January 11, 2010

Housekeeping Notebook - Honest Critique

My present Housekeeping Notebook is not working.  I lost control/quit using it at the end of November around Thanksgiving as I was gearing up for the holiday season.  In my post back in November I noted two things:  "if you don't tailor it to you and try to use something that someone else has made up then it won't work."  Bingo!!! I had found some forms online that I began to use and for the most part it was working but it wasn't personalized to me.  Yes there were places on the forms for me to write and plan, but the forms were black and white and stark. 

Yesterday I spent the afternoon and evening making up my own forms with clip art that I liked.  Each form was my very own creation made by me for me.  I have monthly calendar inserts; weekly planning sheets; daily to do lists with places for appointments, household tasks, work/project tasks, personal tasks and dinner plans all on one page; cleaning schedule; laundry sheet (recipes for laundry supplies and such); weekly menu planner; baking day planner; grocery list; Bible study notes; monthly expense log; needlework/sewing project planning sheets; home project planning sheets; memorabilia project planning sheets; organizational project planning sheets; ongoing to do lists; and a fitness/food journal.

My next problem was the pink notebook/binder.  I had dropped it a couple of times and the binding was splitting.  I taped it back together with packaging tape until I had come up with another plan.  It was junk, but hey it was free.  Going to Wal-mart looking for a heavy duty binder is like going to "generic, boring" land looking for something special.  You know you are not going to find it but still part of you hopes that something special will be there.  Okay, I am getting a little too emotional about a binder.  I didn't find anything special, but it was worth a try. 

I looked around the house and I had some binders leftover from the law office.  One is a large 2 1/2 inch dark gray super heavy duty binder.  Oh yes - it really speaks to me and says "come hither and organize with me."  Yeah right.  It is ugly.  I am determined and am up for the challenge.

I purchased some old fashioned floral fabric on clearance.  I really think it is pretty and it is something I would have paid full price for.  As a sidenote I told my DS that I had bought this fabric to make curtains for his room.  He believed me for a moment and got upset.

I plan to take that gray notebook and transform it.  I have some quilting batting upstairs and I will pad the notebook and cover it with the fabric.  Then it will be beautiful and it will be something that I will want to have sitting out on my kitchen counter or table and I will actually use it.  Also this notebook is a heavy, weighty binder and it will last.  

I see the Housekeeping Notebook as a tool for me to use to be able to meet my goals, get organized and be more efficient.  Basically I want to get my housework done and have time to do other things.  I think getting organized is like losing weight.  You have to be ready, otherwise you will fail. Last fall I threw something together in a pinch because I overreacted to an almost missed appointment.  I wasn't ready to get organized.  Well I am ready.  Now if I can just find my pinking shears I would be able to get started on that fabric cover tonight!


Moderate Means said...

You are so organized! I have a wipe-off calendar and the really awesome Grid Thrift Store Mama gave me. That's it :)

If you get a chance, stop by my blog - I gave you a blog award tonight :)


Anonymous said...

OK- Now you're making me feel totally unorganized! I lost control YEARS ago!! I do make a menu, get the house clean, go to the grocery store, Bible study on Friday... but as for a NOTEBOOK- forgetaboutit!!

Congratulations on your award, girlfriend! ;D)

Martha said...

I didn't lose control, I don't think I had it in the first place. I began to strip the wall paper in my living room during Bill Clinton's second administration. That took me about 1 year to get through the layers upon layers of old wallpaper on old horse hair plaster walls. Yes, at one point it was wallpaper that was well over 100 years old. Guess what? The color of the old wall paper paste on the plaster walls is the color I want to paint the walls in the first place so - there it has sat. I am such a procastinator and getting control and getting on track is a must do in my life right now. Gotta laugh or I would cry at how I kept a law office running smoothly all those years but didn't apply the same to my home.

Tammy said...

Here's the deal for me. I am a total organizational freak. EVERYTHING in my life must be in place. If I were to even fathum the idea of keeping "folders", I would need one for each day of the week, each meal, each chapter of the Bible, each minute of the day, each room of the house...you get the point. I don't see how having a folder would help, but that is just my opinion. That is just something ELSE to keep up with. I am a cleaning fanatic. When I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night I clean,clean,clean. I sweep and mop the hardwoods at 5:30 every morning, clean every bathroom everyday(at least once)- Alex's bathroom sometimes as often as 3X since he's 9 and a slob! My kitchen must always SHINE!! No fingerprints on anything- light switches, door handles, microwave, water dispenser, glass doors... I make the beds as soon as everyone gets up. Laundry is done at least every other day. Change sheets in all bedrooms twice a week. Vacuum all carpets daily. Dust.... the list goes on and on....
Yes, I probably suffer from OCD, but this is my job. My husband does expect to come home to a clean house. We worked very hard to have nice things, and I like keeping things clean. Do I overdo it? OBVIOUSLY!! I sure do think it beats the alternative!! :))

PS Way to go!! Great job!!!

Martha said...


Each of us has to find what works for us. If I could be motivated to do half of what you do in a day, I would be happy. But, I get side tracked and having something on paper (or perhaps on my PDA) keeps me on track.

We are all different and each of is knows what system works for us. My notebook won't work for everyone. It is working for me.

I think you have combined housework with an aerobic workout. Good for you!

t said...

My husband couldn't live without his Blackberry! We all do have to have a system that works for us, and I am by no means trying to belittle anyone elses way of living. Like I said, I carry it to an extreme. Always have. I sometimes think it's a way to make me feel important. Like if it wasn't for what I did then my family couldn't manage without me. That sounds petty, but sometimes I really do feel that way.

Martha said...

A couple of years ago my father was very sick and I flew to NY. I was gone 10 days. When I got back my boys were so happy to see me. They went on and on about the horrible food my husband had cooked for them. In reality it wasn't that bad. I think every wife/mom needs to go away for 1 week each year just to remind her family how much they should appreciate and value her.

My husband's blackberry is practically attached to his hip. I don't have one, but when my cell phone contract comes up for renewal I will get one.

tammy said...

I was hoping that you were going to reply. First of all, I want to apologize for my mood today. It was 2 years ago today that we lost my mother-in-law to pancreatic cancer, so I have been in a very shity mood, to put it rather bluntly. I was in no way trying to critize the way you are trying to get organized, rather trying to possibly justify, in my own mind that I now finally have my act back together after such a terrible loss and can now go about getting my family back in "order".

Martha said...

You do not need to apologize. I appreciate honesty and candor. That is what I want in this blog. We women lead such complicated lives. We worry about family and home and we are the first to feel guilty about anything.

Those anniversary dates of death are tough. Our daughter would have been 26 years old this year. March 1st used to be the hardest day of the year for me but now I think about the children that are living and am very thankful for them.

Tammy said...

Thank you for understanding.