Monday, June 08, 2015

Homemaking Monday - Home Keeping Journal

Good Monday morning my friends :) Today is Homemaking Monday and I'm going to take you on a little trip through my Home keeping Journal.

I use this journal/binder every-single-day. It lives on my kitchen table and I refer to it throughout the day as I go about my tasks.

I have used the Malden A5 Filofax as my Home keeping Journal. I love it so much, it's soft, smells gorgeous and looks so pretty :)

If we open up the cover you will see that right in the front I have my cleaning schedule on brightly coloured index cards. The first card lists my daughters' chores, behind that I have my weekly, monthly and seasonal cleaning cards. 

On the left, you can see that I have a couple of binder clips, postage stamps and post-it notes. Inside the zipper pocket, I have a few extra pens and pencils.

The first section holds my daily appointments inserts. I have a year-at-a-glance insert onto which I highlight the school holidays, bank holidays, and birthdays.

 This is my main planner, I have a personal size which lives in my handbag and is synced to this one once a day. But when I'm at home this is the one where all the appointments and arrangements are made from.

The next section is all to do with my home.

If we flip this divider over you will see 6 more dividers. These split up the general 'Home' category into micro-sections. I have a little laminated 'key' to the sections as I've just re-shuffled things. I'm sure that I won't need it once I am completely familiar with it.

The first section is 'Service Suppliers'. If you remember I have a section in my Master Binder with the same heading. In that section, I store information leaflets and contracts. In this section, I have a list of all our suppliers, their contact details and our account numbers. I also have Emergency services numbers for our bank, water supplier and the AA. At the bottom of this page, I have important annual renewal dates for our insurance, mot etc.

I also have a 'contact sheet'  behind this list so that whenever I speak to them about my account I record the date, who I spoke to and notes on the conversation.

Section 2 is for 'Home Blessings and Move'.

I have a list of things that I would love to do, make or buy for our home (home blessings) I also have a list of 'move' related things like areas that we should avoid in Plymouth, areas that are great, pet transporters, cattery details to check out when we go down on a 'scouting' trip to find our new home etc. I have a list of people that will need to be contacted and informed of our address change, a deep cleaning schedule to get our current house into tip-top condition and I even have a list of things that we are wanting to find in our new home.

Section 3 is all about food. 

I have a household, pantry and freezer inventory. I can't tell you how many times I've 'thought' I needed an item, bought it only to find that have two or three of the same item stashed away. So by keeping an updated stock sheet, I can avoid that. 

I have a copy of my month's menu plan in this section and I keep a running shopping list here - if I run out of something while cooking I write it down straight away so I don't forget.

Section 4 is 'Entertaining'. this is where I plan the menus etc of any entertaining we do. I keep these as they often remind me of something that was a hit or other things that I might not want to do again. I have a note of who can or can't eat what so that there is no awkwardness when entertaining.

Section 5 is 'Travel'. This home keeping journal comes with us on any long trips we make. It fits into my suitcase easily and I always have bits of paper relating to our trips. For example, on our recent trip to Scotland, I had two separate hotel reservations, our boating holiday reservation and map giving directions to the boatyard and I took along a pamphlet from our cattery so that I could get hold of them if I needed to (and I did). I knew exactly where everything was, there was no scrabbling about suitcases for mislaid reservation details etc.

The last section under 'Home' is 'UK Visas'. This year we put in our permanent residency application, but there are lots of requirements that we need to take care of first like English tests and the Life in the UK test, both of which needs to accompany our application in December. I have a list of costs, exam centres etc. It just keeps me on top of this very important part of our lives right now.

Leaving the home section behind I have a 'Financial' Section

In this section, I have a copy of our months budget. Once a week I check the bank account and mark off what's gone off and payments made.

Behind our budget, I have an Expense Tracker sheet. Everything that I spend that is not budgeted for and thus comes out of our disposable income is noted down on this sheet. That way I get to see where we are spending our money and I am able to keep a running account of where we are at. When I check the bank account once a week I update the balance on this sheet.

Next section is 'Etsy' or my business. This section has plans for what I want to make for my shop, plans for the what, when and where of growing my business.

Sadly although all my year's plans are noted down, not much has been happening. My mind is too taken up with the move preparations and studying for our Life in the UK test.

The section after 'Etsy' I have 'Seasonal'. This where my current seasonal planning notes are stored. If there is a feast day, holiday, the seasonal occurrence that I want to mark in a special way I have it marked in the daily appointments section and the actual written out plans or recipes etc. are in this 'seasonal' section.

And las,tly I have 'Contacts' which is all our friends and families postal address and telephone numbers. 

Next week I will show you my Personal size diary which travels with me where ever I go. Today's post is linking up with Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth's The Art of Home Making Monday link up.

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth


  1. Oh Shirley!!! Be still my beating stationery loving heart!!!! You are a woman after my own heart, I love how organised you are, that you have such a great system. Oh, it is all just so wonderful!!!! I am going to leave this post open to remind me to come back to it and I am going to go back and read your whole blog because I am sure that there must be other wonderful things that I haven't read and need to discover!!! I hope that all of your tests and so on go well and that you will soon be ready to make your application to stay here in England! I love that you are so organised!!!! I hope that you have a really great week! xx

  2. Great homemaking binder! I have mine set up as it is such a great idea, but I must admit to not using it to its full potential.

  3. Very inspiring!! Thank you for sharing! :)

  4. It's lovely! :) I, too, have a Filofax that I use daily...although I would *love* a gorgeous Malden like yours! Mine is an A5 Domino (as it is what I could afford). But I love it and it is a perfect planner for me. :)

    1. Katy I have to say that I love the hot pink and the turquoise Domino's. I've had my eye on both but I really wouldn't know what to use them for - that's the only thing holding me back lol. I like how durable the Domino's are too, the Malden tends to pick up any little scuff mark if you are not careful.

  5. Oh, I need to do something like this! Thanks for sharing.

    Please drop by and say hello!

    Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

  6. I am always so impressed by your organisational skills you are quite the inspiration.

  7. What a wonderful way to stay organized! I love the way you have everything arranged and also how your planner fits in your purse. Mine is too large to cart around with me...

    1. Hi Ellen, this particular one is my A5 so it stays at home - way too big to take with me. I do have one that fits in my purse which I am featuring next week Monday. My purse planner is set up in a similar way but with all the home keeping and Etsy bits left out :)

  8. How do you balance this Filofax, your diary and the midori notebook?
    I would like to see how you have got on with the midori, whether there are any thoughts to share now you have had it a while?
    (My daughter is off to scout camp in Japan this summer and I am thinking of getting her one to use as a journal.)

    1. Hi Gill,

      My Filofax is my diary. The main housekeeping one featured above does hole my daily diary as well as all those areas that are pertinent to my home and home keeping but it stays at home as it is an A5 and far too big to carry around. It lives in the kitchen so that it is central to all that I do. My personal size filofax which I will feature next week, has my daily diary inserts and various other things that I would possible need 'on-the-go'. So if I've been out and made an arrangement to see a friend, I will write it into my personal size diary and then update my A5 diary when I get home. The personal size lives in my purse/handbag, but the A5 is always open at home. I hope that makes some sort of sense.

      My Midori is my journal. That lives in a drawer next to my bed for jotting down the days thoughts etc. I took it with me on holiday as a travel journal (just inserted a notebook for the occasion).

      I shall do a Midori update in the near future but look out for next Monday's post about my purse/handbag personal size filofax.

  9. Love posts that deal with organization! Would love to hear more on your "seasonal planning notes!: I need all the help I can get! I found your blog from Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight! I am just as enthused to read your blog!! Thank you for sharing.


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