Cleaning & Organization

Household Binder

household binder 1

Note: This is an older post from 2013 that I moved over from my old blog. There is still a lot of helpful information, but I’ve changed things quite a bit. I’ll be blogging about my current system in the future. Also, this was once two separate posts, but to make it easier to find, I’ve combined them, so this will be a little long.

Recently, I’ve had several people ask me about my household binder and for help in getting a system in place that will help keep their homes clean and organized. Today, I am sharing my binder with you. You will get to see what it looks like, how I have it organized, and what I use to keep my home in order. Plus I will share with you where I purchased all my supplies and where I found some of the printables it contains. Grab a pen and a notepad, find a cozy spot, and read on. In just a few minutes, you’ll be on your way to a more organized home!

The first thing you see when you look at my binder is an adorable cover, personalized with my monogram. I found this over at lee, me, and the girls. Does your binder have to be cute to be functional? Absolutely not, but it sure helps!

household binder 2

Open the cover, and you will find an assortment of labels, tabs, sticky notes, and a pouch, all from the Martha Stewart line at Staples. (I also bought my big Avery binder and sheet protectors there years ago when I first made my binder, and it still looks new.) I just went there to replenish supplies, and thought maybe I was in Heaven. I love, love, love this line of products. The young man at the checkout figured that out fast. The first words out of his mouth were, “You must like Martha Stewart!” Why, yes. Yes, I do. In fact, I drove an hour one way just to get these items. No Staples near me. But I digress. Inside the pouch are my favorite Paper Mate Flair pens (another Staples find.) Colorful, and they don’t bleed through the paper. A set of twelve lets me color-code everything to my heart’s content.

household binder 3

Next, we come to the first section of my binder… “Family Planner.” It contains:

household binder 4

The next section is called “Keeping House.” In this section, you will find:
  • the Homemaker’s Creed
  • my daily routines
  • detailed cleaning lists
  • many, many, MANY reference sheets regarding cleaning
  • a special section for my Shaklee product information
Then, I have a section titled, “Blog,” specifically for Aprons ‘n Pearls. It includes planning sheets and more.

Next up is my “Ministry” section, with sub-sections for each ministry I’m involved with, and projects I work on throughout the year for various ministries (church, Operation Christmas Child, etc.)

Our family’s “Directory” is next. It includes:

The very important “Finances” section is next. In this section, you will find:
Our “Family” section is next. It includes sub-sections for each family member with tabs for:
  • medical
  • school/sports
  • work
The family section also includes:
  • a cemetery info tab so I can keep on top of my dad’s and grandparents’ graves (maintenance, flowers, etc.)
  • online info tab
Last is my “Menu Planning” section, which has:
  • weekly menu planner
  • perforated task list sheets (Martha Stewart line again) – I can plan my meals on these awesome sheets, and write the ingredients I need to buy at the store on the right side, which then tears off to take to the store!
  • secure top sheet protectors (you guessed it… Martha!) – These are divided in half, so I get two “envelopes” per page, where I keep my coupons organized by category.

household binder 5

Now for my daily cleaning routine. Let’s get started.

I want to share a secret with you. It is life changing, and is what has helped me more than anything else in keeping a clean home. FlyLady. If you have never heard of the FlyLady before, do yourself a favor and get acquainted. Just click on “Get Started” at the top of the FlyLady’s page. (By the way, making a household binder is one of the steps to get started! She calls it a “control journal.”) You will see on my daily routines, that one of the first things I do in the morning is check the Launch Pad. This is the foundation of my whole system. Another wonderful tool that has been valuable to our family is Cozi. You may have heard of it. It is a very popular web-based calendar and organizer. We’ve been using it for a long time, and last year, we switched to FlyLady’s Cozi. (They partnered up. Genius!) So between FlyLady’s Cozi (there’s an app) and my household binder, even the most domestically challenged person can get their house clean and organized.

Let’s take a look at my daily cleaning routines.

You’ll notice that each day is dedicated to a certain set of tasks…
Monday: Zone Cleaning, Menu & Blog Day 
Tuesday: About Town Day
Wednesday: Just the Basics Day
Thursday: Weekly Home Blessing Day
Friday: Paperwork & Clean Out Day

Saturdays & Sundays are my days to relax, so I only do the basics– cooking, cleaning up after meals, loading the dishwasher, etc.

wednesday

If you click on the picture above, you will see what I do every Wednesday. Don’t let the amount of the words on the page overwhelm you! I have almost everything I do in a day on these charts. I am not a slave to my house. In fact, I find plenty of time in the day for hobbies, catching up with my friends, watching a show on television, playing games with my family, etc. The chart just lays everything out for me and keeps me on task. And should I get sick, my family can look in my binder and see what needs to be done any given day.

Let’s take a closer look at Wednesday.

You’ll see that after I’m dressed and have my daughter fed and off to school, I check my binder, and then I check  FlyLady’s Launch Pad. The Launch Pad tells me what “zone” I’m cleaning that week (this week it is the master bedroom) and it also gives me a “mission.” For example, this Wednesday’s mission is to dust off the tops of the door jambs and windows. Easy peasy. So on Wednesday mornings, I do my everyday tasks like laundry & dishes, and then after lunch I get my cleaning done.

Here are my schedules for the rest of the week. You can click on each one to bring up a full-size picture. You’re welcome to print them for your personal use only.

MONDAY

TUESDAY

thursday

friday

Here’s another peek into my binder:

monthly bills

This is the “My Monthly Bill Planner” page from the “Finances” section of my binder. In the left column, I write down everything that is due each month. Then in the boxes, I write down what day each bill is due (if it’s always on the same day) and simply check it off once it’s been paid. If the payment is the same every month, I also write that in the left column.

b3

I made a cute printable for each family member and slipped each one in a sheet protector. These act as the dividers in our “Family” section. Behind each person’s picture is important information that pertains to them. So for Gabriella, her medical, school, and cheerleading information is in her own dedicated section of the binder. This makes life so much easier.

b6

The “Weekly Menu Planner” from the “Menu Planning” section of my binder is awesome. I love how it makes such a mundane task a little more cheery. I do meal planning on Mondays, and each day’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner is written down on this chart. There’s a section for snacks on the far right of the chart, but I don’t police what everyone munches on when they want a snack. I simply write a variety of things at the top that I need to plan on having in the pantry.

b5

This is one of the handy dandy Martha Stewart products I told you about last week. I love this paper. I plan out the week’s meals on the left, and add to the shopping list on the right if we don’t already have what we need. Best part – the shopping list tears away.

b8

“A Peek at the Week” is a handy weekly calendar that lives behind my monthly calendar. This is another cute printable from Jen Jones. I typically just use the top part of this, and the bottom gets filled with sticky notes reminding me of various things, but I filled in the bottom this week so it wouldn’t look lonely.

b2

In the “Keeping House” section, I have a lot of cleaning reference sheets. This one is my favorite. It has all of my Shaklee recipes.

That wraps up my household binder. I know some of you have started making yours, and others are updating theirs. I’m so glad this has been a help. It’s also fun to see what others have done with theirs as it may give us new ideas. The most important things to remember are to do what works for your family, and allow plenty of flexibility in your schedule.

I’ve really enjoyed the messages you’ve been sending me. If you have any questions, or would like to know how I manage something in particular that hasn’t been covered, just ask in the comments below, or send me a message on Facebook. You’re welcome to share a picture of your binder with me as well.

Featured at At Home with GCH, and…

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