Thursday, October 6, 2011

I finally did it!!

In my head...I like to pretend I'm insanely organized and fantastic at keeping track of things.

Reality is a bit different. I only have a husband and a small child and myself to care for...and no immediate plans to bring another human into the equation for a bit, so I only have three people to take care of. Oh...and a dog who has some crazy allergy issues. But that's a different story. I can keep my house clean without issue. I can keep my family fed and clothed. But add anything else in there and things go a bit haywire. As much as I'd love organization...I struggle with it.

I joined a FlyLady Baby Steps Challenge this week and it's helped a lot, but I knew I needed something else.

I've been hearing my friends talk about Family Binder systems and making a notebook/binder that keeps all the important stuff in one area. It sounded like a good idea.

I looked at a few different systems to get an idea but ultimately, I know if this was going to work I needed to make my own system. it is. My 97% completed binder. (I say 97% because there are a few tiny things that are missing...I'll mention those when I get there.)

I found this binder at Target. It was a bit pricey ($6.49) but it was made from 90% recycled materials and was cute. I need cute.)

I decorated the inside cover (and you'll see these pictures throughout the binder) with clippings from a calendar I was given by some friends in college. It's called "Jaded Ladies" I *think*. But it is all vintage photos with funny captions. Please, no one take offense to these. They are meant to be funny and comical. 

I used scrapbooking decals and stickers to decorate the front. I already had the letters, the flowers were $1.99 for a pack of 12. But there was more than 12 in the pack. 14 actually. 

I bought an 8 pack of scrapbooking paper (99 cents!) and Sharpies. We needed Sharpies for some other projects around here. I already had a pack of notebook paper, and each section has a bit for notes and such. 

I broke the binder into five different sections.


In this section I put three pages -- my cleaning schedule, how to do laundry (this is for the hubs if he ever has to....) and Recipes for cleaners.

The next section is Lunch/Dinner menus. I created a weekly meal chart so I could easily write in whatever we are having for meals. This section is missing a small part. I plan on finding some type of zipper pouch where I can put the recipes on index cards (or ones I already have written down) into the zipper pouch so they are easy to refer to for the week. Target and Wal-Mart were out of zipper pouches (I'm thinking of the kind that are normally used for pencils.) So I continue on the search for those.

The next section is shopping lists. This section is also in need of a zipper pouch for coupons. just started, how are they already out of zipper pouches?!?! :P This section has notebook paper as I didn't see the point of printing off a piece of paper that said "Grocery list". 

The fourth section is Budgets and Bills. I made a budget spreadsheet for each pay period and printed it off, and left room for notes/added expenses, etc. 

I couldn't find a cute vintage photo for this section. I will keep looking.

The last section (for now) is Appointment and Schedules. The hubs and I have a horrible problem communicating who is doing what, when it is happening, etc...I'm hoping this will help.

I made two calendars. One is a month, one is weekly. The weekly one has three columns, one for each person. Hopefully this will clear up confusion. As you can see, this week is pretty clear. I'm thankful for that.  

I also bought post-it notes and extra pencils for this notebook, as well as extra section dividers to add more as needed. I would imagine as our family grows, that will be needed.

Like I said...I didn't follow on specific system, I just did what works for us. Hopefully this will give some ideas on how to create a binder system for yourself. I foresee this being insanely helpful!! :D

Have fun!! :D



  1. LOVE the snarky vintage photos! They are PERFECT!

  2. LOVE IT!!!!

    Mine is no where NEAR as pretty as yours!

  3. I love it! I am inspired to make my own, now!

  4. Okay, I need this in my life. Thank you for the inspiration!

    On a side note, I have refrigerator magnets that go along with your calendar clippings. I find them quite fun!

  5. This is amazing! You have inspired me to create my on family binder and start the Flylady program. Can't wait to get my house in tip top shape!

  6. I so need to do this, I have been meaning to create a family binder for a while, but just never really got round to it. So glad you added this post to the blog blitz as you have just inspired me :)

  7. Great idea! I've been meaning to do this forever. You make it look easy to get organized. Thanks!

  8. That is such a great idea! I asked Sam to help me with laundry and had to write it all down, anyway. Having it bound and handy would be very helpful. He probably feels the same way about teaching me to cook. ;)

  9. Very cool! At this point, I can only dream of sticking to something like this, but I love the concept :-)