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Monday, October 15, 2012

Housekeeping Notebook

If you are on Pinterest at all, then you've no doubt seen a few dozen examples of a housekeeping notebook.  I'll admit that when I first saw one I thought it was cool but a bit of an overkill.  I mean, do you really need a chore list?  Can't you just look around and see what needs to be done?

Well, I've definitely been humbled, because I can safely say that I need one!  The older my kids get, the more complicated my life gets.  There are just so many moving parts, and it's so hard to remember everything.

Who remembers this guy right here from Covey's First Things First book?  Every single thing you do in a day falls into one of those quadrants.

Well, I had been in the trap of just getting the the 1st and 3rd quadrants done and neglecting a lot of the 2nd quadrant things.  Shoot, even quadrant 4 stuff started seeming urgent (hello Facebook).

So I knew I needed more organization, but I genuinely felt like I had it already.  I have a pretty massive Excel spreadsheet with a tab for everything under the sun in it.

  • Routine cleaning checklist
  • Deep cleaning checklist
  • To do
  • Grocery list
  • Meal plan
  • Large item shopping list
  • Current financial plan
  • Long term financial plan
And that was good.  It was the start of some organization.  The problem is that, maybe I'm old school, but I needed it on paper.  (Wow, yeah, I'm old.) 

So I decided to actually use all of those printables that I pinned on Pinterest and put together a cute little notebook.  And it's working!  It feels so gratifying to scratch something off of my checklist.  It also feels great to write something on a paper list to get it off my mind.  

Most of my printables I got from this website.  They basically just compiled a bunch of printables from a lot of different blogs.  I just found the ones that suited me best.  This is where I got most of them.
Design Finch
A lot of the things I altered to fit my needs, but some I didn't.  Here's what I did.  

I went to Target and got a cute 1 1/2" notebook and a pack of pocket dividers.  Then I printed up about 9 months worth of lists.  I knew that I'd want some changes, but I didn't think that I'd set aside the time to do this again, so I just figured I'd write in the changes.

This nifty little printable has it broken down by days so that you can put what you need to do each day and feel the gratification of scratching it off the list. 

Then I took all of the nagging papers off of my bulletin board and put them in the pockets of the appropriate section.  For example, I need to buy lawn care stuff, so I put the brochure in the folder of the "To-Do" section.

My next section I printed two sheets for each month.  This one has a spreadsheet of a month broken down into four weeks, and you can mark on there when each chore needs to be done.  That one is found here.  There is a line for each thing that requires deep cleaning.

And then there's a more detailed list for each of those items.  That's found on the same site.

I love this section.  Meal planning.  I write it all out and then scratch it off once I've cooked it.  I can then save old sheets for ideas for later.  I can jot down things to add to my larger spreadsheet for grocery shopping on the right. 

And for the fun but stressful section....House Projects.  I jot it all down, and then for the current projects I keep all of the business cards, estimates, etc. in the pocket.  

Then there's a section that I can jot down blog ideas.  If you don't have a blog, then you can have a hobby section.  

I still need to make an emergency section, so it's a work in progress - like everything.  :)  Also, as the kids get older I'll have a homework section.  I just put it in the to-do section now, though.

I'll warn you.  It takes a lot of paper, printer ink, and a couple hours to get this done, but you'll make that time and energy back in PRODUCTIVITY!!!!  I promise!  


  1. You've inspired me to tackle the huge pile that lives on my jewelry armoire. Thanks for all the links/tips!

    1. My kitchen desk area is where it all gathers for me, and since I started this it has remained spotless! Go for it!!! Let me know how it goes.

  2. You've inspired me to finally start moving all the gold bars and fat stacks of cash off my coffee table. ;-) -John

  3. Elizabeth ScagelMonday, October 15, 2012

    Annie do you use evernote? Every piece of paper I have that is important in some way gets scanned or put into evernote. I understand what you are saying about having a physical piece of paper though for lists. I've just found it's wonderful to be able to have access to something immediately even if you've lost the paper. anything you can record scan take a picture of etc goes in there and they are all searchable. Check it out.

    1. I do use Evernote! It's wonderful! But I use it mostly for receipts and things that I want to keep longterm. I have this mental clutter thing that happens when I keep too many short term items on the computer. It gets just as unorganized as a messy desk for me. And a lot of things fall through the cracks. But if I have a physical paper, it tends to get done more quickly.

  4. Newest follower here! I found your blog through the Texas blog group—I’m one of the newest members! Wow you are so organized, I love it!

    1. Thanks for following, Melanie! And yeah, I'm super jealous of your Napa trip! That's definitely on my list. :)

  5. Deep cleaning tab? Here's how it goes at this Hedgie house. DEEP cleaning is done a few times a year, before birthday parties or family gatherings of any sort, before having your children over for the night, before having friends over for dinner, before the birth of a baby (not ever gonna happen again). I envy you, you're soooo organized and energetic. I have to admit though, I do like things on paper, but if I put this together, I'd never use it. I'm just like that, I keep things pretty much in my head, therefore things like birthday invitations go out about a week to week and a half (if I'm on top of things) before hand. Poor planning and procrastination.

    1. LOL, that usually me, too. My house gets SO clean when we're about to entertain.



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