Thursday, August 11, 2011

Works For Me!

This is my brain:
my desk runneth over

This is my brain on Large Family Logistics:
Home Management Book 2

(Sorry if the hearts are distracting... had to cover personal information.)

Psalm 90:12 - Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

I LOVE that verse.

This week, I made a Home Management Book. Now I'm one of those weirdos that gets a little high from gathering materials like pretty purple binders, tabbed dividers, post-it-notes, and sheet protectors. But rather than just being a fad that I put a lot of time and energy into creating and drop in 2 weeks (or less), this is a tool that is helping me order my days in a meaningful way, and I intend to use it for a long time.

Ever since I was in middle school, I have had a "brain". I have always called my planner my brain because it remembers everything for me. My planners have taken many different shapes and forms. I have used daytimers, notecards, spiral notebooks, etc... I have changed my systems as my life has changed in complexity. The Home Management 3 ring binder system spelled out in LFL is just the perfect solution to my life at this moment. For the past several years I have been using a spiral notebook, but as life gets more complex, I need to bring more order to my days. I love the fact that this notebook stores all of the most pertinent information for me in a very clear way.

Here are the sections of my Home Management Book and what I put in them:
  1. Front Cover - my daily routine for easy reference
  2. First Page - a piece of paper with my weekly menu, schedule, and to-do list
  3. Sunday - The Lord's Day - Prayer List, Bible Memory Work page, Bible class planning
  4. Monday - Laundry Day - jobs for the day, a page listing current clothing sizes and needs for each member of the family
  5. Tuesday - Kitchen Day - jobs for the day, meal routines, meal lists for planning
  6. Wednesday - Office Day - jobs for the day, list of household staples with current best prices, next week's menu (office day jobs include making a grocery list and planning next week's menu)
  7. Thursday - Errands (aka - Town Day) - jobs for the day, "Watch For" list - long term shopping list for garage sales, thrift stores and best deals
  8. Friday - Garden Day - maps of past and present garden layouts, lists of what seeds I planted this year, long term list of outdoor chores that need to be done
  9. Saturday - Cleaning Day - jobs for the day, spring/fall cleaning lists
  10. Homeschooling - Ambleside Online book lists, goals/plans (remember I only have pre-school children right now)
  11. Holidays - gift lists, menus, other plans
  12. Sewing - list of current projects
  13. Blog - information and ideas for Church Mouse
  14. Etc... - current TCOYF chart

Colossians 3:23-24 - Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

It is worth noting that the days-of-the-week sections are not limited to those days, but that I will focus on that section on those particular days. I find that I am easily overwhelmed by a single, long to-do list. Dividing up my tasks into different days helps me to divide and conquer!

I also enjoy the fact that I can dress for the occasion. I tend to dress in nicer clothes on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and I can wear work clothes for the dirty work that happens on the other days.

I depart from the LFL system with the following:
  • So far, I have boys, and I don't think they'll be thrilled by a "Tea Party Day". We are substituting Pizza Day. :)
  • Instead of one big cleaning day, I still spread many of my cleaning tasks out throughout the week. I simply put those tasks on the pages for the "jobs for the day". I have always preferred doing things this way.
  • Not a real departure from the book, but worth noting in case you haven't read it yet - While I focus more on the jobs on their respective days, I also do laundry and gardening throughout the week because I hang nearly all of my laundry on the line, so these are both jobs where I "make hay while the sun shines". I usually do 2 loads on every sunny day. Remember, there are only four of us. If our family is blessed to grow, we may need to institute the "four loads by four" policy. As it is, I try to do "two loads by noon". Yeah... I have it easy. :)
So that is what works for me at this point in my life. I agree wholeheartedly with what Kim C. says about the book here, "I think Kim strikes a difficult and delicate balance between too much detail (overwhelming) and not enough (lack of focus or direction). She is also very careful not to dictate too many specifics of what belongs on your schedule or list of priorities, while providing plenty of examples from her own personal list and life."

What does your brain look like?

This post is a part of the Four Moms Large Family Logistics Part 2 linkup.


  1. Ooh, a look into my brain might be scary! You look to be pretty organized.

  2. Good for you! I am only now (with number 5 on the way) slowly being convinced of the value of planning, and routine, and gasp, lists and schedules. I don't yet have a home management binder - mine is a homeschool planner - one front/back page per week designed to map out the family schedules/learning goals. But, its space is getting crowded out by little notes about meals and groceries and prices. Also just recently getting some real routines down, atleast in my head. When I don't just zip through them before bed, I am seeing that simple as they are, they really make the next morning start better/wish I had done them. I think I resist such partly because so often totally unexpected wrenches are thrown in, so how can I be prepared? I am learning that it doesn't really matter for what I was prepared, it just matters that I was prepared for something. I can skip the quilt trip if I can just remind myself - "So what? Nobody knew they were going to be here - you were prepared for something else. Make do, and that's just how it is, and that's just fine!" Husband said, "You can hardly call it Plan B if there was no Plan A to begin with." I am learning to think ahead and map out what works and what doesn't, but I see my biggest struggle right now is actually taking a few minutes to think out/map out the nitty gritty, the stuff that may not be exactly the same each week, in my notebook, and AHEAD of time. It's nice to have pretty forms to fill out, but actually filling them...
    Kudos to you for learning and getting disciplined in such home management affairs now... you are way ahead of me! ( I must be really stubborn, to have to convince myself of all this before I'll actually commit to it!

  3. "You can hardly call it Plan B if there was no Plan A to begin with." - Oh Amy I like this a lot! So true! I may use it in next week's LFL post on daily schedules.

  4. Last friday night I was at office max buying printer ink and I was so excited. I loved making sure i have all my supplies ready to start making my lesson plans


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