The Home Management Binder: How It Changed My Life

by Daughter_of_Maat

After a career in ophthalmology, I became a stay at home mom. I'd never done anything like this before, but I thought it had to be easier than my previous career. I was so wrong.

I like being organized. I enjoy watching chaos become order. However, recently my life has been quite chaotic. I recently became a stay at home mom after a 16 year career in ophthalmology. I was accustomed to being in a medical office working closely with doctors, and this was completely different. Taking care of my six year old seemed like it would be much easier than completing an eye exam. But, as I found out, it was infinitely harder.

Since we took a pay cut when I quit my job, I decided that I needed to try to make a little extra money by working at home which is when I was introduced to writing online. It seemed like a viable option, but I had also just decided to homeschool my daughter. Now, I had the perfect recipe for disaster.

The first couple months of 2012 saw me floundering trying to get a writing career off the ground and figure out how to teach my daughter to read along with all those other important things she needed to know. I was having a rather difficult time keeping my head above water and felt completely overwhelmed.

I had chores coming out of my ears, and I wasn’t keeping track of anything. The house was a complete disaster with clutter everywhere! If you asked me where my desk was, I would have laughed at you and said, “What desk?” My life was in complete chaos, and I was starting to become depressed over it. Who am I kidding, I was depressed over it.

My HMB has 8 dividers
My HMB has 8 dividers
© Copyright 2012 by Daughter of Maat ...

A few days after this realization, I read an article about a new trend among homemakers. This trend had several names: Home Management Binder, Household Binder, Household Notebook, Household Management Notebook, you get the idea. As I read this article, I had one of those elusive “AH-HA!” moments. Why hadn’t I thought of this?

A home management binder (HMB) manages all things having to do with the home. Home improvement projects, family calendars, Mom’s to do list and other odds and ends can be found in this binder. It’s typically a three ring binder with dividers and can be easily customized fit your needs. There is plenty of information online from mom’s who use one of these, so getting ideas for dividers was actually quite easy. I decided what tabs I wanted and got to work.

I’m going to show you how I customized my binder. This system may not work for you, but you can tweak it and make it work for you. My system is quite detailed, so I’ll try to be as brief as possible.

My Home Management section
My Home Management section
© Copyright 2012 by Daughter of Maat ...

My HMB has eight tabs and each tab has several subsections. They include:

  • Writing: This tab has subsections for each blog and site I write for online.
  • Meals & Menus: The subsections in this tab are grocery lists and menus.
  • Calendars: I have a foraging calendar (my hubby likes to forage for food since we live near a forest), and the family calendar.
  • To Do Lists: This is the tab with the most subsections. I have a section for each of the following: Daily, Weekly, Master/Monthly, Finished To Do’s, and Extra Blank To Do sheets.
  • Medical/ER: I have a section for each family member (including the pets) behind this tab.
  • Family Finances: This is the only tab that doesn’t have any subsections yet.
  • Home Management: Subsections include my laundry stain removal cheat sheet, Home Maintenance, and Car Maintenance
  • Misc. Family Stuff: This tab is pretty random as its name suggests. I have some of my homeschooling things here, like my lesson plan. I also have random game ideas which are handy on a rainy day, and a table setting cheat sheet.
My weekly planner pages
My weekly planner pages
© Copyright 2012 by Daughter of Maat ...
Weekly meal planner page
Weekly meal planner page
© Copyright 2012 by Daughter of Maat ...

I splurged on the dividers with double pockets, and I’m so glad I did. They are so useful, and have become an integral part of my system. Anything I’m working on goes in the front pocket of its respective tab. For example, I’m currently working on my blogging business plan. Instead of putting it in a page protector and having to remove it every time I want to add something, I just put it in the front pocket of my writing tab. When I’m done with it, I’ll put it in page protectors and add it to the blog subsection of the writing tab.

My favorite part of setting up my HMB was all the printables! I found a plethora of awesome forms that were free to print. There were menu planning pages, to do lists (oh how I love to do lists), pantry and freezer inventory sheets, blog business planners, personal goal worksheets, you name it; I found it. I printed so many forms, my printer ran out of ink (that’s about 365 sheets), and I had to buy a new binder.


Home Management Binder Supplies

Avery 11906 - WorkSaver Big Tab Plastic Dividers, Two Slash Pockets, 5-Tab, Assorted-AVE11906

Bigger tabs and inserts provide 50% more printing space. Special design keeps tab inserts secure yet easy to remove. Front and back of each divider has a slash pocket for quick ...

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Avery 81824 Big Tab Two-Pocket Insertable Plastic Dividers 81824, 5-Tab Set

Avery 81824 Big Tab Two-Pocket Insertable Plastic Dividers 81824, 5-Tab Set Avery 81824 Big Tab Two-Pocket Insertable Plastic Dividers 81824, 5-Tab Set Features: Big Tabs are la...

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What I have found most useful about the whole HMB system is the freedom I have to get things done. While it was time consuming to set up, I only have to do my planning once a week instead of trying to figure out what I have to do every day or trying to figure out what’s for dinner every night. It has also allowed me to be more creative because there aren’t as many “to-dos” running around cluttering my mind. I can also be a better mom and wife and I can focus on homeschooling and all the things that are really important.

© Copyright 2012 by Daughter of Maat ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Updated: 08/15/2012, Daughter_of_Maat
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Rose on 01/28/2014

It sounds like a great idea. And better than an online organiser, because with an old-fashioned binder anyone in the household can take a look at medical info, to do lists or whatever

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