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Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Household Notebook

Making a household notebook is one easy way to simplify your life! It takes some time, and some expense upfront for supplies, but the results are well worth it!

I've shared this idea in various threads on IMLM over the years, but I thought it deserved it's own thread in our new group!

I use 3 ring binders to keep many things orderly in my home. My absolute fave is the Household Notebook! I found the idea at and modified it to make it my own.

I used 5 tab dividers with pockets to divide the catagories. Why dividers with pockets? If I obtain a new address, phoene number, new credit card statement from new creditor, maybe a christmas card from someone new (save the envelope for the addres) etc., I can slip it into the pocket until I have time to add it to the master list. This keeps the papers off of my desk! I have one tab labeled for "Where are you", one for address/phone lists, one for "Neighbors", one for bills, and one for creditors.

I use this notebook at least 3-5 times a week! It's so nice to be able to find all of this info without having to dig through file cabinets, search for that missing address book, etc. It's definetly simplified several areas of my life!

Tab 1: "Where are you"

This section is a sheet I printed from Word that includes my and DHs name, all 4 kids names, our address, our home phone #'s, cell #'s, and a simple explanation of where we live "Off of X drive between x rd. and x rd. in (insert subdivision name here)

We made this tab for a few reasons. Should my Aunt or cousin be baby sitting we pull this sheet out and hang it on the fridge for easy access to this info. Should an emergency arise where they need to call for help they have quick access to all of the neccesary info. I also made this sheet so the kids know if they find a need to call for an emergency (911) if they panic and forget our address or something they know it's the 1st shee in our household notebook.

Tab 2: Address/phone list:

This is just what it says. Of course, we rarely use this list, but if we had to evacuate our home or needed a quick reference for mailing a card everyone we know/love is in this section. Name, address, phone #. If something were to happen to me I know DH would be able to reach anyone we know from this list. I have my #'s in my cell, but I created this list in excel where it can be easily updated annually without white out & eraser marks...because I'm OC like that!

Tab 3: Neighbors

I have a map of our neighborhood in this section. All parecel are outlined with addresses. I have had to call 911 a few times in the past few years and it helps to be able to know who lives where without walking down to their house! Plus, I have most of my neighbors names, kids names, addresses, and phone #'s in here. I started this section when I tried to start a neighborhood crime watch. The crime watch failed, but this section is useful for us. :)

Tab 4: Bills

The bills section has a monthly spreadsheet that I fill out as the bills come in to ensure no bill is overlooked. At the end of this section I have every account we have with acct #'s, payment addresses, website addresses, and passwords to the site. I know this may not be the safest way to store this info, but it is the most convenient for me, and I figure if someone wants to steal my info they will find a way. If they break into my house they could just as easily steal the card! I also have all my addresses and phone numbers in here.

This section is just a list of all of our current bills, when they are due, and the average monthly payment. I used to use this section each month. I would put the bills in the folder on the tab divider, and as I paid them I would staple the bill to the monthly bill sheet, mark the date paid and amt paid on the sheet, and file the stack of bills each month. DH pays the bills now and I haven't used that system in a while, but I keep it there...again, in case we have to evacuate at least I know when the bills are due :)

Tab 5: Creditors

This is an excel file I typed up that lists every creditor that owns me (lol), their billing address, their customer service #, my acct. #, their website address, and my login/user name for their website.

I used to have all of this info saved to my pc so I didn't have to know it...then one day my computer crashed and I no longer knew how to pay bills online. LOL! So, I made this list so I will always have the info easy to locate, and if we had to evacuate I wouldn't need my PC to log onto my accounts. Plus should DH or I would fall ill or something happen to one of us, it would be easy for the other one to know how to access all of our accounts!

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