It’s finally here!
My post about my Home Management Binder : )
I first mentioned it in this post here
This little amazing thing has been my lifesaver especially with this transitionary place in life we are at. I made it shortly before I quit my job to stay home with the kiddos/we moved from Arizona to Colorado/we moved in to my in-laws already full house/we then moved a couple months later to a small apt all within 3 months. If I did not have this majestic little thing I would have my brains spilled all over the place from here to Arizona and back and everywhere in between!
It is a simple pink 1 1/2″ notebook. I printed this out and put it in the front for some prettiness and inspiration.
“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:2-4
“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27
This is what you see when you first open it up. I found this little plastic pencil holder thing for less than a dollar at Wal-Mart : ) I have pretty pens, pencils, small tabs and dry erase markers.
I went back and forth on dividers that had pockets or not and settled for the not to try and minimize loose papers that I do not know what to do with that probably just need to be recycled as they probably will serve no purpose other than make my HMB bigger and cluttered! I labeled them (Schedule, Christian Growth, Cooking, Cleaning, Natural Living, Finances, Home Education, Spanish Resources, Hospitality and Prayer).
I wrote some verses on each divider tab to remind me of the purpose for the tab and God’s desire for that area in my life
Under the schedule tab I have tried out this Daily To-Do sheet that I formatted on Word. There is a place for a Memory Verse for the week, Daily To-Do, Errands to Run, For Tomorrow and Additional Thoughts. I borrowed an idea from another blog to put your papers in page protectors and then write on them with dry erase markers to eliminate printing the papers every day.
I also have a Monthly Planner template I made on Word. I also put this in a page protector. There is a small section at the bottom of each day labeled Dinner… this is where I try to plan out my meals and then with the dry erase marker I can move them and erase as our plans change!
The Christian Growth section is my favorite section as I tend to go there frequently to remind myself of the things the Lord showed me in creating this binder and the purpose behind it. I spent time back in February coming up with a Personal Mission Statement which has really helped me in my growth with the Lord.
I also prayed about some Family and Personal Goals for 2012
There was a lot of scripture God kept spewing out at me back in February when I was having all sorts of visions for our family and me staying home with the kiddos. So I typed them up and have been working on memorizing them.
I have my reading list which was also mentioned on the post linked to above. I planned out the books for this year and have added some that I’ve found at thrift stores or God showed me in the past 6 months to move into priority for reading. I love having a reading list! Believe it or not but I was stressed about all the books I wanted to read! Now I can relax and know that I will get to each book one at a time and my motivation to start one and finish it before starting another one (at one point I think I had 10 books that I had begun reading all at one time and never finished one of them!) has grown tremendously.
Under the Cooking section I have my Master Menu Planner which I love! I was frustrated taking out all of my cookbooks and trying to remember where all my favorite recipes were so I wrote down on this Word template the recipe name and the book and page # for easy reference when planning my meals. On the sticky note at the bottom is Meals to Try that I saw in my mother-in-laws recipe books! I also have under this section some printed out tutorials of different recipes and things to try (homemade yogurt in croc pot, soaking grains, etc., etc.)
The Cleaning section has some ideas and print outs from various blogs and I am working on a Cleaning schedule now that we are back in our own place and all the cleaning duties lay on me again! So I will update when that happens! The Natural Living section is again print outs and ideas that I want to try in my attempt to live a little more frugally and naturally. The Finance section is where I write down our spending and budget and updates throughout the month (both my parents are CPA’s and I remember playing with math flash cards as a kid so math is one of my favorite subjects, therefore I do the finances in our family because I enjoy it and it’s relatively easier for me!). And the Home Education section I described in this post here although I am quickly realizing that I will need a separate binder dedicated to just this section : )
Next is the Hospitality section which my friend suggested and I am so thankful that she did. She made a template like this which I copied for birthdays. It is from Excel and on the left side are the days 1-31 and the top are the months of the year. Then I wrote in the matching spot our friends and families birthdays and anniversaries! Great idea to have it all in one spot to reference each month! I also have an Excel file for my address book which is behind the birthday sheet. It has the name, address, e-mail and phone number for all of our contacts. This makes it easy when writing a thank you note or for Christmastime as I now don’t have to get on the computer to look it up but I can just flip to my HMB and there it is! It also makes it easier when I get notice of a change of address to just quickly open up the binder and update the address!
My HMB is basically my brains in a notebook. I was used to a lifestyle of post-its and print-outs all over the place and I could never remember where anything was and I always frustrated my husband when I’d ask him to find me something. There are a lot of things I wanted to print out for later reference and never knew where to put it. This is definitely the answer for me! It may not be for everyone but for me it certainly is! It keeps me focused and organized and who doesn’t need more of that in their life!
This is the one verse that God keeps bringing to me over and over again that in addition to the 2 verses listed at the beginning of the post are the whole theme and reason behind this binder:
“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:17
Adam and my opportunities during this point in our lives are changing moment to moment and my temptation is to just say “well… I’ll get to this or that when we finally get settled somewhere” but this is an unbiblical thought. We lived with my in-laws for 3 months and there was a lot of opportunity to make the most of (help with housekeeping, building deeper relationships between me and the in-laws and our kiddos and their grandparents and their cousins, etc., etc.) God showed this to me (thankfully) before we moved there or else my mentality would have been to just get through it and we’ll do other stuff later since it was a difficult circumstance. And we are facing that now in our small apt. in a town that we don’t know how many months or maybe years we may live here. There are a lot of opportunities… a Christian homeschooling family right next door! amazing hiking around the corner and an incredible church body that God led us to the first week we moved here. My temptation is to not invest time into these things because it seems like a lot of work when we may not be living here past December… again this is an unbiblical thought. God has us here for this moment for however long and we must MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY while we are here… okay I’m done preaching to myself : ) My HMB helps me to do this by keeping my time organized so it is not wasted on searching for papers and watching pointless TV or browsing the internet aimlessly… it keeps me focused and planned which is making the most of every opporunity.