Last evening, my house was blessed with the sounds of the members of XI ETA CHI as we sat down and discussed how it is we each keep our households organized over a buffet of my spinach dip appetizer, salsa & chips, and fresh fruit.
As we each went around and shared some of the things we do to get organized, many of us found we use many of the same concepts in a different way.
One of the ladies uses a file card system, another keeps notes on her refridgerator, and I use my control journal - inspired by Flylady and customized over the past few years to coordinate with the needs with my household.
The greatest thing about a control journal is that it helps you take control of your day. Inside my control journal I keep my calendar, addressbook, sections for each of my children, shopping lists, to-do-list, emergency information, household information, and my latest writing project.
My calender is broken up into one week per page. Each day is broken into sections: schedule, to-do, household mission, and meal. On the back of my weekly calander, I have a grocery list, errand list, people to call list, and bills to pay.
I have a specific section for each of my children. Here I put papers that need to be signed and returned to school, newsletters, lunch menus, policys, and classroom lists. I keep the most recent paper due to return to school or needing attention to the front where I will see it. Once I month I go through and switch out old menus and newsletters and make sure I didn't forget any papers that needed sent back to school.
I keep another section full of contact and emergency information. I leave my control journal open to a particular page designed specifically for our babysitter when she comes over. This page tells here, where she is (one may forget under the stress of an emergency), introduces our children, their ages, likes, dislikes, bed time,and any allergies or health issues to be aware of, and tells the sitter where we are going and how to reach us while we are out.
My address book is full of friends, family, and I have two special seperate lists. One list is for our favorite restraunts, and the other is for listing telephone numbers of the local police, fire station, family doctor, dentist, insurance agency, car repair, and other most often used establishments to keep our home and vehicles maintained.
Thanks to Flylady, I keep a list of household chores just behind my calander, and as I go through the zones of my home I can check off what household chores have been done. I found Flylady's philosphy of "You can do anything in 15 minutes" to be percisely true. Everything I try to do something around the house I only have 15 minutes. As a stay at home mother, I'm sure others will agree with me, that kids take up the other 45 minutes of every hour of the day.
Then my control journal also serves another purpose. It's become the center of my household. If my husband decides to help out one evening and make dinner, he knows what to make - it's in my control journal. Should there be an emergency, my control journal acts on my behalf in the household by letting others know what tasks were left unfinished, and who to contact for support.
I keep my control journal in my crown bindery binder. After a few years of using a three ring binder, I found they either fall apart or they take up alot of space when trying to opened them up at meetings, the grocery store, or in the car. My crown bindery binder flips around to the back so I don't have the cover taking up excess room and is stiff enough to write in.
How do you organize your days, and what does your control journal look like?
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