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I am a Catholic wife and mother living in western New York State.

Meet the Family

  • DoorMan - Husband and Dad, extremely talented garage door guy
  • B - budding new media evangelist, avid reader, soccer lover, boy age 14
  • B - karate white belt and lover of Legos, boy age 8
  • MAB - me: wife, mom, homemaker, and more


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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Home Management Binder

We are having a cold snap. Wind chills are around zero. The sliding doors on my minivan won't open. It is cold.

It is also a good time to dust off my Home Management Binder. I have been giving it a makeover for the past few days, in the spirit of the New Year. I have taken inspiration from one of my favorite bloggers, Dawn.

I have tried very hard to stick to my routines, and I am being rewarded by a feeling of accomplishment. Now, I don't get every single thing done every single day, but I do feel like I am getting things done. I like that feeling. I am hoping that I can continue to keep on top of my routines.

I use a 1" three-ring binder as my main binder. I bought one with the clear pockets on the outside to insert covers. I use scrapbook paper cut down to size inserted into the pockets to make it pretty. The paper can easily be changed out for different seasons or moods. I just retired my Santa Claus postage stamp paper and switched it for a very pale filigree watercolor pattern. There is no title or writing at all on the outside of my binder. I know what it is.

Right inside the front cover I have a sticker collection. It is eventually supposed to look like a collage of stickers. I am adding to it slowly. It all started when I put a "this book belongs to" sticker there.

I am still working on my cover page, awaiting inspiration. I am using a clear poly pocket for my cover page, as I am sure it will get a lot of wear and tear every time the binder is opened. Behind it, I inserted a full-page picture of Our Lady of Fatima given to my by my aunt.

Now we come to the dividers. I am not 100% happy with them. They are poly pocket dividers, see-through, multicolored in a set of eight. I got them at Office Max, but they have discontinued them. I like that the dividers have tabs wide enough to stick out past my papers, and the pockets (two on each divider) are nice for stuffing thing in to file later. I don't love that they are multi-colored. I wish they were all clear. I also have not come up with a satisfactory set of names for all of the tabs. The first four are set, but the others are in flux. Good old white-out pen!

The first tab is the "Calendar" section. This is the most active section in my binder.

Right now, in one of the pockets I have Arch's religion quiz from this morning to be filed in his school binder, and the other pocket has materials I printed off today for a unit study on Snowflake Bentley I am planning to do this month.

Next is a year-at-a-glance calendar I printed from Donna Young. I will use this to record my monthly cycles, confession and anything else I think of.

After that (still inside the overall "Calendar" tab) are monthly tabbed dividers, starting with January.

The first thing we come to inside January is a clear poly pocket containing a Mary Engelbreit Home Sweet Home print on the front, and a January liturgical calendar on the back. I cut the calendar page from the ones they give out at church. This whole poly pocket is changeable / moveable. At the end of January I will throw away the January liturgical calendar and replace it with the February, and move it to the front of the February tab.

Next is a January 2008 planning sheet, again from Donna Young. I use it to jot down events and topics we will engage in January. There is one for each month. Here is what I have jotted down for January:

  • The Holy Name of Jesus
  • Mary, the Mother of God
  • North American saints (Sts. Elizabeth Ann Seton, John Neuamnn, Andre Bessette and Marguerite Bourgeoys)
  • Christmastide: Epiphany and Baptism of the Lord
  • Respect Life
  • Conversion of St. Paul
  • St. Thomas Aquinas
  • St. John Bosco
  • Christian Unity
  • Mom's birthday
  • Snowflake Bentley
  • January Thaw
Next we come to the workhorse of my day, my weekly planner sheets. There is one for each week. I designed it myself in Word, but I got the main idea from Motivated Moms. I do purchase their planner, but I use it to fill in my own weekly planner sheets with items from their chore list. I have to have things just so, you see.

The front of each sheet has seven boxes across the top, pre-filled with the days of the week (Sunday first). I fill in the date, and any significant liturgical or family event, or appointment. I use colored pens to match the liturgical color for feast days. I also just ordered calendar stickers from Motherhood Press, but they haven't come yet. I will use them in the squares in lieu of writing. Below the boxes, on the left-hand side is a narrow column entitled "Daily Checklist." Each item on the daily checklist is actually a routine (which I have written out in detail in another section). When the routing is completed, a box is checked. There are 15 routines listed, and each has seven little check boxes below it (one for each day of the week). The main column on the page has specific tasks listed for each day of the week. This is where weekly, monthly, and seasonal tasks, "to do" items, and chores from Motivated Moms are written. Some items I do every week are pre-filled under the appropriate day. There are also blank lines every day to add items.

For instance, today has:

  • sewing and mending
  • laundry
  • menu plan and shopping list for next week
  • pick up prescriptions
  • call train manufacturer re: warranty
  • call Mary re: playdate
  • Clean top shelf of fridge
  • Clean shadow box in hall
  • Clean combs and brushes
  • Invoicing
  • Past due reminder
  • Pay advertising bill
  • Mail books
That's about all I can cover for now. Tune in tomorrow for the exciting reverse side of this planner page.


Theresa ♥ said...

Mary Ann, I really like your weekly planning page. You did a great job designing it to meet your needs. There is room for everything on there.


LLMom said...

this is wonderful. I love your planner sheet that you created.

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