Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NTR - Command Center and Home Management Binder

NTR - Get it? Not Teaching Related... But KEEP reading because this has definitely helped this busy teacher at home! And it is Spring Break so I am at home this week - not teaching. :-)

I started using this organization system on January 1st and I LOVE it! Every time I talk about it, I have a lot of questions and it is hard to describe so I thought blogging about it and posting pictures would help. We come into our house through the dining room so each day "stuff" would get dumped on the table, then when it was time for dinner, the "stuff" would get moved to my desk and possibly never seen again. LOL! In my defense, the desk is out of the way and I rarely have time to walk by it, let alone sit there for a few minutes to organize.

Anyway, found the idea for a home management binder on Pinterest (love it!) over Christmas Break and I got busy searching for how to create one that would work for me. First, I have a "Command Center." Funny name, I know, but my super organized 12 year old son loves to call it that! Here's a pic:

See how pretty it is? My hubby was a little horrified as I explained what I wanted to do because he didn't understand how a "Command Center" could be pretty - and we really don't like anything on the kitchen counter. You'll notice the calendar next to the Command Center - it has all of our activities written on it so I know what is going on from day to day and where we need to be. Inside the Command Center is where the 'magic' happens. Take a peek:

The Home Management Binder is at the front, followed by some hanging file folders. I made these based on the 'stuff' that piles up at our house. Mine are labeled: To File (later moved to filing cabinet when I have time), Projects (household - requested by hubby once he got into my system), Taxes (it is that time of year so I could just drop it all in the file as it came in the mail), Coupons/Ads, and 4-H.

On to the Binder...

Cute cover just for fun. :-) Mine has a picture of the kiddos and Matthew 6:33-34 (one of my favorite scriptures). You can also see the tabbed dividers on the side. Mine say: To Do, Cleaning, Meals, Schoool, Kids, and Bills. These dividers have the half pockets - very important!

Before the first tab, I have an Important Phone Numbers page where I typed up the numbers for family, friends, doctors, etc. That got rid of a lot of magnets and sticky notes on the side of the fridge!

The To Do tab has a "Daily Docket" that I found on Simplemom.net. I used this at first, but I don't anymore - found it was simpler just to check my calendar each day rather than rewrite but you may want to check it out. I put mine into page protectors and used a Vis-A-Vis so I could erase and start again each week.

The Cleaning tab has one of my favorite things! It is a Weekly Cleaning Checklist. I saw the one from Simplemom.net and made one that fit our home a little better. It is also in a page protector. I pull the binder out on Saturday mornings and we all get busy. My kids (10 and 12) love to mark a job off when accomplished. They know we aren't going to do anything fun until it is all done so they move quickly from job to job. I don't even have to say anything!

The Meals tab has a two week planner that I created with tables in Microsoft Word. I just plan dinners and make my grocery list from here. You can see that I will swap meals if I don't feel like having something one night, etc. My thought was to reuse these and have a grocery list to go with each one, but we are so busy in the evenings that I plan a lot of my meals based on how much time I have to cook that night so I haven't been able to do that yet. Tuesday may be a night at home one week and not the next...

Another favorite - the School tab. You know all those notes you get from the school and you need to keep for a week or two? Well, they no longer hang on my fridge. I keep them all here - along with the school lunch calendar. This has actually saved me money! Before the binder, the kids would eat school lunch almost every day because they would forget to look ahead and ran out of time to make their lunches in the morning. Now they have to "sign-up" to take their lunch. See below:

They check the binder the night before and if they signed up to take their lunch, they gather as much as they can before going to bed...makes for a much more relaxed morning. Now that they actually plan ahead, I am spending WAY LESS money on school lunches and a sack lunch is cheaper so it is a WIN-WIN.

I also have a Kids tab. This is for anything of theirs that is not school related such as Master's Club schedules or notes from church, etc.

Finally, the Bills tab... As the bills come in the mail, they are placed in the pocket divider. Behind that I have page protectors that hold extra checks, mailing labels, envelopes, etc. Then I have a calendar that I print and write when I will pay all of our monthly bills. Behind the calendar, I have my "checkbook" register (we use notebook paper because we rarely use checks anymore). I love this system for my bills because I can just pull out the binder and everything I need is right there.

Well, if you've stuck with me this long, I apologize for the length of the post! Hopefully it will be worth it to someone! I know I have had ZERO clutter on my table since I started using this system, my house is cleaner, and it has saved me money. LOVE IT! :-)

Hope you have a wonderful day!



  1. Oh.my.word!!!! I LOVE this!! This is what I need in my house!! Papers always seem to find their way on every table top, counter, cabinet top, just EVERYWHERE!! I'm definitely going to try this out!! Wish me luck!!

  2. Stick with it, Tammy! I'm sure you will find a system that works for you too. :-)



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