Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My Homemaking Notebook

My Homemaking Notebook
by Jessica Gerald

Binders and notebooks are so popular right now, and with good reason. They are a
perfect way to keep everything organized in one place. I would like to share
what I have in my notebook. Maybe some of the suggestions will be helpful.

First of all, I want to stress that you must do what works for you. Listen to
the advice of different people in the articles you read, then adapt those ideas
to yourself. If not, you may just end up being disorganized and frustrated.

Here is some of the content of my homemaking notebook. I say some, because as I
go along, I might change some things. That is the secret - to make it your own,
even if you have to go by trial and error for awhile.

1. A Weekly List

Most of us are extremely busy with work, home, family, and activities. I have to
make a master list for the week, or I'll forget something important. This could
be appointments, sport or music events, or something that has a deadline.

You might also want to include a housework list, such as laundry, meal planning,
grocery shopping, gardening, or special projects. Then divide that list into the
days that you want to complete them.

2. A Daily List

Even though this list is basically the same each day, I still like to write it
out. I love the feeling of checking it off and knowing that chore is
accomplished. At the end of the day, you realize you've done a lot more that you

This list always starts with my personal devotions, then making beds, tidying up
the house, taking out garbage, dishes, and so on. After that, I put down
anything else that has to be done that day, or that I want to complete that day.
If I don't get it finished, I cross it out and write it on the next day's list.
Sometimes, I'll put a star by things that have to be done that day.

3. A Master Cleaning Project List

To keep from being overwhelmed, I take baby steps here. When I am doing my
spring cleaning, I write down each room and everything that needs done in that
room. I may not finish one room a day. I might only get the walls washed down
and leave the woodwork and windows for the next day. The third day could be
cleaning furniture, and the fourth day scrubbing the carpet.

4. A Diet Journal

I made a simple diet journal from tables on my computer program. I can tally the
daily food groups and calories that I consume. I also have a space to put time
spent exercising. This is a good way to see if you are balancing out your
nutrients, or getting too much or too little of certain foods.

5. My Reading List

I love to read and have so many books stacked on shelves calling to me. So I
decided to make a list of about ten books I want to finish by the end of summer.
I will check them off as I read them. Then, I'll make a new list.

6. Family History Stories

My passion is family history. I list several memories of my own or those of my
mother. That way I don't forget about them. Then, when I have time, I go down
the list and write out that story. I keep these stories in a separate binder.

7. Articles

There are so many good articles on the internet about organizing, homemaking,
and scheduling. When I see helpful reading material like this, I print it out
and put it in my binder. Sometimes all I need is a little inspiration from these

8. Calendar

Print out a calendar for the month, and 3-hole punch it. Then you have all
appointments and activities at your fingertips.

9. Weekly Menus

I make out a general meal plan for the week. Actually, I only write the dinner
menus, because we mostly eat the same things for breakfast and lunch. On the
back of the menu plan, you could list the ingredients you need for those meals.
Keep these in your binder. After four weeks of these menus, you will have a
month of different meals.

Make sure these meals are practical. I try to stick to basics and not all the
fancy foods. That gets so expensive buying all the unusual ingredients. One idea
could be to pick one day a week or month to try something new and different.

10. Grocery List

Years ago, I made up a master grocery list. It includes food and also cleaning
and personal items. It saves so much time and money for me. When I need to shop,
I just pull out the list, quickly scan it, and write down what I need to buy. It
prevents a lot of impulse buying at the store.

I would like to add that I have a separate notebook for my devotions and prayer.
I also have a separate binder for the family history as I mentioned above.

I hope you find some of these suggestions helpful. Have fun with your homemaking
notebook. It is there to serve you, not the other way around!

Jessica Gerald has been an elementary school teacher for over thirty years, and is the publisher of the website

Add A Scripture To Your To-Do List

Add A Scripture To Your To-Do List by Jessica Gerald

I like to write down a "to do" list for the day. I guess it comes from years of teaching school and making lesson plans. The list keeps me focused and shows my progress. I can see that I've accomplished more than I realized.

I had an idea for something new to add to my list - a daily scripture. When I am doing my daily Bible reading in the morning, there is often a verse that really stands out. It may be something to praise God for, a comforting promise, or a quality I need to develop.

So now, after I write out my list for the day, I'm going to write a scripture in the top margin of the paper. That way, every time I look at my chores, I can read over the scripture, or even turn it inot a prayer. Maybe by the end of the day, I'll have it permanently memorized.

By the end of even one month, there would be thirty verses etched into my heart, ready to be recalled when needed. Hopefully, this idea will help you to cover your day with the power of scripture.

Jessica Gerald has been an elementary school teacher for over thirty years, and is the publisher of the website