I knew when I was choosing to be home and not to seek further employment that I had to be organized or time would get away from me and I wouldn't get much done during the day. It is easy for me to get side tracked. I put off trying to put together my own housekeeping manual as I wanted to get my house in order and then sit down and make up a manual. Okay - mistake number 1. Didn't think it was important to plan in order to get my house in order. Then on Saturday, October 3rd we awoke to the phone ringing. It was a kind lady from our church calling to let us know that our son wouldn't need to be at the church to do the sound for their meeting until 9:00 a.m. Well - I had totally forgotten and so had everyone else that our son, Charlie, was going to do this for the woman's group. Thank goodness for that call. After our son left for church - in plenty of time - I made some coffee, sat down and had a "come to meeting Jesus" with myself. Where did I write down that he was going to do this? How could I have forgotten something like that? That Saturday I spent the bulk of the day trying to put something together.
My first rule of thumb in making a housekeeping notebook was that it had to be cheap. I could not afford to put a lot of money into a planner. I researched Franklin planners as I had used them in the past but I felt that it was out of my price range for now and none of them seemed to address the homemaker. My second rule of thumb was that it had to be pretty. I did have a pink binder that I had bought a year ago and I decided to use it. I set to work searching the internet for printable forms. It took a while to find some but I was looking for something specific to me. The one thing about a housekeeping notebook/planner or any planner for that matter is this: if you don't tailor it to you and try to use something that someone else has made up then it won't work. I knew that this planner was going to be "command central" for me. A place I could put odds and ends of notes and log them on a calendar or such as needed.
After locating the forms on the internet I headed to Wal-Mart and purchased pastel index dividers and pastel card stock. On the card stock I printed a monthly calendar that is split onto two pages. I like this big format as it gives me plenty of space to write things down and it gives me a month at a view glance. I printed off these months through December 2010. There is a space on the right side and at the bottom to jot down any notes. On one of the back sides I printed a calendar for the year and on the other back side page I have lines for advance planning. I found the calendar pages at Donna Young's website here.
After that I printed some daily pages that has a to do list, a place to write down what we will have for dinner, a place to write down the top 3 tasks I want to complete that day, a place to record any appointments and a place for miscellaneous items that I use to jot down notes or to put down my exercise log and eating log. I found this daily docket page at simplemom.net here.
I have a section for cleaning with a cleaning schedule. It is not a do this on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday kind of schedule. Instead I have listed a daily cleaning schedule, every other day cleaning schedule, then a weekly cleaning schedule, monthly cleaning schedule and I 'm working on seasonal cleaning and annual cleaning.
Okay - that is a lot of cleaning. However, I made it up to do some cleaning every day spread out among 6 days with Sunday off. I estimate that I will have about 90 minutes of cleaning a day to begin with but after being on a cleaning schedule for a while I estimate that it will be around 75 minutes a day. 75 minutes a day is quite doable for me. I have not started this cleaning schedule yet. I have spent time decluttering and getting used to being home and I have been taking things slow. Up to now I have been cleaning what needs to be cleaned and not worrying about it. I am starting this cleaning schedule tomorrow so we will see how things go. Sometimes when I am feeling good about myself and life I tend to take on too much and am overwhelmed. But I have tried to make up a cleaning schedule that is not overwhelming. My thought is that as long as I get on some kind of schedule I will see improvement. Even if I choose to take a day off from cleaning my house, it should remain in order as I would have been on a schedule.
I have a section for menu planning but haven't done much with that and hope to tackle that next. Again, I am taking baby steps and do not want to set myself up for failure.
I have also put in a section for Christmas as I have been keeping an ongoing list for gifts to buy or make and recipes I am finding that I would like to use for the holidays.
This notebook is a work in progress and it is not finished as I have more sections I would like to put in it. I am finding that Sunday afternoons offer me the best opportunity to pull out this housekeeping notebook and look ahead to the week for planning and such. It is also the best time for me to sit down and add new sections and ideas.
Sections I need to add: addresses and phone numbers, a section with a list of my pantry items and freezer items, a section with a list of renovation projects to plan and so on.
As time goes on I am tweeking it. I have to remind myself to look at this notebook every morning so that I don't forget any appointments that I have calendared for the day.
My main goal of having a housekeeping notebook is peace of mind. I have one place that I can turn to for family schedules, projects to work on, tasks that need to be done and so on. Also, when I am away from home and think of something I need to do I write it on a piece of paper and when I get home I put it in my notebook.
When I have time I will post a picture of what my notebook looks like.