number (if applicable), state of license (if applicable) and expiration date of license (if applicable)

Contacts

  • *Friends & Family — spreadsheet containing this information: name, phone numbers, address, and email address
  • *Vendors — all businesses & individuals with whom we do business: name, description, phone number, contact person, website address, login & password information, our account number
  • *Other Phone Lists — homeschool families, church directory, etc.

Calendar

  • One page per month for the remaining months of the year — printed off of www.calendarsthatwork.com
  • Library program schedule

To Do List

  • Printed forms with fill-in fields: date, task, date due, and place to check off when completed

Shopping Lists

  • Printed form, one page for each store where we shop, to fill-in needed items
  • *Fabric needs page, with yardages listed for common sewing projects

Menu Planning

  • Printed forms for each week (Mon through Sun) with fill-in fields for breakfast, lunch & dinner each day and a space for snacks & desserts of the week

Chores

  • *Weekly chore chart for the children
  • *Daily chores lists for each child
  • *Periodic chore lists — monthly & yearly
  • *Laundry Stain Guide (from Country Save)
  • *Directions for our front-loading washing machine

Vehicle Records

  • Printed forms (one per vehicle) to keep track of dates of service, odometer readings and when next service is due

Wish Lists

  • Printed forms with fill-in fields to keep track of books, movies & music that interest us
  • Printed forms with fill-in fields to list each family member’s wants or needs

Maps

  • *Pages torn from an extra phone book of area cities’ maps and street guides

Crafts & Articles

  • Printed forms with fill-in fields to keep track of craft projects and articles in the works and their due dates

Notes & Miscellaneous

  • Blank pages to keep track of miscellaneous information, like directions to a party or the answers I get from doing some phone research on a property issue, etc.

*This part of the notebook is in a page protector.

Added 9/4/08: Click here to download a blank copy of my Excel spreadsheet that contains all the bare-bones forms I created for use in my Household Notebook. I’m warning you now that they’re not that special. Tweak to your delight!

Comments

  1. This is a beautiful notebook, Wardee. I know it will serve you well. I normally re-do my notebook every summer, and your idea to make doodles and drawings on your dividers is one I will use!

  2. I think I will be re-doing my notebook periodically, too. I will have to do updated phone pages as the information changes for sure. I am so happy to have everything in one place!

    This morning I just figured out that I should do a notebook for homeschooling to keep track of our daily readings and assignments. I don’t follow our provided curriculum 100% and so we are all over the place in their schedule.

  3. OH My !!! That brings back just some wonderful memories of when we did that cookbook binder together in MOPS. Was it the MOPS that was at North Fresno Mennnonite Brethren or the one from RBC? Let me know and I can then figure out how long ago that really was. It seems like yesterday that all of our kids were that small and it was a challenge to get dinner on the table while nursing a baby and calming down a toddler.:)I updated and “cleaned” out my recipe binder just the other day. I still have your handwritten jam recipe and your falafel recipe in the plastic sleeves. I can’t bring myself to print them out (I enjoy seeing your handwriting to much!). Have a wonderful day…I’ll call you during quiet time.

  4. It was RBC. So how long ago was it? It was the very first year, or the only year maybe. You are so sweet to keep my recipes :) I have a couple of yours’ too — the Seattle Salmon and the baked chicken. We love both of those!

  5. This is really incredible Wardee!! You amaze me with all that you get done!
    Love
    Karen

  6. Thanks, Karen!

  7. And I thought I was organized! :lol: Everything in my home is organized, but there is nothing written down, like your notebook. Maybe I should make one up. I will have to think about that. :D

    Thanks for detailing how you made yours up!

  8. I’m not as organized as I’d like to be… but moving in that direction. My house definitely is NOT totally organized like yours. :) Love, Wardee

  9. O.K. I figured it out. It was in the fall of 2001 because I was pregnant with Ethan (who just turned four on Tues.)!!! It was almost five years ago. I came across some really good crock pot recipes that I think you and your family would love. I’ll print them out for you and I’ll mail them. Have a wonderful day.

  10. Happy Birthday, Ethan — sweet boy! I can’t believe he is 4! The kids were just asking about him a couple days ago.

    I would love those recipes! You could email them to me, too, if that would make it easier. :)

    Love, Wardee

  11. So how did you ladies do your recipe binders? Are they just for “tried and true” recipes? or do you have all of your recipes in your notebook?

  12. Tracy, my recipe binder just has tried and true recipes. You can imagine how big it would be otherwise. It is already growing slowly over time and I probably should split it up into two binders soon. Hope this helps!

  13. Wardee–

    I was just revisiting some of the T2CHK forums about this and really like what you’ve done. I hope to start one this week to help with the move and then continue with to keep my new house organized!!!

  14. I have been gone for a while and am catching up. Just wanted to say that the notebook looks lovely. I may borrow some of your ideas. :)

  15. Wardee

    I love these kinds of organizational tools. I find that (as flylady.com says) I have key ‘hot spots’ of paperwork clutter that will consume me if not held at bay by some sort of organization tool! :P I did find a great site for printing out premade forms free for this kind of thing. Very useful!

    http://organizedhome.com/content-36.html

  16. I love your household notebook. I still haven’t made mine. One thing I want to ask it – are all your pages in sheet protectors or just the divider pages? I like to fill in stuff, add info and I am wondering whether putting them all into protectors is wise?

    Hello! I put all the dividers in page protectors, as well as any pages that I don’t change very often. I don’t use the page protectors for lists and pages to which I add information. So use your judgment and whatever works for you to help you manage your household information is the best solution! Love, Wardee

  17. Can you share some of the Excel docs you came up with?

    Thanks!

    Sure, I will email you a blank version. Watch for it! ~Wardee

  18. Staci Lowe says:

    Hi Wardee,

    My mom was just telling me she saw your mom-in-law at CPC this week. She said you were up north and I thought I’d google you. How fun to see that you are doing so well and the kids are beautiful. Keep in touch.

    Staci

    Staci! Hello! I’m so happy you found us! Yes, we’re up north of you now. How are you and your family? Love, Wardee

  19. How lovely! I’ve done the HN off and on since 2001. I’ve really enjoyed it when I have done it. It’s hard to keep it going sometimes but I last longer each year. Congratulations on a job well done!

  20. I love this idea. I wanted to say that for my recipe “binder” I actually have a photo album and the recipes slip inside the plastic covers. This way when I have a recipe from a magazine I don’t have to type it up, I can just cut it out and put it in, plus I have the picture (which I usually need)!

    That’s a great idea, Rachael! I made a recipe binder for my mom-in-love one year, just like that. She had all her recipes on index cards, so the photo album worked great. Then I used those stick-on binder tabs to create the sections. Love, Wardee

  21. Hi! I love your notebook. I haven’t heard much about these till I found flylady lol. I also would love to see your Excel pages also. I have printed a few lists and such from organizedhome.com and dont have Excel myself. Thanks so much for sharing your notebook. Im excited to start mine!!
    Tanya

  22. You know I have had mine done for a while, but still have not filled in all the addresses. LOL It’s a never ending project. :D

  23. Thanx!!! Been trying to get organized .I used to be better organized when my children were in school,they are now grown. I find I’m having trouble getting my new step- childrens info. organized along with new house, can you please send me the excel docs. as well,maybe that will get me motivated. Thanx again.angela

  24. I love this idea of the Household notebook. I’ve bheen looking all over the net at examples of notebooks, I really like yours. I am having a hard time getting started, I’m not sure where to start, I’ve been looking for some examples of pages in the book, I’ve seen some but cant seem to find anything I can print out. You have said u made your’s in excel. Is there a possibility u could email me some or all to help me get started, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time. Randa

  25. I am working on my own Household notebook now & it’s cool to see examples like yours for ideas & suggestions. Any chance you can email your excel spreadsheets to me? It sounds like this is a popular request, but I would appreciate it.

    Thank you, Cindy

  26. Cindy, I just emailed you!

    For everyone else, I am about to attach my Excel document to this post so you can download it on demand. I’m warning you, it is bare bones!

    Love, Wardee

  27. munchkin_momma says:

    Good tips, I like the way you set up yours. I am currently working on mine. It seems to be a slow process as I can’t touch important papers when kiddos are up without a mishap of some sort lol. I wish I had thought to do this 8 years ago when I was preggers for the first time, it would have saved me plenty of forgetfulness induced anquish!!!

    Oh I found this from tipnut.com searching for binder printables so I guess it was a good thing all those ladies asked for the excell spread sheets!!!
    .-= munchkin_momma´s last blog ..Threadless Tshirt Giveaway at jaypeeonline.net =-.

  28. This household book allows me to start creating a household book quicker with the spreadsheet.

  29. Dear Wardee,

    I’m so glad I found you! What a sweet, godly woman you are. I’m here from GNOWFGLINS & noticed that you use Country Save’s stain removal guide. Do you use their laundry detergent? I was wondering if it’s worth it. I’d like a detergent that’s good for my family but can’t afford much. I’ve tried Charlie’s Soap but was not impressed with it at all!
    .-= Emily Quintana´s last blog ..I Fixed the Problem! =-.

    • Emily — I use Country Save laundry detergent yes. It is cheap. I am not vigilant about stains and in fact, we avoid light colors because lights don’t suit our farm life very well! But for general washing it is wonderful, I have no complaints.

  30. I love the idea for this book, but do you think it’s a good idea to put everyone’s social security numbers, drivers license numbers, and account numbers in one easily accessible place? One shady babysitter or break in later, and they’ll have all of that information.
    Kim´s last blog post ..Photos: Fall

Trackbacks

  1. […] Building Your Own Control Journal Building your Home Management Book By Sunlight & Candlelight – My Homekeeping Notebook Household Notebook: Make Your Own Planner for an Organized Home Put Your Life in a Binder! Such Treasures: Our Household Notebook […]

  2. […] Wardee’s Notebook – An in-depth description with a couple of pictures; You can download her forms to use yourself […]

  3. […] My recipe binders needed some attention. I looked back at Such Treasures (our family/personal blog) and saw that the last time I updated my recipe system was June 2006. […]

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