Written by contributing writer, Trina Holden at All That Is Good.
Are you overwhelmed? Are you constantly making lists but never getting closer to your goals? Are you drained by the constant need to prioritize your time, yet fearful that if you let your mind rest, something will leak out?
I’m with you, girlfriend.
By the time I had my third child, I began to fantasize almost daily about hiring outside help. Unfinished projects, unfolded laundry, and dirty dishes filled my time and had me constantly struggling to stay on top of things. I thought, “If I just had help, then I could do it all!” And doing it all was what my prideful heart wanted most.
One day the Lord opened my eyes to how pride was at the foundation of many of the goals that were overwhelming me. In His graciousness, He not only showed me what I needed to let go of, but also led me to some habits and strategies that brought more peace and productivity to each day. One of those strategies was to create a home management binder.
Since I have built my Home Management Binder and been using it daily, I feel like I have space to breathe even in these demanding years of little ones, sleepless nights and tight budgets. Menu planning is simpler when a template waits next to a list of our favorite meals. Big goals are getting chipped away at with small, daily progress. And I’m relishing the satisfaction I have when I live with my priorities in clearly before me.
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
If time feels like your enemy or you feel like you are not making progress toward your true goals, I’d encourage you to take your days before the Lord and ask Him to show you what is most important. Then perhaps you’d like to create a Home Management Binder as a place to record what He speaks to you.
Creating Your Home Management Binder
What you need…
- The Binder – you probably already have one lying around you could re-purpose. Two inches is a nice thickness to start with.
- Dividers – can be as simple as an old file folder, cut down the spine and hole punched, or you can get fancy with Avery Plastic Dividers with Pockets.
- Pages – a combination of lined paper in each section, awaiting your notes, as well as plastic page protectors to hold printables.
- Pens – I use wet erase pens to write on the page protectors.
Time to Build. A binder that actually works for you needs to be custom made to your family’s needs, goals, and schedule It’s best to look around a bit to get an idea of how you want to organize yours. Check out these gal’s binders or my pin-board for inspiration…
- Gretchen’s Next Think Notebook @ Little Pink House
- Lindsay’s Home Planning Notebook here @ Passionate Homemaking
- Mandy’s Home Notebook @ Finding Home
- Trina’s Organization Pin Board
I order my binder by my roles (wife, mother, homemaker, writer, etc.) and put them in order of their priority in my day, thus my binder acts as a constant reminder of what I really want to focus on. Within each section, you may jot down goals, books to read, ways to grow in that area, and printables you find to help you schedule and plan.
Printables…a gal’s best friend. I love printables! They take half the brain work out of planning and scheduling, allowing you to simply fill in the blanks.
- Life…Your Way so many great printables – my favorite source
- Design Finch shares lots of links to various sources
- Simple Mom’s printables are very thorough (I love using her packing list for road trips!)
Daily To-Do List. Finally, you should be sure to include a daily to-do list. I drafted my own with space to jot down food prep, phone calls, emails, errands, and household chores for that day. I have two weeks’ worth of daily lists printed and slipped into plastic sleeve holders. This way I can jot down something I need to remember to do next Tuesday on that page, and remind myself to take the meat out of the freezer for tomorrow night’s dinner on today’s page. Twice a month I sit down with a wash cloth and wipe down the previous weeks’ activities to prepare for the weeks ahead. Here are some great daily to-do printables…
“Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” Prov. 16:3
Once you’ve created your binder, keep it out where you can see it and use it! After a few weeks, if you aren’t using a printable, ditch it. If the rhythm of your family changes, be sure to update your binder so it continues to be a relevant tool for organization and bringing focus to your days. And regularly take your binder before the Lord and ask Him to help you prioritize. Be encouraged that our God is one who makes a way through the wilderness – He can guide you through your busy day as well!