Over the past year of blogging, I've seen lots of other bloggers share their household binders. I always thought the principle of having all those important lists, numbers, goals, and recipes in one spot made so much sense, but I wasn't all that keen on using a 3 ring binder. I liked the idea I've seen some people use of having the pages bound, but I was worried I would want to add pages as my home needs changed. What I did to try and work around that is have a couple blank pages at the end of key sections. For example, after my Garden planning page I have a couple extra sheets for extra planning. Likewise after my Chicken info page I have a blank sheet or two so that I can plan another coop, or brainstorm new breeds if I feel the need this year. All told my notebook ended up being almost 120 pages, but since I double sided it that only worked out to about 60 sheets of paper - not too thick & not too thin!
I tried to organize it in an order that made sense to me. Going through the notebook, I've got the following sections:
- Daily to do list
- Weekly schedule
- Cleaning & maintenance checklists
- Yearly goals
- Rowing challenges and a table to record my workouts
- My book list for 2012
- Monthly & season goal worksheets
- Sheets for filling out our house projects - room by room
- Vacation & trip ideas
- Garden Planning
- Chicken Info
- Blogging planning
- Finance worksheets
- Daycare & car trip checklists
- Vehicle maintenance logs
- 2012 yearly & monthly calendars
- Meal planning worksheets
- Preparedness lists
- Emergency numbers
- Important contact numbers
- List of addresses
- List of birthdays
- Gift giving records & ideas tables
It's a long list, and in fact I've got a bunch more single sheets that fall under some of these sections that I didn't even mention, but it is an information-packed notebook that I think is really going to be a time saver! I can't count the number of times I've searched high and low for my address list, or forgotten to add an address from one year to the next and had to ask for it again! I'm very hopeful that I'll use this notebook and have all those important bits of information right at my fingertips!
If you look closely at my photos, you might realize that I didn't laminate all of the pages. Laminating was the most expensive part of making this notebook, and while at $1 a page it isn't too expensive, laminating all 60 sheets would been crazy expensive! I chose to laminate the 11 sheets that I would need to reuse over and over and over. I think next time I will take the laminating process a bit slower. If I had cut the sheets to be laminated down a little bit on all sides, then after laminating I could have cut the laminated part down a bit to make the laminated sheets the same 8.5 x 11 size as the rest of the sheets, without messing up the lamination. As it is, this time I will just have to deal with 11 sheets that are slightly larger than the rest. I'll let you know if I can deal with that or if I end up breaking down and redoing those sheets!
For those of you thinking about making a notebook of your own, there are just so many great ideas out there online, and if I had one suggestion of where to start, it would be on Pinterest - do a search for homemaking/homekeeping/etc binder/notebook, and all these great printables will come up, some free, some customizable. I got a lot of my inspiration from Pinterest while I was making up my templates and filling in all the little details that make my notebook so perfect for me :) Happy searching!