Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Home organization: The Home Manual

I can't claim to be a home organizing maven. As a matter of fact, I am a flylady drop out. I just couldn't keep up with her. But the one thing that stuck was having a family manual, or a house manual. I adapted it to suit me and it has stuck. You can see how well loved, and colored upon it is.

I recently got to see why it is such a good idea. I had surgery and my husband took off work to "run the house". I had to take pain meds. When you are the woman to whom a baby benadryl is like rohipnol, you just aren't going to be able to communicate and direct the house from the couch. Having a manual of this kind will make it super easy for someone to step in for a day, a week, or just dinner when you are having a rough day. I am going to try to put the text right below the pics, but sometimes blogger doesn't really love me that way, so sorry if its awkward.

I have my coupon book and my zippy pocket at the front of the book. The zippy pocket holds my pens and pencils. I keep all my business cards and little shopping cards I don't use all the time in a baseball card holder.

The next section is my "To Do/ Routine". I typed up what my routine is each day, I have a list of each of the kids chores, and a list of the different zones I tackle on which day. For example, On Mondays I concentrate my cleaning on the Kitchen. I involve the kids in whatever zone I am tackling, we call it our "life skills" class :) Previously I tried to keep the entire house clean all the time. At some point I realized the insanity of trying to do that and homeschool with three kids, so I settle now for cleaning the house in zones. It breaks the job into manageable chunks, which works, because I am probably not going to have three full hours of uninterrupted time to clean the entire house for the next ten years or so.

My Grocery Section has my coupons to be cut out in a sheet protector, my grocery ads, my special offers for restaurants and such. I also have my Menu for the week in a sheet protector. I don't have a good picture, but I also have print outs of the recipes for what is on our menu. That way, if I am having a stressful day and Brian is going to be home, I can pass the torch for dinner onto him. Because I know that I may do that, I make VERY detailed recipes.

At the back of my manual I keep lists of what I need to buy for the next season's clothing, for next years curriculum, a wish list of items for the house and bigger home improvement projects we want to get to "someday".

As a Mom, I have found this whole idea to be super helpful. Instead of all the information about the house being up in my head, it is down on paper. This allows Brian, or anyone else, to jump right in and help out. I think the general idea can be modified to fit each individual family's needs.


Brenda said...

Thanks for sharing this! I really need to get a binder going. Like you said, just so it's not all in your head and someone else can actually see what's going on. I love pictures. They speak to me.

erika said...

I love this! Having everything in one place makes so much sense, and I don't know why I never thought of it! Especially because I am prone to losing and forgetting and such. Also, the scribbling on the cover makes it official. :)

All American x5 said...

I have seen this so many times and people say it is really the way to go.

I need to get me one of them there manuals started!!

My head is so full of this and that I can't keep up with things.

Thank you for the pics of the manual. That really gets more ideas rolling around in my head.

Edith said...

Wow...neat. I am also a flylady dropout...I started a home folder at one point but have never finished it. Guess I need to work on it again...maybe once school gets out next week.

Brenda said...

Hey Jennifer, I want to see more of your zones pages. I love your lists and want to see the rest!

Jennifer said...

I can post those tonight no problem Brenda!

H-Mama said...

You go, girl! This looks great. I can make a plan and a schedule up in my head... it works better there. In real life? Not so much. I'm learning that I'm a rebel at heart when it comes to these daily tasks. Flylady dropout here, too. ;) Maybe I should go back and take a closer look at yours... One can try.

Hope you are doing better after surgery!