Sunday, September 20, 2009

Home Notebook - Daily Routines and a Download

"She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness."
Proverbs 31:27

Many of you know that I am a stay-at-home wife with no kiddos. I am in the process of applying for Permanent Residency here in Canada which would allow me to be able to become employed and have access to the Canadian health care system. But until the paperwork is finished and finalized, I am at home. Each. And. Every. Day.

I love it. Truly, I do. There is so much freedom in staying home. But when you are home all day, every day, there is the chance to become really bored. Very bored in fact. And that boredom can translate itself into loads of television watching and downright laziness. Schedules can quickly fly out the window because the excuse "I can do it tomorrow" really rings true. I found myself in that trap.

And I needed to get out of it.

And I did.

Enter my Home Notebook.

I created this piece of organization heaven to keep myself on track. I saw a few examples of Home Notebooks or Household Binders while surfing the 'net looking for articles on homemaking. Because I had really never cared for my own home before getting married, I wasn't fully aware what all it took to run a household smooth and efficiently. It took me awhile to get into the swing of cleaning my home on a regular basis and implement routines for myself. I needed to fill my days with things other than soap operas. My Home Notebook helped me to do that.

So what is a Home Notebook? Here, let me show you.

I began with a began with a binder that I already owned. Inside I added a couple of pretty folders and some loose leaf notebook paper. (Sorry, I don't have photos of these.) Then I set out to create some lists for myself.

I first started with Mandi's Daily Schedule.

I created the document in Microsoft Word. I played around with fun fonts and little cute dingbats. The fonts were downloaded from They have the greatest fonts! All are free to download.
I then created different text boxes with lists in each box. The lists all had little boxes beside each task so that I could check off each item that I completed during my day. Doesn't it feel so good to cross something off the list?

Here is a bit of a close-up of each text box.

First up, I write the date on each sheet. Then I work on my Daily Home Blessings. Things on this list include:
  • Packing my hubby's lunch
  • Making breakfast for us both (including the coffee!)
  • Sending him to work with hugs and kisses
  • A time for my devotions and Bible study
  • Making my bed
  • Opening the windows/curtains
  • Cleaning the bathroom sink
  • Making the bed
  • Doing a load of laundry (or at least I will when my machines get installed!)
Included in my Home Blessings is also a time slot to look over the upcoming weeks schedule and plan for anything that may have to be taken care of that week.

It looks a bit like my Morning Routine. But for me, it works. (Our morning starts with the alarm getting me out of bed at 5:30 am. I flip on the coffee pot, make Shane lunch and breakfast while he is getting ready for work. He takes out our dogs, kisses me goodbye and heads to work. I then sip my coffee, have my devotions and then catch the morning news. Then, I begin the rest of my day. For those of you who want to know. )
I then have a section for Errands and Phone Calls that need to be made. I also jot down emails that need returned or things that I need to tell my friends on Facebook.

Directly underneath is a section for To-Do's. Here I jot down projects I need to work on, housework that may need to get accomplished or a website that I want to check out.

At the bottom of my paper I have a box for Dinner. Here is where I jot down what I will make later that evening. I pose the question "What needs to be made today?" Sometimes treats need to be baked or dinner requires a little something extra like homemade biscuits. Posing that question helps me to figure out just what time things need to get made during the day so that I'm not trying to make those biscuits while I'm scurrying around making the rest of dinner.

There is also a section for Inspiration and Ideas. Here I jot down crafts that I want to make or projects that I want to try. That tiny little box gets that spark of creativity out of my mind and down on paper where I don't have to try and remember it.

I showed you the box for my Morning Routine, now let me show you the box for my Evening Routine. It involves:

  • Washing the dishes, counters, fridge and changing out my hand towels and dish cloth
  • Sweeping and Swiffering my kitchen, hall, living room, and entranceway (with three dogs, it's a must!)
  • Taking 15 minutes to pick up the house
  • Closing the windows and curtains
  • Going over the tasks for the next day
  • Spending time with my hubby
  • And finally, a good night's rest.

Last up on my notebook is a bit of Biblical inspiration. It's a verse taken from Proverbs 31. Specifically, verse 27. I read it daily to help keep me on course. I feel inspired, encouraged and refreshed knowing that Christ has given me this time and season to spend taking care of my husband and my home. It's my full time job and I definitely want to do my best to do that job well.

So there is my Daily Routine's section of my Home Notebook. I'm excited to share with you the other sections that I have created as well. I hope this may give you a spark of an idea to perhaps begin to create your own Home Notebook or even your own daily routines to keep yourself on track. Truly, this little sheet of paper has helped me so much in regards to keeping my home in order...and more importantly, myself. I feel much more organized and on top of my game. And that's really what I'm trying to achieve.

If you are interested in downloading a copy of my Daily Routines sheet, please click on the photo below and it will take you to the download page. I have generalized it a bit for your home use. Enjoy!

Daily Routines


Tracey said...

Mandi, love this idea. You really are a woman after God's own heart!! You are taking care and watching over what God has provided you with.. great job!

Sherri S said...

This is an awesome idea. I was a SAHM for 2 years when my son was a baby. I would have LOVED this! And you made it into something BEAUTIFUL to look at too. You are an inspiration!

Lucy Marie said...

Wow! What a great idea. This is definitely something I need to do. I am at home a lot because I am in school and don't have a 9-5 job, and I often fall into that "I can do it tomorrow" slump too. This is a wonderful idea.

Stephanie said...

That looks like such a fun binder!! I wonder if I would eat "less idle bread" hehe if I had one of those!! Great idea!!

Beth said...

That's a great idea!

Rona's Home Page said...

I noticed you stated that you need to get out of the house. I truly understand.
I volunteer, attend church, go to the public library or walk a mall.
I alway feel better when I return.

Mandi Shandi said...

Oh Mandi this is exactly what I need! HAve you ever been to the FLY lady's site? She does something very similar and it is so brilliant. Love this!

The DIY Show Off said...

What a great idea. I love organization and schedules and needed a little reminder to get back to routine after summer. Thanks for sharing!


AmyKristen said...

I cannot even believe your creativity. I use those same free fonts...I LOVE them. I used them a lot for our wedding and bridesmaids gifts, etc. Such a great thing. Any chance you could e-mail me these word documents and then I could just alter them to my daily routines? I hate to steal but I know I'd never be able to come up with something as wonderful. Let me know. My e-mail is!

Sarah V said...

Earlier today, after chatting with some old friends, who now have fancy jobs and large new homes etc, I was feeling defeated and like I had missed the boat. I have been home for 3 years now raising my 2 gorgeous girls and as you know it can be a very "stale" environment! I loved reading your blog and seeing all your creative ideas. I'm glad to hear you and Shane are doing well and wanted to let you know that you have encouraged me and inspired me today. Thank You!! said...

This is a great tool! Thank you so much for sharing it - I am sure the Lord blesses your time because of your desire to be a good steward of it.

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

Wow! I'm impressed that you were able to come up with such a great system, especially when it would be tempting to SLEEP IN instead. ;)

Great job on the beautiful home notebook!

Suzan said...

Several years ago I had the opportunity to stay at home and I was so afraid I would be bored or wouldn't find enough to do. I made myself a household binder much like yours with routines, schedules, etc. It was a lifesaver! I was organized, our home was beautiful (and clean!) and I wasn't bored for a moment. You did a great job and I love the layout for your binder!

The Phillips Place said...

LOVE this-- I make a list every day, but it's the normal pencil/whatever piece of scrap paper I can find. Yours is pretty!! Thanks for linking at Kimba's!

bec4 said...

Super cute--more organized than I tend to be but maybe...

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Hi, Mandi! I'm stopping by from Kimba's party. :) I LOVE this idea. I am/was a very organized person, but I've found it very difficult since I had my two girls. Something like this to get me back on track would be wonderful. I do have a question: I'm sure I can figure out how to download a font from the site you listed, but how do I get it into Word/Publisher to use there? :)

The type A in me just loves this post! ;)

I hope you'll stop by my spot. :) Here's my link:

Lynne said...

Mandi, cute & creative lists...I love the font!! I love lists too. Yours are very detailed. Thanks for sharing!

Hi I'm Amy, said...


I love this idea. Sometimes I feel as if I am drifting off course during my day. I am sure this would be helpful to implement into making my days more productive. Thanks for the wonderful idea!

Hi I'm Amy, said...


I love this idea. Sometimes I feel as if I am drifting off course during my day. I am sure this would be helpful to implement into making my days more productive. Thanks for the wonderful idea!


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