(Image source – Lisa Bacon, The Moxie Pear)
So it’s almost the end of the year. Many folks choose to use this time to get things organized within their home and/or work space so that they can make those famous resolutions of “staying organized”, “never being late again” or “eating healthier”. Maybe even “staying within a budget” or “becoming frugal” will be on next years list.
My resolution for this next year is to spend more quality time with my family and for myself and to be as stress-free as I can possibly be. Which has lead me to the quest of creating a household notebook for myself and family that suits us perfectly. Everything will be at our my fingertips (the kidlets won’t be actually using this just yet) when I need it from now on. I will be sharing my printable finds, free & for purchase, in this post and completing my notebook over the next week or so. Once completed, I’ll share my final product here.
First Things First
Gather supplies that you will need for your planner. A simple 3-ring binder can work for this or you could use one of the more expensive ones that have a leather or fabric covering that zips up (which is great for added security in case anything was to accidentally come lose). Copy/printer paper, pen/pencil should be all that you would need; depending on how fancy you get. Scrapbook supplies are great if you plan to get all crafty to make it look pretty.
Next, create a list of everything that you wish to have in your notebook. Anything that you do in your everyday life, if it can be simplified in anyway by being in this planner, add it to the list! Here are some examples of things you might want to add:
- Calendar/To Do List: Daily, Weekly and/or Monthly Sheets to schedule appointments & events
- Household Tasks: This can include a daily chore list and weekly/monthly house/auto maintenance
- Menu Planner: Include a weekly or monthly plan sheet, blank grocery list, master list, frequent meals in your household
- Budget: You can include anything from income, expenses, goals to lessen debt, folder for bills and more.
- Emergency: Emergency numbers, Contacts such as neighbors & closest relatives, plan in case of natural disaster emergencies to go over with family once every few months to make sure every remembers or gets updated if something changes.
- Address Book: Contact lists with options to include name, phone, address, website, email, birth date, etc.
- Holiday Plans: List of events such as birthdays and anniversaries, Gifts to buy & Gifts received lists (so you can send those thank-you notes later), Holiday meal plan if you typically use the same recipes.
- Homeschooling planner: Attendance records, Weekly Lessons, Reading lists, etc.
- Extras: Websites & password list, Babysitter information, and the list can go on and on forever.
Plan of the Day / Week / Month Pages
I have actually been using this set above from The Moxie Pear, of the daily/weekly/monthly planner, in which it is somewhat similar to the set below but has a few differences to the layout of the design. I went back to the site this week and realized their blog has been redesigned and the printable planner pages are no longer there. Maybe I can send an email and see if it’s a possibility of those being reposted…will add that to my to-do list now ;c)
These are equally as great! Simple yet appealing. This set, The Nifty Studio WAHM Printable Planner Pages is simple, yet appealing but still not ‘too cutesy’. It includes a daily, weekly and monthly planner as well. Take Bobbie’s tip: “All I do is print off the pages, 3 hole punch them, secure them with 1.5″ book rings and BAM! Instant planner. I also took a few pretty scrapbook papers and had them laminated. I use those for the front and back cover.“
The household task can be jotted down on the daily page. Or you could even go a step further and follow “Hannah’s System 101″ from Sherbet Blossom. Create a card system (or you can create it as a list for your notebook) similar to her’s but with the tasks that are needed for your family.
There is this daily planner from The Project Girl that includes a spot on each page for To-Do, To-Call, Errands, Shopping List, Notes & Tomorrow; it has lots of space and is designed very well. And there is also a monthly sample from BusyBodyBook that is set up in a unique way so you can include individual family members tasks/appointments for each day of the week.
Menu Planning Pages
I actually have an obsession with this planner. This one is not free, however it is exactly what I wanted/needed. The Wild Olive Food Friends Printable is a PDF file that includes a blank monthly page, weekly page, and 4 pages of lists that you can use for your grocery lists, master grocery list, pantry/freezer lists, etc. You can stop by the Wild Olive Etsy Shop to grab your own copy (It’s currently $5 – PDF file for download. You can fill in the PDF file form and then print or you may print & fill in by hand. Use it as many times as you wish and never have to purchase another meal planner again!)
Oh, yes, just to curb my appetite for those ubber cute food illustrations, I also have purchased the set of matching recipe cards! You could use plastic photo/card sleeves such as these to put the recipe cards in that you use the most — and these pockets are great for organizing your coupons as well!
And not to forget, there are two different styles over at The Project Girl – Menu Planning Form that are FREE to download as well!
I recently won a free membership to Menu In a Box; an online menu planning site. I actually don’t use the site as it was originally intended. As we have two picky eaters in my household (myself and my son), the recipes on the site are not always for us. They do have a wide variety of recipes (including gluten free, egg free, vegetarian, etc) so I have begun trying some new meals so maybe I will eventually be able to use it to it’s fullest. And in the meantime, I have picked up on a lot of tips in order to use with the menu planner above.
Food Journal, The ultimate travel checklist, Packing Labels for a Move from The Project Girl
Budget, Website & Password Keeper, Babysitter Info, Medical Info, Holiday Gifts Sent & Received, Important Phone Numbers & much more over at Mom Agenda.
And last but not least for this list, anything and everything Homeschool related can be found at DonnaYoung.org.
Do remember that everyone and every family’s needs are different so make sure that you choose the items to add to your planner that you will use. Just because it’s pretty or because Neighbor Jane has it in her notebook, doesn’t mean you have to have it too. The goal is to help simplify your life, not add clutter or confuse one’s self!
Share with us
Do you have a household notebook? Let us know whether you purchase or create your own; and if you create them yourself, where do you find your printables (free or for purchase)? I’m always interested in new ideas so feel free to post your notebook solutions here.