Weekly Challenge #1- Home Management Binder (Part One)

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I think it was an excellent idea for Toni to start off the weekly challenges with the Home Management Binder. 

 (This is where I ramble...)
If you all think my house has been unorganized and cluttered, that's nothing compared to my brain. I have ADD that was never diagnosed as a child - back then we were just called day dreamers or lazy - with parents never considering to go to a Dr for that sort of thing.  ANYWAY, that's not an excuse for being a lazy daydreamer, it's just a background reason as to why my house and my life is usually so chaotic. It takes a LOT of work and routines to keep it from sinking back to the utter CHAOS it used to be, believe me.  The previous 21 day Organizing Challenge was like all kinds of therapy for me. 

My Home Management Binder that I've had for 2 years now has been a Godsend seriously. Actually even before it became a HMB, it was my Flylady Control Journal.

I had been using a second hand old ugly binder and just stuffing things in it I thought I ought to have in it,.. but it was not really doing much for me. So, I got a bigger (2 inch) binder with pockets on the front, back and sides so I could put pictures in it and change them as I felt like it.
The cover I used I found online somewhere and features words that describe the Proverbs 31 woman which I aspire to be more like, but know I will never quite live up to the ideal. Thankfully at the time I had a nice color printer. I'm currently out of color ink, so new additions are sadly B&W for now.  

I knew I was going to be using a lot of sheet protectors, and could not find any tab pages that stuck out past them, so I got a pack of tabs that you stick to something else, so I just stuck them to the sheet protectors to use as section dividers.
I don't have a label maker and my handwriting is really bad, but it works for me. Maybe someday I'll buy a label maker... then watch out! I'll be labeling everything!

So, on the inside of the front cover is a pocket where I keep envelopes, stamps and address labels. I also keep an envelope with my house payment's address on it so I can find it quickly. It's one of the few bills I pay by mail. I also keep a few pages of scratch paper here. If I've got my binder out on the counter and get a phone call, I can quickly open it to write down a message. That's really been handy. 

The pencil pouch isn't the prettiest, but it's a good size and nice and sturdy. I keep a sharpened pencil and the sharpener in it as well as a mechanical pencil, a couple of pens and a dry erase marker.  The marker is for marking off the things on my routine lists as I do them.  It wipes right off the sheet protectors (well the smooth ones anyway - if you get the textured kind, it doesn't work as well. Been there done that.)

Right behind the pencil pouch I keep a reminder of why I do what I do and who I do it for.

It's followed by a Proverbs 31 Scripture and a prayer.

I don't always say it, but usually just when I need it, I catch a glimpse of it as I am flipping through the binder and I remember to slow down and ask for the strength I need. There's also a page of sayings about a wise woman.. then it gets to the CALENDAR SECTION:

I keep a full year calendar in the actual tab page which is the divider.

The next couple of pages are the school year calendar and the high school chorus calendar.

By the way, all the dates on these two pages have already been added to my main wall calendar which the entire family uses as Command Central.

The next pages are printouts of the current month and near the end of the month, I add the next month. All the dates for everything go on the wall master calendar, so I don't have to keep a full year in the binder, just current so I can see at a glance what is going on today, tonight, this week etc.  I do make sure not to post something on one of the calendars and not the other.  I need them to sync so I don't miss anything.

The one I use has places for notes on the side which I use quite a lot for things I would definitely forget otherwise. Very handy.

Then the last thing in the Calendar Section are these pages I found on DonnaYoung.org (free downloads and printouts - I get my full year and monthly calendars there too). They are "A Fragmented Account" of the year.  Each day of the year has one line, and you're to write a short note about the day.  Kind of like a Twitter, but for your own records.  It took a few pages to print out, but I think it's a nifty idea and haven't missed too many days. This is the first year I'm doing it, and already it's helped me remember when something happened over the past couple of weeks when otherwise I'd surely forget.

Well, that's all I'm showing today.  Since it's a weekly challenge, I can post more on it this week.  Click here for Part 2.  Click here for Part 3.
I took over 40 pictures!  Don't want to do all of those in one post. Whew!

Toni had wanted those of us who already had HMBs to start fresh with a new one, but mine basically 9 years in the making and has evolved as I needed it to.  I did actually completely change it not too long ago and put in new sections and re-organize it some. It still needs a lot of help.  For instance I need to reprint all my recipes I have in it and put them in page protectors... they're really showing wear. I only keep the well loved and most often used recipes in it so as not to clutter the binder. They're the recipes that I make sure all my girls know how to make and can take the recipes with them when they leave. Already my oldest has come back to get a copy of my meatloaf recipe haha! Turns out it's her fiance's favorite dish! Yay LOL!   

So, yes I'll be tweaking as I go through the week and may yet change a little of a lot, but I'll definitely be reading everyone else's blogs about their HMBs (or at least as many as I can get to when I have time.)  I LOVE seeing what other people's binders are like!

If you're not taking the challenge or don't have a Home Management Binder, I really encourage you to try it out. It can really help make a house (and family) run SO much smoother.

See you next time!

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