On one of the blogs I enjoy reading, I found this concept...complete with a printout to keep track of my progress, and plan ahead a little. The first thing I did was put "filing system" in the number one spot, followed by "Household Notebook" and "finances". I have been meaning to make a household notebook for years, and finally, I have done it. I have been working at this over the last couple of weeks...I spent my time in the office instead of cleaning house for our visitors. HOWEVER it all turned out well, and I got rid of tons of paper that was clogging my life! Plus, I am 'covered' until the third week of January! I like to get ahead of myself a little!
I switched from using file folders to using binders. SUCH a good idea! Not sure where I first saw it, but it is so much more convenient than having a zillion floppy papers in a drawer! Of course, being able to buy the binders at Costco for very little helped, too. It took a dozen 1" binders to hold the necessary papers to keep our home running. They store very compactly in the filing cabinet, spines up and labelled, and it is very easy to find anything now! The bonus was having a clearvue front that I was able to keep a few sentimental things and to serve as a decorative cover. (the receipt for our first new car, my engagement ring, something pertinent to what is in the binder).
As for the household notebook? Everything is in there now. Telephone numbers and addresses, with lots of room to add new ones due to the letter sized format, plastic pages of business cards for service providers, our simple financial records ( I have given up on using a computer program, since I am famous for crashing the things and losing my data) Basically I have ten looseleaf three column sheets to track our spending categories, and a seperate Dayrunner "Household" book that holds the bills in pockets, by month. I will always have twelve months at hand, replacing Jan 2011 with Jan 2012, if you get my drift. I mean really, do you need to keep your Visa bills for five years, and clutter up your files? I think a year will work out just fine. I also have sections in the Household notebook for special projects (52 Weeks of Organizing for instance!), cleaning lists. The only thing that didn't fit, were food related! So, there is a seperate binder to keep track of my menu plans and recipes that I want to try. There are sections to list cleaning lists for the different zones in our home, and scheduled task lists. I followed some of Flylady's reccommendations, and added some of my own. If everyone had the same categories for their Household book, it wouldn't have taken me ten years to build one! But there is a genuine feeling of security in having things in black and white. The next step will be to take hubby through the book, and explain it all to him. You never know what could happen in life, and it is a good thing to have us both aware of what it takes to keep the house running smoothly.
Which brings me to another topic! Our little house guest. This child is a complete dream to look after. She is so sweet natured and happy...her father all over again. She hasn't shed a tear since her parents left, and has been so much fun to have with us! We have craft projects every day and have kept them in a decorated binder to give her parents on their return...lesson learned, though, three year old plus glue? Not a great idea. Three year old and stickers? BRILLIANT idea!
There are so many resources on the web now, that finding things for little people to do is very easy. Gone are the days when you just handed a kid a box of crayons. Of course, with my compulsive nature and a few trips to the dollar store, I think I have enough craft supplies to last a lifetime! But who can resist glittery princess stickers and coloured card stock? She is so much like her father, with a very long concentration span. She happily spends hours making her projects. It is well worth the time spent to clear up the cutting scraps and bits of nonsense that hit the floor to see her so engaged in her work.
So, that is what we have been up to at our house. This has been a great way to start the new year!