Tag Archive | Home Management Binder

Creating & Maintaining a Weekly Schedule

Ask anyone who knew me decently well in college (and even high school and maybe even my close friends today) and any of them will tell you that I become giddy thinking about creating and planning a schedule! I have always loved planners but have always struggled with some limitations. In college my freshman year our Campus Crusade leaders challenged everyone to make an Excel schedule for the week. This was to include our class schedule and any other requirements such as those to Crusade or any club or group we belonged to. The point was to compartmentalize your time and see on paper how much time is spent doing various activities. Then we could see where to cut out or where was appropriate to add in our quiet time and other important ways of spending our time pursuing the Lord. I have been using these Excel files ever since! I loved signing up for classes for each semester because it meant I could plan my Excel file finally!!! Of course my life nowadays is quite different. I abandoned Excel my entire nursing career (any nurses will know why)… my work schedule every week it seemed was different and of course now the challenge arises from having little kiddos. BUT… I have come back to Excel and it works perfectly for my Type A brain and keeps me on track.

I have a few tips I have learned about creating a schedule over the years:

  • set ATTAINABLE goals – I used to have myself studying all sorts of hours in the afternoon and late into the night and then getting up early for my quiet time and get going… NOT REALISTIC. I knew it at the time but it was what I wanted my schedule to look like. It was a goal but not an attainable one. When using a schedule to keep track of your goals you need to be realistic or you will constantly feel like a failure and quit quickly. If you’re wanting to start working out then your goal and schedule should not be 5-7 days/week… that’s hard for anyone to maintain let alone someone just starting out… start with 3 days/week. This is a goal but it is an attainable one. Once you attain it then increase the days.
  • factor in down time and travel time – If something starts at 9 AM, don’t start your block at 9 AM… start it at 8:30 AM. That will allow for travel time and packing for kiddos or anything else that may come up. It is important and falls align with setting attainable goals that you schedule in down time. If you need a nap a couple days a week then schedule that in. Schedule 3 days a week with a nap included and the other 4 days schedule whatever you need to get done during that time. This way you know on Mondays I get my nap!!! And it will be okay because Tuesdays and Wednesdays are set aside to accomplish my other tasks. This way too if you’re not very tired on Monday you can accomplish your Tuesday tasks and then on Tuesday fit in a nap because your tasks are already accomplished!
  • don’t forget to schedule meal times and showering! – Ever since having kiddos (wait… I’ll confess… ever since college!) I have struggled to shower every day. Depending on the age of my kiddos I stick to an every other day plan or 5 days/week. Am I really admitting to this? Of course if I sweat or stink or am covered in baby spit-up that might change. But let’s face it… it can be a challenge to shower when the kids are safely entertained and take the time to get ready on a daily basis! So for me it is important to look at my week and pick days I can skip a shower : ) For example, Wednesdays is zoo day for us which is a long day and takes a lot of preparation. I plan to skip my shower on Wednesday which means it’s vital for me to take one on Tuesday. Tuesday is my women’s bible study in the morning which means I have to plan this shower time in early in the morning to be ready and prepared. It is also important to plan in meal preparation, meal eating and meal clean-up time. Is 15 mins. realistic? Or is it 1 hr? Only you know and every meal, every day and every family is different. On average we spend about 1 hr in the mornings with breakfast prep, eating and clean-up… maybe the same or closer to 1 1/2 hrs in the evening. I need to plan this time in so our mornings aren’t a hectic rush to move on and so at dinner time we’re not sitting down super late for dinner.

So here it is! This is what one week looks like. The top line are the days of the week and the left column are the hours and half hours in the day. I color code based on activity. This I did in college and color coded what was for school, what was for work, etc. For example, the yellow spaces are meal times; the dark blue spaces are church/quiet time/bible study, the red spaces are Amelia’s learning time, etc. Notice all the white spaces : ) those are free times for me! What do I do every afternoon when the kiddos wake up from their naps? Whatever we want/need to do. If we had to run unexpected errands or had dr. appts in the morning and couldn’t do learning time then we can fit it in here. If I’m wanting to create a culinary masterpiece then I have the time to do so here. If we want a special movie night then we can do so here! It is so important to have white spaces so you don’t feel like every single second has to be planned… there’s leniancy.


Here’s a close-up of my Mondays. I have picked Monday to be laundry day and Friday to be cleaning day. Picking one day a week helps me because if on Thursday I see something needing cleaning attention but my Thursday is already so busy I don’t have to stress wondering how to fit it in… I know that Friday is cleaning day and I will take care of it then.


Now, while this does look all nice and neat it is just a guideline to run by. Most of these things (except schedule events like church and bible study) happen around this time frame but the days still flow smoother having the guidlines. I want to emphasize something… schedules are great in the moment but require great flexibility. My schedule is only through April because at the end of April we will be welcoming another infant : ) : ) and we will be moving (again!) and we have no idea where or to what type of job so I have no clue what a schedule might look like in May. BUT I wanteId to make the most of every opportunity and instead of just waiting until things seem settled and normal in my life before I make a schedule I wanted to make one for the here and now… no matter how short it may be. This helps all of us stay on track and stay accomplished and focused and productive. I know when I don’t have an idea of how my week and days look then it’s so hard for me to exercise or wake up for my quiet time or whatever it may be. I’ll think that the time will just magically appear at some point and I’ll know what to do in it… but that’s how 5:00 rolls around and I’m still in my PJ’s and we’ve accomplished nothing and I haven’t a clue what to make for dinner and I find myself all of sudden battling a depressed and frustrated attitude.

I have also tried a weekly schedule that is a little less structured such as this one. It actually worked great at the time and I’m sure at some point I will go back to this just depending on what is going on in my life. I fit in our meal schedule for the week and also what we were going to do for learning time that week. I liked having the kiddos nap time schedule in with which days I wanted to accomplish what. This prevented the same feeling of I should research this or that and instead of wondering when it would get done and where to fit it in I had a research period set aside during one nap time day each week so I knew come that day I could sit down and research stuff. I wouldn’t feel guilty like I had something else to do and I didn’t feel overwhelmed at all I wanted to accomplish.

For the Week of:

Weekly Schedule









                                                                                       *laundry*          *cleaning*

Amelia Learning Time (8A – 10A):              
During Joshua Morning Nap (10A – 12P):            
During Kiddos Afternoon Nap (2P – 5P): Blog Spanish Finances Piano Read Research Spanish Planning Piano

 And I have also just tried a list format like this one mentioned on this post here. This is still the general flow of my schedule but since living in the city with being at a church that holds a bible study and going to the zoo etc. I needed a little more planning for the entire day.

Good luck with your scheduling!





ABC Theme Weekly Paper Organization

After finally making the long 45 mile trek to the nearest Wal-Mart and Dollar Tree to satisfy my Pinterest project cravings : ) I found the perfect storage set for all of my paperwork for our Preschool ABC themed year. This nifty little file folder thingy… for only 8 bucks!

It had the perfect number of slots (except Y and Z sharing a slot) to label each one with the alphabet letter for the week and there is a pocket in the very front where I am storing extra copies that we did not use each week. This is great because I can plan in advance and put the print outs for the letters for future weeks and then when we complete a week I just add all of our papers to the letter for that week. I plan to just keep this around for our future reference if need be and when Joshie is of age to join the ABC learning.

This also makes it really easy for me to transfer each week over to the Home Education section of my Home Management Binder which I am going to keep using as I take this binder everywhere with me so on laundry day at the in-laws we can squeeze in some learning time since I have all my papers for each day that week neatly organized. Here is a recap:

I look at my schedule for the week to see which focus is for which day (i.e. Monday is #’s and cutting, Tuesday is shapes and writing, etc.) I have lots of copies filed in page protectors with a label specifying which focus it is in the binder so I just grab a couple sheets and move them over to the…

… pocket divider that is labelled for each day of the week. I do this on the weekend so when Monday rolls around I just grab all the papers under Monday and we start at the top and work our way through. This saves my brain and time from doing any preparation each day.

Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE my Home Management Binder!

Family and Personal Goals 2012

This is kind of delayed to make a post of my goals for the year but I realized I should since I just finally posted my Home Management Binder post and now should share with you the details of the binder. Besides, it’s always good to do a halfway evaluation of your goals since we’re a little over halfway done with 2012 (can you believe it?!?!). So here are the goals I made for the year with my added revisions due to some life changes.

Personal Goals:

  • Walk in obedience to God’s Word (Psalm 1:1-3)
  • Be intentional with my time (Ephesians 5:17)
  • Make (and use) a Home Management Binder (Proverbs 31:27)
  • Watch less TV and spend more time reading (Philippians 4:8)
  • Memorize one Scripture each week (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
  • Read the 12 books on my reading list (1 book each month)
  • Insanity workouts (3 days per week) (Proverbs 31:17)
  • Practice Spanish online (30 mins. 2 days per week)
  • Practice Piano (30 mins. 2 days per week) This is no longer an option for me since we no longer have an access to a piano for our current living situation
  • Be aware of my priorities (God, Adam, kiddos, family, friends, everyone else)
  • Weekly planning time to review, make changes and prepare for the week ahead
  • Bi-Weekly planning time to plan meals 2 weeks at a time

Marriage Goals:

  • Have a prayer time with Adam at least once a week
  • Date night once a week Again, this had to change due to Adam’s rigorous work schedule for the golf season and moving away from family again
  • Find one way to encourage Adam each week

Parenting Goals:

  • Implement Bible reading at mealtimes (Proverbs 22:6) This one has been hard because I have found with little kids and sticky hands our Bible is getting really messy and it is hard to read and eat at the same time so we have revised this with Bible reading during our “Circle Time” as well as before naptime and bedtime
  • Spend one day a week at the library and one day a week at the park/zoo
  • Spend 30 minutes – 1 hour each day (except library and park/zoo day) either doing “learning time” or “craft time”.  This has changed since I originally made out these goals since we started homeschooling Amelia for Preschool this August!
  • Challenge myself to not turn on the TV for Amelia when I’m trying to get something done but instead set up a self-play activity for her (reading, play dough, coloring, etc.)
  • Bible reading and bedtime prayers every night

Home Management Binder

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.