printable planner forms and checklistsUnlike a personal planner, which is designed for use by one person, a household notebook or family organizer serves as “command central” for an entire family. While each family’s organizer will be unique, most are simple three-ring notebooks with several divider sections.
Most household notebooks include a telephone and message section, a divider for church, clubs or volunteer activities, travel, home management and finance sections, medical information, and personal records like gift list and clothing size charts.
Because they’re infinitely expandable, household notebooks become as distinctive as the family that uses them. A family with school-aged children involved in dance, music and sports will include organizer sections for rehearsal and practice schedules, summer activity ideas and video to-rent lists. A two-career couple with pre-school children may add babysitter and day care dividers and an emergency telephone list to their household notebook. Empty nesters will rely on packing checklists for vacations, home repair records and gift suggestion lists for far-flung children.
Professional organizers recommend the concept. Deniece Schofield, author of Confessions of a Happily Organized Family, points out that the “purpose of the family organizer is to hold and organize all of the papers that anyone in the house has to look at or refer to.”
In Totally Organized the Bonnie McCullough Way, writer Bonnie McCullough advises setting up a planning notebook, with sections for “calendar”, “telephone”, “money” and “people.” Bonnie advises adding specific dividers to each section to personalize the planning notebook.
These organizing professionals know a good thing when they see one! By compiling and storing family information in a central location, life at home benefits. No more searching for scraps of paper or mislaid permission slips. They’re always right where they belong: in the family organizer.
How To Create a Family Organizer
printable forms and checklistsTo create your family’s Household Notebook, start with a three-ring binder, some clear page protectors, paper and tabbed dividers.
Using tabbed dividers from the office supply store, set up dividers according to your family’s needs. Remember, each family grows their own family organizer; expect divider categories to change along with your family. Our organizer’s tabs offer suggestions for dividers; click on each tab for more information about that organizer section.
To set up your Household Notebook, gather all scattered slips and scraps of paper: pizza menus and business cards, school hand-outs and church bulletins, class schedules and scout camp brochures. Enter information in the Notebook, writing phone numbers to the correct phone directory pages, punching and filing club calendars, slipping magazine articles into page protectors.
Be creative! Add dividers that express your household’s priorities and needs. A freezer cooking divider stores recipes, instructions and reheating information for the results of a once-a-month cooking session. Planning home improvement projects? Add a divider, and store snips and swatches in page protectors. Use Master To-Do and Daily To-Do lists in any divider to keep track of ongoing projects and goals.
So you think businesspeople are the only folks who need a personal planner? Think again: families need an organizer, too, to keep life moving smoothly on the home front!
Whether it’s called a household notebook, a home management binder or family organizer, this simple idea saves time, cuts stress, and enhances communication in any-sized family or household. Learn more here – starnorth.org
A standard-sized binder stocked with calendars and schedules, planner forms and inventories, a Household Notebook creates a one-stop information center for busy families. Whether it’s a carpool schedule or a co-worker’s phone number, the Household Notebook holds the information you need to check each day.
Ready for an evening out? Flip the Notebook open to the “Emergency Information” page, and the babysitter will always know where to find you.
Time for dinner? Menu planners, recipe organizers and shopping list make it easy to feed the family night after night.
Clean house fast with cleaning schedules, chore lists and seasonal checklists for home maintenance. Keeping tabs on children’s activities, sports team phone numbers or emergency information is as easy as flipping a divider.
Stay-at-home parents and homeschool families add calendar and scheduling features to the Household Notebook. Daily morning and evening checklists and family schedules make it easy to organize life in busy families with small children. Empty-nesters corral take-out menus, service club rosters and medical information to make life flow smoothly.
Ready to create your own Household Notebook?
Click the links below for more information about making and using a Household Notebook … to get organized at home.