Home Management Binder- Contacts

This is the third of three posts about our Home Management binder.  You can read part one about our meal planning section HERE and part two about our housekeeping and to-do section HERE.

Contact Lists: In this section we have a series of contact lists.  Each list has space for names, addresses and phone numbers.  We divided the sections up into Family, Friends, Work, and Home.  The Home section includes space for oil / propane companies, insurance companies as well as our doctors. 
I always keep extra blank sheets tucked into the back of the binder so that I can add people when I need to. 
Ian and I both operate some small home businesses.  I run A New (England) Shop and sell at the occasional craft fair.  He sells the extra eggs we get from the chickens and also does some random tool repair work for friends.  
Monthly Sales / Income:  We track our orders, sales and income on a simple chart.  We just write the date, what was sold, and how much it cost.  It helps us stay on top of orders and shows us what is popular and what isn’t.  
Business Cards and Labels: We use clear plastic sleeves to hold business cards for A New (England) Shop and labels for our egg cartons.  That way they are handy when we need them. 
As I said before, this is the easiest way for us to stay organized.  Feel free to rework our ideas to best fit your family.  

Home Management Binder- Housekeeping

This is the second of three posts on our Home Management Binder.  You can read Part 1 HERE.


Daily / Weekly Cleaning List: This is a list of the different cleaning chores that I should  do on a daily and weekly basis.  I know that some people prefer a chart that they can check off but for me a list of reminders is enough.

Seasonal Chore List: I divided up the seasons into two charts, Spring / Summer and Fall / Winter.  Each chart lists specific chores that should be done to prepare for that time of year as well as space for notes.  I use the notes section to remind me of any details that I’ll need to know from the previous year, like where we stored our winter clothes or that we’ll need to save some small containers before we can start seeds.

Cleaner Recipes:  I make a lot of my own cleaning supplies including 2 types of laundry detergent (1 for clothes, 1 for diapers).  I keep the recipes in this section so I can quickly refer back to them when its time for a new batch. * Making your own cleaning supplies is better for your health,  your wallet, and the environment.  A triple win!

Vinegar makes a great all-purpose cleaner


Wants / Needs List: The first thing in our To-Do section is a page divided into two categories: “Wants” (or Thneeds, have you read The Lorax?) and “Needs”.  We write bigger purchase items or projects onto these lists so that we can better keep track of what we need to plan for.  For example, right now on our Thneed list is a stand alone freezer so that we can continue to shop in bulk and preserve more food.  We would love to have one but its not crucial so we are saving up for it.  On our Need list is firewood because we will definitely need to cut more before next winter.  Dividing things up like this helps us keep things in perspective and to focus our energy on the most important things first.

To-Do List: Obviously this section has to have an actual To- Do list in it.  We divide it up by person so that it is easier to follow and cross things off as we go (there is something so satisfying about crossing things off a list).

Calendar:  We keep a monthly calendar in the binder that has space for writing in schedules and what not.  We use it to keep track of appointments and functions on it as well as our work schedules.  Its super helpful to be able to open the binder and know whats going on.

Linking up with: Homestead Barn HopModest Mom

Home Management Binder – Meal Planning

There are a million different home management / organization binder plans all over this little thing called the internet.  So, of course I had to throw mine into the mix.  Seriously though, there are so many different plans because you have to make a binder that works for you and your family, otherwise it will sit collecting dust.  This is what works for us, it keeps us organized and on top of our goals.  Some days I think we’d be lost (and probably very hungry) without it.

Our binder has 5 sections which I’m going to break up into 3 posts.
Meal Planning
Housekeeping & To-Do
Contacts & Home Business

Meal Planning
This is our biggest section.  I’ve found that in order to eat healthy and save money I have to be super organized.  It also is very detailed to save us time and so that if something came up (I got sick or stuck at work late) Ian could grab the binder and be all set.

Menu: I only plan out individual meals for supper and just list options that we can choose from for breakfast and lunch.  This works for us because we don’t often eat breakfast and lunch at the same time.  I used Microsoft Word to create a chart style menu for our suppers and included a place to write down any prep I might need to do for the next day.  The prep space reminds me to take things out of the freezer to thaw or to soak grains.  On days when there is no prep I’ll use the time to get some baking done.

Grocery List: This is another chart style document.  It includes a space to mark off what store to buy the item at and whether or not there is a sale or if we have a coupon.  I keep the weekly store ads and the coupon envelope in the front pocket of the binder so we can refer back to them as we add things to the list. We typically go shopping once a week.

Produce Lists:  I keep a list of in season produce organized by month as well as a copy of the “Clean 15″(lowest pesticide use) and “Dirty Dozen” (highest pesticide use) fruits / vegetables list to help me keep track of what to buy and when.  I found both online and printed them.

Recipes: I keep a few recipes that I use a lot in this section. I find it easier than looking them up every time I need to make them, like my sandwich rolls, which I make almost weekly.

I sit down at the end of every week (usually Friday or Saturday) and plan out the week ahead.  I always take a look through the pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what needs to be used up.  I also will check with Ian to see if he has any requests.  I keep the calendar handy so that I can plan simple meals, like leftovers, on days when I know we’ll be busy.

What are somethings you’d include in your home management binder?

Linking up to: Farm Girl FridayHomestead Barn HopModest Mom