Ever wonder what happened to that grocery list made yesterday or not understand why the pediatrician’s phone number seems impossible to locate when a child becomes ill? Does planning a date night seem like an impossible task because the idea of writing down baby’s schedule, hiring a babysitter and tidying the house make you feel completely exhausted? It seems sometimes that life would be a lot  easier, perhaps even a bit more fun, if the home was  organized.  However, the goal of organization can appear to be unattainable, leaving behind a  feeling of being sentenced to a life of clutter and semi-chaos. However,  you can minimize such clutter and restore a bit of balance into the home by creating a household notebook from a binder, some paper, and a few resources on the Internet.

A household notebook is a binder created to house a family’s important information. It can contain such details as children’s health information, pet information, details for babysitters, menu plans, grocery lists, home repair information, important phone numbers, and school information. It serves as an excellent tool to keep an active family moving, reducing the energy drain and confusion household clutter can create. A household notebook can be created in  a few simple steps.

How to make a Home Reference Notebook:

  • Gather the needed supplies. A sturdy three ring binder, page dividers, pens, paper, and a hole punch are all items  necessary when making a  household notebook. Other items that might be needed include sheet protectors, a pencil pouch, and post-it notes.
  • Decide upon categories. Make a list of the information that will be kept in the household notebook and see how it can be categorized. Some typical categories for  household notebooks include family information, menu planning, important phone numbers, holidays, pet information, and school. The household notebook is personalized to one’s specific household. Create categories that work for the family.
  • Gather all the needed information. The Internet is a great source for finding downloadable forms perfect for a household notebook. Child information sheets, home information, menu planning tools, and lists for babysitters are all forms that one can utilize in their household notebook.
  • Just do it! After collecting supplies, deciding upon categories, and gathering information sit down and make the household notebook. It can be as simple or as fancy as one desires. However, the notebook can not serve the family if it is never created. Schedule a time to compile all the important information of the family and place it into a household notebook.
Last fall, I created my own home reference notebook. Sure, things were a bit chaotic for awhile before the organization of owning such a tool every settled in. The living room was covered in paper and debris for about a week and I wrecked complete havoc on the family’s filing cabinet. But eventually the notebook came together. Wanna take a peek?

family notebook

For my  household notebook, I purchased one pad of coordinating scrapbook paper, a three ring binder, page dividers and plastic page covers. I knew if I didn't make my household notebook semi-cute, that I would not be interested in using it.

I bought paper that coordinated with my kitchen (colors of red, yellow, and sage) so the notebook would not look too obvious in its resting place on the kitchen counter.

Next, I created categories. I currently have ten categories in my household notebook.

To make the dividers, I again used scrap booking paper. I glued it onto simple dividers and wrote the  section names  on the front.

My household notebook also has a pocket of useful tools. This pocket contains two Sharpie fine point pens, scissors, hole-punch, and a calculator. It could really use a roll of Scotch tape ¦but the four year old in my house recently developed a deep love for tape.

After creating the notebook, I simply filled it with the information needed. Whenever the husband calls and says we should get a babysitter for the evening, I have all the needed info right at my fingertips. Whenever a child becomes sick and I need to relay information about our closet pharmacy to the doctor’s office, I have the numbers easily accessible.   My grocery list is tidy, my cleaning schedule is set and my calendar is up-to-date. My house is still a bit chaotic. There are days (weeks even) when I fall off the cleaning schedule wagon. There are times when I cannot find a phone number to save my life. Although  my notebook  has not completely transformed me into Super Mommy!, I can now easily access my son’s preschool class list and quickly get my hands on the phone number of the nearest 24 hour pharmacy.

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  1. Love this idea, I have a sneaky suspicion it would work well for all the finished work each six weeks for a child too. I always have a hard time deciding what to keep and then it ends up scattered around the house. This way my little would have a place to put those awesome accomplishments.

    Oh, and my daughter had a thing for “sticky tape” too; there for a while it fixed everything except what I needed it for because all I could ever find was an empty roll. Still makes me laugh.

  2. I have always loved binders to organize information. I find my clients really benefit from this type of organization if they don’t use a file drawer. I have a bank binder as well. I like this family notebook idea. Looks like a fun project to do for the weekend.

  3. I love it! A household notebook is a lifesaver!!I keep my recipes in a completely separate binder and store it in my kitchen. Makes it easy to have ready when its time to start cooking. I have retweeted your article.