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Home Management Binder: Why I Created a Household Notebook

The Front Page of My Home Management Notebook

I love this intro page. I got it at, in a free sampler I received signing up for their email list.

I love this intro page. I got it at, in a free sampler I received signing up for their email list.

Life as a Stay at Home Mom

I recently became a stay at home mom after years of a career in ophthalmology. My first few months were horrible. I was completely overwhelmed, and my brain just couldn’t handle the chaos.

Being very analytical by nature, I have to analyze everything and making decisions takes me forever. Along with this analytical mind comes a love of order, organization and efficiency. In fact, you could say I pride myself on being able to find the most efficient way to do just about anything.

But, homemaking was threatening to be the one thing I couldn’t figure out. In fact, I’ve already written two hubs in which I described my daily routine. Unfortunately, that routine was in itself chaotic. I had to find a better way.

My Brand New Binder!


Chaos, Clutter, & Complete Disorganization... AAAHHH!!

The chaos, clutter and complete disorganization of my home were driving me insane. My ideas for articles were all jumbled in my head because of the clutter. I think it might be the reason I preferred going to work every day. Seeing the clutter day in and day out was so frustrating and infuriating. Why couldn’t I figure this out?

Then, one day I cracked. That was it, I couldn’t take it anymore. I completely rearranged my bedroom closet and the bookshelves in the master bedroom. Wow, what a difference! That’s when I wrote the first hub on being a stay at home mom.

Turning Chaos into Order

Rearrangement in progress!

Rearrangement in progress!

Two days later, I completely rearranged the furniture in my living room. My desk had become the catch-all for papers and craft supplies. You name it, it was on my desk.

It was so cluttered that I had to do all my writing sitting on the couch next to my hubby while he played video games. Talk about a distraction!

I thoroughly enjoyed watching him game, but trying to find a comfortable position on the couch in which to write proved to be quite difficult. Not to mention, I was always watching him play because he’s just that good.

I first cleared off my desk; it’s hard to move when you can’t find it. I then moved it to a somewhat centralized area that would offer some quiet, but allow me to easily access any room in the house so that I could do chores and cook, while still being able to hop onto the computer to write a sentence.

It also provides my family easy access to me. The reference books I use constantly I arranged on my desk for easy access and set up my printer. I wanted to write because my desk looked so inviting and organized.

My Inviting Desk

My grocery shopping list in my Menus tab

My grocery shopping list in my Menus tab

Almost There... But Not Quite

Something was still not right. Then it dawned on me. Our schedule is weird because my husband works in the afternoon until almost midnight.

Because of this, we would go to bed at about 04:00am or later (or is it earlier?). I was unable to get my workout done first thing in the morning like I was used to doing because my daughter was already up, and I had to get my hubby off to work. I’d have to wait until my daughter went to bed at about 9:30pm.

This drove me nuts. I hated interrupting the only quiet time I had to write with a workout. Consequently, I was not getting my exercise five days a week. I had lost my motivation. It wasn’t just the clutter that was getting to me. It was the fact that my schedule just couldn’t accommodate everything I needed to get done and still allow me quiet time to write. For me, writing is not just fun; it’s a necessity. We took a huge pay cut when I quit my job.

Motivational page and 60 uses for baking soda. Most useful page ever!

Motivational page and 60 uses for baking soda. Most useful page ever!

I needed to find a way to be able to get up at 06:30am or 07:00am and get my workout in, but still be able to stay up and spend time with my hubby when he got home.

Scroll to Continue

Not to mention, I needed to be awake enough during the day to get all my chores done, and homeschool my daughter. That’s a tall order!

Enter biphasic sleep. A biphasic sleep pattern would actually solve my problem. With this type of pattern, I sleep twice a day.

I have 4.5 hours of core sleep between 10:00pm and 02:30am and a 1.5 hour nap around 09:00am to 10:30am. This freed up quite a bit of time and rearranged my schedule so that I could have the best of both worlds.

Unfortunately, scheduling this type of sleep pattern proved difficult. Since we were just starting the pattern, the adaptation period required us to sleep in shifts in order to keep the other one from over sleeping.

My weekly to do list

My weekly to do list

Then I stumbled upon an article about household or home management notebooks (HMN). When I saw it, I had no idea what it was. I’d never heard of such a thing.

After reading the article, I got really excited! I proceeded to (frantically) run around the house looking for a three-ring binder that was unused, or could be repurposed. I finally found one, and it already had dividers in it! Talk about convenient!

I sifted through tons of free printables. After I finished printing, and I saved a bunch to my computer so I could get to them even if I don't have internet access.

I also saved a few extras to try in case the ones I thought I might like weren’t as user friendly as the looked in action.

I made several main sections with subsections. I've rearranged these sections many times. This is my current configuration (as of 8/8/2013):

Calendars Tab

  • Monthly Calendars for the entire year

To Do Lists Tab

  • Daily To Do Lists (I don't always use these. I typically stick with the Weekly lists, but I have them for the really busy days when all my chores won't fit in a little box on the weekly list.)
  • Weekly To Do Lists (This is where I keep my household to do lists. I have a blogging planner for my writing work and a lesson planner for my daughter's homeschooling.)
  • To Do Lists (Master and Prioritized Monthly To Do Lists)
  • Finished To Do Lists (I keep my finished to do lists in this tab until the month is over. Then I dispose of them. Anything I missed on the list that isn't a daily chore goes back on the master task list)
  • Extra To Do Sheets
  • Spring/Fall Cleaning Lists

Meals and Menus Tab

  • Price Log (Grocery, Toiletries and Vitamins are on their own sheets)
  • Inventory (Pantry and Freezer)
  • Grocery Lists (Master list and monthly lists)
  • Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 Cheat Sheet
  • Produce Buying Guide
  • Fruit Nutritional Information
  • Menus (Weekly and Monthly)
  • Recipes (Recipes to try to Favorite Recipes)
The meals and menus tab has my price log,  grocery lists and weekly and monthly menu planners.

The meals and menus tab has my price log, grocery lists and weekly and monthly menu planners.

Gardening Tab

  • My Gardening Journal
  • Gardening To Do List
  • Plant Tracking Pages
  • Various Gardening Logs

Gardening Tab


Home Management Tab

  • Home Projects To Do List
  • Home Maintenance Checklist
  • Laundry Stain Removal Cheat Sheet (love this one)
  • Packing Checklist
My laundry cheat sheet... it's not a sheet, it's about 8 pages long!

My laundry cheat sheet... it's not a sheet, it's about 8 pages long!

Miscellaneous Family Stuff Tab

  • Car Maintenance Log
  • MISC (Magazine subscriptions and the like)

After creating this Home Management Notebook, I have felt much more relaxed. I’m finally at 100 percent. I don’t have to remember what I need at the grocery store because once a week I do the pantry inventory. I don’t have to remember when bills are due, or what’s for dinner; although, planning menus is much more difficult than I imagined.

I’m working on planning two weeks at a time in the hopes of eventually being able to plan monthly menus. I'm hoping it will cut down on how much I have to do weekly as well as our food bill.

My White Board

Courtesy of my wonderful husband who just loves to buy me things he knows I'll use. He was beaming with pride when I hung this up!

Courtesy of my wonderful husband who just loves to buy me things he knows I'll use. He was beaming with pride when I hung this up!

I also have blogging worksheets that I use to plan not only blog entries, but articles for all the websites for which I write.

I transfer ideas for the current week (or month in certain cases) from my HMN to a whiteboard next to my desk. This makes it easy to see what ideas I have going on for the week and I can pick and choose what I want to write.

Anything that doesn’t get finished is either forwarded to the next week or moved back to my HMN.

In Case You Need More Inspiration...

Some of My Favorite Sites for Free Printables

Putting this binder together actually took me two weeks. It was so worth it though. I have everything right at my fingertips.

The inspiration has been flowing quite well as of late. I look forward to my next bought of writer’s block. Maybe the garage will finally get organized and I’ll have to find printables for a garage inventory.

© 2012 Mel Flagg COA OSC


Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on August 03, 2012:

@Carol7777 Thank you so much! I may have to update this hub because my notebook has evolved quite a bit since I last edited it. This is one thing I've actually stuck to. I'm like you and usually slip back into my old ways rather quickly, but the notebook makes planning fun for me. I think it's all the really cool printables I've found. They are colorful and fun and I love using them!

Thanks for reading and commenting!

carol stanley from Arizona on August 03, 2012:

I stopped by to read thus hub out of curiosity. What an organized mind you have. I often start out with good intentions, but go back to my haphazard way of doing things. Voted up for being such a great hub.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on July 27, 2012:

@Zakmoonbeam I love your name btw! Thank you for your wonderful comment and I'm so glad I could help you! I know that feeling of completely being overwhelmed. If I can be of any assistance, just email me. I'm still adding to my notebook lol, I have more pictures and info on my blog as well if you need it. Thank you so much for your comment, and congrats on the little one the way! Best wishes!

Michael Murchie from Parts Unknown on July 27, 2012:

Wow, this is gold! As a father to a 18 month toddler, with another due in October (shudder) you can imaging the turmoil we as a family are going through right now, especially with my shift pattern changing every two weeks.

I really have to say a massive thank you as this Hub will now become something I reference regularly as I try to juggle the many many balls I have in the air right now. Brilliant !!

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on June 24, 2012:

Can't be helped, DOM. I suspect, deep down, we enjoy pushing ourselves. It's good to stretch our boundaries every now and then. ha-ha

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 23, 2012:

Thanks phoenix! I needed that. I have an article due on the 26th too, not sure if I'll make it with 3 days to spare. I just haven't felt like doing much of anything lately, which is unusual for me. You're probably right though, I'm probably pushing myself too hard.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on June 22, 2012:

Take a leaf out of your own hub. Do other creative stuff, go for a walk, meditate, anything relaxing that will allow the thoughts to flow.

If you're trying to churn out 30 hubs in as many days, writer's block will happen. I think it's the pressure of having a deadline.

I'm in the same boat. Been working on an article for almost a week and I can't seem to get past the 3rd paragraph. It''s due by the 26th June. But I will keep chipping away at it.

Howevr, if the deadline come and goes and I don't meet it, it's not the end of the world. It just means that this opportunity wasn't right for me. There will be other chances.

Have fun organizing. I know you will. :)

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 22, 2012:

You know I didn't even think of that... lol it probably is!! I need to go get my feng shui book now and see if I can rearrange it again for come inspiration. I'm stuck again lol.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on June 22, 2012:

Hmmm...sounds like a Feng Shui thing to me.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 22, 2012:

tee hee hee, speaking of clutter blocking cretive flow, I had to rearrange my desk for like the third time this week because I couldn't finish an article! lol I don't know what it is about organizing, but it makes a huge difference in my inspiration!

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on June 22, 2012:

Ha ha ha, I do enjoy our little repartee. They make me laugh.

I think you're right though. Perhaps if I had a place to stash my thoughts (like Dumbledore did with his Pensieve) it would leave my mind clear for more creative flow.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 21, 2012:

Thank you Heather! My first one wasn't all that pretty, but I used it so much that I upgraded to the one you see here. I figured I had to make it look nice otherwise I'd never use it! I loved the idea so much, I created a writing notebook and played around with reorganizing my daughter's homeschool notebook! :D I think I'm addicted to organizing lol!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 21, 2012:

ha ha ha! I knew you'd fold! :D You know when I set mine up, I was suffering writer's block too, and it actually HELPED!! I think the act of organizing really helped declutter my brain. Plus, I got creative and made it look pretty tee hee... I wanna see pictures Phoenix!!! :D

Heather from Arizona on June 21, 2012:

This is fantastic! I need to make one of these. Yours is gorgeous-- pretty enough to sell!

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on June 20, 2012:

All right, I give. I've been fighting this for too long. I want a HMN! I know it's probably just a distraction from the writer's block I'm dealing with at the moment, but I want one anyway.

I'm bookmarking this and will be in touch.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on June 20, 2012:

I would like the blogging planners, even though I don't have blogs yet! But I do write for a few different places, and I plan to get a few blogs going at some point. I'll get back with you on that! :-)

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 20, 2012:

lol my brain is very pickable! :D I actually had to MAKE time to put mine together, but the printables motivated me. I took a lot of my writing time, and a couple workout sessions to put everything together and print out the zillion forms I used! (I found some great blogging planner sheets, and blogging goals, meal planners etc. Some of them are really cute, and others are really pretty.) the blogging planners have really helped with my writing. I can plan out all my articles for the week, it's AWESOME! lol

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on June 20, 2012:

Thanks, DOM, for all the info. I actually found some links on the home notebook site that you had linked in your hub. I don't know if they're the same forms you use? Probably similar, though. Now, if I just have the time and motivation to get my notebook together! Thanks so much. Don't be surprised if I take you up on your offer and pick your brain later! :-)

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 20, 2012:

Your welcome Time2spare, and thank you for your comment!! Honestly, I thought after I finished my binder that I'd be perfectly organized, but I keep thinking of new ways to use it more efficiently. I have a feeling I'll be updating this hub pretty regularly! Let me know how your binder turns out! Thanks again for reading and commenting!

Time2Spare from Richmond, Virginia on June 20, 2012:

Wow this is a great read. I thought i was pretty organised. but your hub just showed me there is lot more i can do at my home too. This process will also help in reducing unnecessary purchases and help in saving some bucks too. Thanks a lot.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 20, 2012:

Thank you slackermom!! I feel your pain! If your mind was cluttered like mine was, I know how desperately need some order! We never had the food we needed in the kitchen, and forget making a grocery list! ou know how much money we spent on stuff we already had?? Plus I had to stress about what to make for dinner, how to get my chores done, and when I would write and homeschool. It was just utter chaos. This is probably the best thing I've ever done for myself. Even my hubby agreed!!

Please do let me know how your binder works for you! If I can help let me know. I've tweaked mine since I wrote this (yep, tweaked it again). :D Have fun! I had a blast putting mine together!

Lisa Palmer from Attapulgus GA on June 20, 2012:

This is absolutely the best idea I've heard in a long time. I am currently (and for a long time actually) been dealing with chaos for the same reasons you've expressed. I have a notebook for bills but this household binder seems perfect. I don't write the way I really want because I have no space for me anywhere except maybe sitting in bed which leads to back pain and constant interruption.

My mind feels cluttered and I can't seem to get anything together. I definitely plan to start putting mine together tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks for the great hub. Voted up and useful.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 20, 2012:

Thank you Victoria! I'm so glad you found it useful! If you want links to all the printables I found, their on my blog although a couple are listed here. I hope it helps you as much as it did me!! :D Thanks so much for your comment!!

Victoria Anne from Las Vegas on June 20, 2012:

This is awesome! I am always making lists and then they end up getting lost in my desk or purse. This looks like a great way to get organized. I'll definitely be trying it!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 20, 2012:

Thank you Alicia! I'm glad you found it useful. I know how chaotic things felt when I didn't have my notebook, so feel free to use all my stuff lol. I tend to be a very detailed person, my binder is now over 2" thick, and I think I might need a new one already lol. Thanks so much for you comment, I'm flattered! :D

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 20, 2012:

You have some fantastic organization ideas, Daughter of Maat! I'm going to try some of them - they sound like just what I need to bring some order to a hectic life. I love all the details in your hub - they're so useful!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 20, 2012:

I'm still overwhelmed sometimes too, Vee. Like today was actually a bad day (although it may be hormonal lol). I haven't gotten much done at all and I'm feeling a bit depressed over it because I have SO MUCH to do. I'm also tired because I missed my nap, so I'm running on 4.5 hours sleep. With the biphasic sleep thing, if you don't get one of your segments, you pay dearly for it. A lot of the time, I try NOT to multitask. I know that sounds odd, but it's been scientifically proven that the brain isn't great at multitasking. It takes a few moments for the brain to switch over to another task, and during this transition, mistakes are easily made. The only time I really multitask is when I'm doing laundry and other chores.

I'm not sure I put links in this hub for the printables, if you'd like the websites for the free printables I can email you my blog addy. I listed every printable I use on that one. :D I LOVE printables!! I even found a blogging business plan that I filled out for each of my blogs and hubpages so that I know exactly what I want to accomplish with which site. That made it MUCH easier to decide on articles for each site, especially since I just started the 30/30 challenge!

If I can help in anyway, let me know. I know what that overwhelming feeling is like and I hated it, so I know how you feel!

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on June 20, 2012:

Oh, I needed to read this, but I am still overwhelmed, and i don't even have a family! I want your notebook though. You are amazing. Everything you do a home, plus writing--and homeschooling! You are a machine. Thanks for sharing your secrets. I think I will start my own home management notebook and throw away all those scraps (lists) strewn all over the counter! Many votes and sharing!

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on June 17, 2012:

Ha-ha. Sounds like your daughter totally gets you.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 17, 2012:

yup, that's the one!! lmao I have a witchy laugh that most people find a bit scary, but my daughter finds hysterically funny lmao...

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on June 17, 2012:

Witchy laugh...witchy laugh (musing, snapping fingers) how about Margaret Hamilton from 'The Wizard of Oz'?

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 17, 2012:

Insert maniacal witchy laugh here lmao

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on June 17, 2012:

Cool. Will sit patiently and...oh who am I kidding. I've already found a new distraction. So I will putter about and wait for your secret formula. lol

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 17, 2012:

lol omg it's so funny how alike we are. I haven't figured that part out either. I'm so anal when it comes to the research part that it takes me FOREVER to write an article. It is creative, but there is something creative about being productive as well. So, I'm embarking on the 30 hubs in 30 days challenege to see if I can force my brain to streamline my process. I always work better under pressure, but there's no one here to pressure me... which is good, but it means I have to do it. lol And I do notice when I get bored, I start finding even more ways to streamline. I think that's actually what compelled me to create an HMN. It also tends to distract the crap out of me lol

You like that comment huh? lol it's true she cleaned constantly. Maybe not as much as your mom did. My mother was actually quite efficient at cleaning, she kept the house so immaculately clean she very rarely had to do any! Cleaning didn't get in the way of our relationship, it was her incessant need to know everything that was going on in my life. I mean everything, down to "are you about to ovulate?" lol Talk about stress, and she wondered why I was so irregular! lmao

But when I figure out the secrete formula to writing creatively and productively, you can be sure you'll be the first one I tell!!

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on June 17, 2012:

Love that line about your mother's floor. Hil-a-rious.

Mine was a neat freak too. It was her life. She was so consumed with cleaning, dusting, vacumming and redecorating it left no time for us to bond. When I complained of this she made it very clear there would never be any room in her life for both her cleaning and me. She carried on cleaning. So at six years of age I started making plans to move out when I was old enough. (Subconsciously, of course. But it was what got me through childhood.)

Yes, my brain does head that way. I'll work the system as is and once I'm comfortable (or bored) with it, I start looking ways to streamline it.

Compulsion? I suppose. I'm the same way with my writing. I know it's a creative pursuit, but surely there's a way to increase productivity without sacrificing quality?

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 16, 2012:

Wow, you stole my line... :D I, too, love making order out of chaos, and I love watching it happen and I know what you mean about constantly looking for ways to be more efficient. Doesn't it seem like your brain just naturally gravitates toward the most efficient way to do something? It's a compulsion I swear!

I never thought of it that way, but you're probably right. Although my mother's house was always impeccable that if you had a cold you could eat off the floor and get better, the emotional state of affairs was 100% chaotic. Walking on eggshells is not order! Since we're so rational, instead of trying to control emotion or other people, we attempt to make our environments more peaceful by organizing. See, I learn so much about myself with you're comments! :D That's a brilliant insight!!

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on June 16, 2012:

This should come as know surprise to you that I'm very into being organised. I love creating order out of chaos. It's what I do. I'm the same way at work. No matter what system is already in place, I constantly look for way to increase its efficiency. It's how I'm hard-wired.

After reading your views on organisation it occurred to me that maybe the reason we love order so much is because our childhoods were so disordered. Keeping everything just so helps keep us sane and provides a feeling of security and power. It pains me to say this, but I believe we may have inherited our parents' controlling behaviour. We just channel it differently.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 15, 2012:

lol Melchi!! I had to get organized. I was going insane (although my hubby would say I was almost there to begin with lol). Being a SAHM is awesome, the Home management notebook was my main reason for for being a stay at home mom... lol ;) tee hee hee thanks so much for commenting and sharing!!

Melanie Chisnall from Cape Town, South Africa on June 15, 2012:

What an amazing idea! I love how organized you are! It certainly beats a boring little notebook to jot the everyday "must do's" in! I think I want to become a stay-at-home mom now, just for that organizer book - hehe! Great tips and advice, voted up and sharing!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 15, 2012:

Thank you Angela! I was so excited when I got my new binder all set up, that I couldn't wait to post them. Tee hee... I can't believe I've already filled up this new binder it's an inch larger than my old one!! I think I might join you in getting more binders, I may have to turn some of my dividers into their own notebooks!

Thanks for commenting and of course sharing!!

Angela Brummer from Lincoln, Nebraska on June 15, 2012:

The pictures add a lot although the information is great! Binders can keep up sane. I need more binders!!!! I am sharing this on Twitter, FB, google+ and with hubbers!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 15, 2012:

ha ha ha.... nope, my record is 7 books. I usually leave with 2 minimum! It's funny, my hubby was astonished at how many books I had when he met me. He thought there was no way I could have read all of them, and I'm not sure he believed me when I told him I did. He started look through the book , I guess to see if they had been "used." Although, I keep my books pristine, if there's a crease in the cover, or a page I get so mad. Ironically, I underline in most of them. Weird huh? But that was the only way he could tell I had actually read the books. He said he had never seen anyone who read that much. That new book smell is just irresistible, how can you not read them? lol

I just got some page protectors too. tee hee hee :D

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on June 15, 2012:

Anal retentive, and yes I know what you mean. Thanks for reminding me; I need correction tape as well. Since I'm in the area, I should stop at PC World and look at some cameras, i.e. start hinting about what I'd like for Christmas.

Since you mention it, have you ever been able to browse through a bookstore and NOT come out with at least two or three books?

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 15, 2012:

tee hee.. I actually thought twice before I admitted that, but I'm glad I'm not the only one. I don't know what it is, I just love the tactile sensation of writing on paper. So, I guess I get excited to see new crisp paper just out of the box and a pen just waiting to be used... I love the smell of new books too! lol

Oh scotch tape, I need some too! And I need one of those correction tape thingys. I hate the look of something scratched out on my calendar, it makes me want to rip it out and start all over... wait is that anal retentive or OCD? :D

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on June 15, 2012:

Ha-ha. I thought I was the only one who got excited about stationery supplies. DOM, you truly are a girl after my own heart.

Come to think of it, I need more Scotch tape. I better get to Staples this weekend. :)

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on June 14, 2012:

It's probably sad, but I ordered a new binder and some really awesome dividers, and I got REALLY excited when UPS dropped it off. My hubby just laughed at me, I spent all day putting it back together and reorganizing it! I had to get a bigger binder, I needed more space so I splurged a bit. I'll be posting new pics soon, it looks even more organized now. Chaos is fun at times, but not when it's in my brain! lol :D

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on June 14, 2012:

And I thought I was organized. What a terrific way to "control" the chaos.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on May 26, 2012:

Thanks Kitty!! I didn't think about it either until I saw the article on squidoo. But it has become an indispensible part of my life. Just yesterday, my hubby forgot his phone. I was so busy with chores and homeschooling I forgot to work on a grocery list so that when he called I could rattle it off. When he did call, I was so thankful for my HMN, I had just finished my inventory a couple days ago and had made a preliminary list! Saved by the notebook!!!

I haven't started scanning my file drawer yet lol, I've been putting it off. But it's starting to nag at me...I'll get to it, eventually... If you want to see more pics, I just posted some on my blog and I'm adding more as I finish my binder. I found something odd that I added yesterday. A ring sizing chart. Just in case I forget what size my rings are, I have this guide in my notebook and can easily check my rings against it. This notebook is my second brain!!

Kitty Fields from Summerland on May 26, 2012:

I never thought to put together a home mgmt binder, that's a really clever & useful idea. We have a filing cabinet with a ton of files in it...but I think I'm too lazy to go through the entire thing! LOL. Awesome hub. Great pictures. This rocked.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on May 19, 2012:

Thank you Beth! You went from a 3 bedroom to a small apartment? Wow, yup that would drive me insane too! We moved from a 2 bedroom apartment to a house, and I'll be honest, if I ever have to move again, it better be to another house!!

I'm glad this hub helped, I know my binder has helped me tremendously (in fact it's sitting right next to me with my to-do list glaring at me with one little thing not checked off...). Even though I don't have all my info in it yet, I can see how beneficial it will be when I do. I just finished making up my own vegan grocery list, and I'm attempting to implement a system of using a master list to create a "mini" weekly list. The price log is indispensible in this case! :D

Best of luck with your new home. I hope you can get it organized soon! :D

BethDW on May 19, 2012:

Ah, SUCH A GOOD IDEA! I recently moved into a small apartment with my partner, downgrading from the 3 bedroom house we used to live in, and the mess is driving me INSANE. This is such a good idea for managing our crazy lives. voted up and shared!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on May 19, 2012:

OMG!!! That is an AWESOME tip! THANK YOU!!! I was wondering how people did that!! Now I just have to find all my hubs with links in them lol.. I just bookmarked her hub and she now has a new follower!

Thanks again!!! Great tip, as always, LOVE your comments lol :D

C E Clark from North Texas on May 19, 2012:

A very interesting hub and I'm sure it will be helpful to lots of people who feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start. I'm in that condition myself right now. Thank you for mentioning me in your hub!

There is something I want to tell you that I think will help you and make your hubs even better. I hope you won't mind. It has made my hubs better and once you get the hang of it, it's so easy.

Sinea Pies, one of our co-hubsters has a fantastic hub on how to open links into a new window so that your readers won't be taken away from your page. You can put her name in the hubpages search box if you aren't already acquainted with her, or you can follow this URL:

Hope you don't mind my putting the URL there. You can delete it if you like, but first write it down or something so you can go there and learn how to open links in a new window. The directions for doing that are near the bottom of the 2nd page of her hub titled, "Readers -- How To Keep Them." The title of the section that has directions for opening links in new windows is, "Open In A New Window."

I hope you enjoy this little trick as much as I do.

Great hub. Voting you UP and useful! Sharing with my followers.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on May 19, 2012:

D of maat what a useful share.. thank you

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on May 19, 2012:

I have the same problem, I'm so behind on my scrapbooking, I don't think I'll ever catch up. I'm hoping this Binder will help me find some time for it. I miss being able to be uber creative and my daughter loves looking at her finished albums. I haven't even really been taking pictures. Since my puppies died, I guess I just haven't felt like taking photos. But, I'm slowly taking more and more, so I need to get scrappin!

Bonny OBrien from Troy, N.Y. on May 18, 2012:

I need to get backed to being organized. I have really slacked of bad. especially with my photo ablums. I don't know where all my time goes these days.

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on May 18, 2012:

Thanks wordsmith! I've done the "wing it" thing, and while everything got done, it drove me nuts. I have a horrible memory, so some of the lesser important things would get lost in the shuffle. I do have a celaning schedule, but, honestly, it's only there to remind me what I normally do once a week, rather than my daily chores (how do you forget daily chores??)

My daughter and I are having a blast. Homeschooling is going well. Although she doesn't officially start homeschooling until september, I thought getting into the swing of things a bit early may help her build an attention span for the harder stuff. This is one area that I absolutely have to have a binder. In order to stick with Florida's guidelines, I have to plan lessons (I have to have a portfolio for the end of the year and in case the superintendent stops by and asks to see it... seriously, that's what the laws are lol). If I didn't have a lesson plan or a place to keep all her work, I'd be less likely to teach her daily, and actually progress her lessons.

Since I've organized everything, I feel so much better. I know it doesn't work for everyone, but it's taken a load off my shoulders. My brain is free to remember the good stuff instead of the minute details like when to clean the litter boxes. I, personally, love the tactile sensation of writing things down on paper. I know it's weird, but I LOVE it. So I use the computer for making forms, and printing stuff I find online, but I physically write when I'm planning. Kind of brings me back to reality I think.

Thanks for your comment! :D

Veronica Lewis from Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania on May 18, 2012:

I'm just returning to work full time next week. I had to laugh as I read through your article. I went through a lot of the same things. I created a system with a looseleaf binder to try and organize our home. Hmmmm, I wonder where that got to...LOL! Nowadays I just keep a to do list on Notepad in my computer and add or delete.

I was home with my kids from birth till three years ago when I started p/t sub teaching. My kids are 10 & 12. Oldest is 27 and in her own home, thank God.

I would get organized and then things would change drastically like my husband's schedule, or the kids sports. Nowadays we just wing it. I don't stress about being organized, everything gets done. It was hard when they were really small but I can't tell you how many times I went to hang out with other at home moms and left dishes in the sink, toys on the floor and the beds unmade. Looking back now almost a decade later, I'm glad we a lot of fun. My friends used to love hanging out at my house because it was pretty laid back. I now have a hubby who cleans as well or better than I do. He keeps up with dental stuff and certain bills and I do the medical stuff and other bills. I love that no one seems to think keeping everything organized is my solely my job. Everyone has responsibilities. I like it a whole lot better.

I hope you get organized, I know what it feels like when you come home from a career. Esp. when everything was organized in the office. My friend has 9 kids and she homeschools. I have helped at times but it's a lot. I also hope you and your child (children) have lots of fun too!

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on May 18, 2012:

Thank you Dr Pooja! I noticed when I was researching the notebook, that some people only use certain things, others have the notebook as a back up fo important info, and still other's are "hardcore" notebookers. Everything and anything ends up well organized in their books. I did mine a bit differently, and I was hoping it might inspire others! :D

Mel Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on May 18, 2012:

Ha! Maybe I should hire out my services... lol

I had fun actually making this. I found the prettiest (or what I thought was pretty) printables (I'm still trying things, I haven't found all the pages I really like yet.) Since I made this thing, my desk has actually STAYED organized!! Can you believe it? I know what you mean about the darn thing being a magnet. I should take a picture of my hubby's desk for an example of what mine used to look like and I never knew what to do with any of it!

My next project is going completely digital. My file drawer would make an excellent place for all three of my notebooks, but it's full. So... I'm scanning every single piece of paper in it and filing it away electronically. Most of it is stuff I won't need like 5 year old bank statements, and stuff I do need, can take a file in the back. This one is going to take awhile though. But I'm planning on writing a hub about it too. :D My adventures in organizing! hahaha

Dr Pooja on May 18, 2012:

Inspiring Hub!!!Hope I can incorporate few things I learnt from this hub into my daily life.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on May 18, 2012:

Lady, you scare me. But in a good way. I thought I was organized but clearly I'm an amateur compared to you.

I know how you feel about the whole desk thing. Mine is also a magnet for stuff people don't know what to do with. (Why they assume I do, I'll never know.) No matter how often I point out we have recycling bins, I still find stuff their.

I like the idea of a household planner, but I would need to take a week off work to make one. Could I just hire you instead?

Good stuff, DOM. Voted up, useful and interesting.

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