How I Plan My Week and FREE Printables

Shortly after entered the inescapable blogging world back in 2008 after my first daughter was born, I came across the idea of the "Home Management Notebook." What a wonderful idea! I thought. This will help me to stay more organized! As a new mom, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and my life contained very little structure.

Since then I've come across post after post of Home Management Notebook ideas and printables and I've downloaded a gazillion printables to my computer. But that's about as far as they got. One time I printed some forms, stuck them in a binder, used it for about a week and never touched it again. It was just too much.

Turns out you have to actually USE these things to make them work. Who knew?

I never really found a system that worked for me. They were usually too complicated or just not quite what I was looking for. With really little kids (although Oldest just turned FIVE!) it's been difficult for me to keep up a HMN. Life changes so fast that I don't have the time or energy to sit down and organize a HMN to stay organized! Here’s what I need at this stage in my life as far as planners go:

I've gotten to know myself a bit over the years and I've discovered that I really prefer simple. I don't want a To Do List that has every. little. detail. of my day written down. And quite honestly, I know how to clean my bathroom. I don't need a list of all the steps it takes. All I need is a reminder, "Bathroom."

I don't need my day planned out in half-hour increments. That's too stressful and rigid for me at this point in my life. I also want to be able to move things around from day to day and not have it throw my whole week off. Maybe as our family grows, this will change?

I like a Weekly To Do more than a Daily To Do because it's easier for me to plan my days based on what my week will look like. If we have an outing planned on a Tuesday, I may not get to clean my bathroom that day and will have to shift it around.

I also have a spot to write a Bible verse that I’d like to memorize each week. There’s also one at the top to remind me why I do the things I do. ;)

I was sorting through and deleting the gazillion HMN printables on my computer that I didn't use and I came across one that looked almost perfect. Crystal at Money Saving Mom made it and it’s part of her Calendar/Planning Page printable set.

I used it for a few weeks but found the way it’s set up is a little counter-intuitive for me personally. I also needed just a few more reminders on mine such as what to do for dinner, bath night, and grocery shopping. I need those reminders every week so I don’t overbook myself on those days. Which I’ve been known to do!

Here is the planner I came up with:

I've kept each days To Do slots pretty limited--I'm finding that right now, with Littles and being pregnant, I just can't get more than a few things done every day.

I have a list of the Weekly Cleaning Duties I *try* to get done--doesn't always happen! But I just plug them in on the days when I know I'll have time. Also, I need to remember and save time for grocery shopping every week. So that's on my To Do This Week list. I would also add any phone calls, emails or errands that need to get done to that list. I also transfer things from my Master To Do to this list.

As you can see, Saturdays and Sundays have even less spaces available because that's when Husband is home and I don't want to overbook those days nor do I clean or do laundry on those days (unless I HAVE to).

Obviously I made that one to fit my needs, so here's a blank one just in case your life isn't identical to mine. ;)

I got rid of the notebook for now. I have the few sheets I use (the Weekly To Do, Master To Do and Menu Plan) on a clipboard that I keep next to my morning quiet time bag. Every Sunday evening, I take a look at my wall calendar and transfer all of my appointments for the week to my Weekly To Do. So every morning I take a quick glance, write a few things down and I'm good to go!

Here are my Master To Do and Monthly Menu Planner (which I've yet to use! I just can't seem to get menu planning done!) :

In time, I would like to fill my HMN with printables but mostly as an In Case of Emergency. It will have my weekly routines, emergency numbers, laundry routine, etc. But it will mainly be in case I'm not around to do it all. (Basically a help for the hubby or sitter.) :) For now, I'm happy to have my 3 sheets of paper and my clipboard.

Do you use a Home Management Notebook? Have you noticed that it's more difficult when your children are young to keep up with it or does it make life easier for you?

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