It’s a new day, which means I have a new binder to share with you. This time it’s my household notebook. I first set this one up several years ago, and it’s been a great help in keeping my family organized. This is my command central – the tool that I use to keep up with all of the moving parts that make up our daily lives. I’ve kept different things in this notebook at different times, and over the holidays I decided it was time to update it again.
Before I show you what I keep in my household notebook, let’s take the first step in getting one set up for you. Here’s the printable cover that I use for mine. I’ve made it available over on About.com. And now that we’ve taken care of that, here’s a look at how I set up my notebook …
The first page in my notebook is the birthday calendar that I shared last week. It’s fully updated with all of the birthdays that I want to be sure to remember.
On the backside of that page is my important dates calendar. I’m using this one to keep track of things like conferences and trips that are planned far in advance. All of these dates are on our yearly calendar too, but it’s nice to have all of the big dates on one easy-to-reference page.
The next page in my set up is something that I just added: it’s a spot for the store cards that I only use once in a while. I stuck a baseball card page in my binder, and filed a card in each slot. This keeps them out of my wallet and makes them easy to find when I need them. Big improvement!
When we travel we sometimes end up with a bit of money left on a metro card. I decided to store those here, too.
Since I never seem to be caught up with sewing Girl Scout badges onto my daughters’ uniforms, I added a page for them, too. This will keep them from getting misplaced, and I have to say, there’s a certain out-of-sight-out-of-mind appeal to this set up. Who knew Mom guilt was so easy to banish?
After I grew tired of printing Girl Scout permission slips at the last minute, I got smart and printed out a big stack for each kiddo. These are pre-filled with all of our contact information, so all I have to do is add the event information and a signature. I keep these tucked inside a folder in my notebook. This system has now been in place for a year, and it’s working beautifully.
Also included in my binder: a page with all the kids’ school passwords, a folder for each kiddo and one for vacation planning (that one is currently empty, so I’ll have to get busy planning our next adventure).
Tips on Setting Up Your Own Household Notebook
The beautiful thing about a household notebook is that you get to make it your own. My notebook works well for my needs, but it might not work well for yours. Spend some time thinking about what it would take to get you more organized, and build solutions into your notebook. What drives you nuts? Stresses you out? Leaves you feeling like you’re not on top of your game? If you can figure that out, you can fix it.
Over the years I’ve designed lots of printables to work with my household notebook system, and you’ll find them all over on About.com. Here’s a list of what’s available:
- Binder Tabs
- Budget Worksheet
- Monthly Spending Worksheet
- Annual Spending Worksheet
- Debt Load Worksheet
- Financial Goals Worksheet
- Net Worth Worksheet
- Can You Make It On One Income? Worksheet
- Meal Planners
- Grocery Stockpile List
- Pantry Inventory List
- Pantry Master List
- Freezer Inventory List
- Canning Inventory List
- Price Book
- Home Inventory List
- Home Maintenance Checklist
- Home Maintenance Log
- Car Maintenance Checklist
- Car Maintenance/Repair Log
- Doctor’s Visit Log
- Weekly Planner
- Password Organizer
- Address Book Pages
- To-Do Lists
- Chore Charts
- Holiday Spending Worksheet
- Holiday Gift Spending Worksheet
There are also many more printables here on MyFrugalHome.com to choose from. Here’s a look at some of those:
- Meal Planner
- Family Calendars
- Work/Home Planners
- Spring Cleaning Checklist
- Winter To-Do List
- Spring To-Do List
- Summer To-Do List
- Fall To-Do List
Trying to get all of your paper piles under control? Stick with me, and you’ll have a complete binder system to put to use when we’re done. Here are the steps that I’ve shared already:
- How to Organize Family Records
- How to Organize House Records
- How to Organize Users’ Manuals
- How to Organize Auto Records
Many web browsers have their own built-in PDF viewers, but they tend to be buggy. If you’re having trouble printing or editing one of our printables, click here for help.