Originally posted January 2011.
I have been spending the last few weeks researching household notebooks, and all of the things that people tend to put in them. Depending on just how much of a Type A person you are, you will either love or hate the idea of a household notebook, but there are bound to be components of it that will work for you and your family.
What is a Household Notebook?
A Household Notebook (also called Home Management Notebooks or Family Organizers) is a command center for an entire family. Therefore, what works for one family, may not work for another family because each family is unique.
What do you include in a Household Notebook?
Anything that helps your household run smoother can be included! The idea is to have a centralized reference guide as a way of answering the biggest questions about your household and family. A few possible suggestions:
- Daily Schedules
- Blank Notepad
- Weekly/Monthly Menu Plans
- Shopping Lists
- Freezer/Pantry Inventory
- Take-Out Menus
- Important Phone Numbers
- Important Dates
- Baby-Sitter Info Page
- Medical Information Sheets
- Church Bulletins
- Volunteer Obligations
- Carpool Schedules
- Sports/Extracurricular Schedules
- Homeschool Lesson Plans
- Home Management & Finance
- Home Repair Records
- Automotive Repair/Mileage Logs
What materials will I need to get started?
You will want to start with a 3-ring binder (smaller is better and will keep you from going overboard), some tabbed dividers, and clear page protectors. These are the basics. Look through your child’s unused school supplies, and you may find everything you need right there, otherwise check out your local dollar store to see what they have before hitting up your local big box store.
End of Part 1 Homework:
Think about what sections you would like to include in your Household Notebook. Each notebook is going to be different based upon the needs of your family. If you are on Weight Watchers, you may want to include the Point values for your favorite foods; or if you love to entertain you may want to include a wine list to keep track of what you like and don’t like for quick reference before a party (also good if anyone ever offers to pick something up for you to have a quick reference); or if you are “cookie mom” or “popcorn mom” for your child’s scout troop you may want to keep your inventory lists and sales records with your Household Notebook. Brainstorm the possibilities, but remember not to include everything. Your goal is to have a concise reference guide that you can quickly go through, find what you need, and move on. A 3-inch binder that is bursting at the seams is no more of a resource than War and Peace is a beach read.