Monday, November 21, 2011

Organization: Family Management Notebook

I've been working on getting my life organized before the baby comes and one of the things I have been working on is a family management notebook for our household.  I first thought it was a good idea when I ran across this post while surfing through some blogs:

To put it lightly, I LOVED her idea.  Now, there are some parts where I thought this very ingenious lady was a wee bit crazy.  For instance, no thanks, but I am NOT keeping important information such as bank account numbers, driver's license numbers, and social security cards in one notebook so that anyone could just snatch it.  Sorry, but that just sounds like identity theft in the making.  I suppose that if you are very careful with the information (as I am sure Amy Bayliss is) you could do it safely, but I want this notebook to be available and easy to find.  I don't want to be worried about where I place it, who sees it, etc.  So I will not be putting any sort of HIGHLY sensitive information in it.

This is what I HAVE put in it thus far, however.  I currently took her front cover template and changed it just
a bit.  I have our family verse on the front, along with our current location, and the years that this notebook is valid for.  I will need to update it quite a bit -- especially with children coming along and the military moving us on a bi-annual basis.

Numbers & Addresses
The first section is entitled "Numbers & Addresses."  The first page is very similar to what Amy Bayliss suggested: "Emergency Phone Numbers".  I included our address, our home phone number and cell numbers, our birth dates, child find, local police numbers, and our doctor phone numbers.  Below that I listed information for my husband's ship, local Coast Guard wives if something were to happen while I'm alone, as well as our families' phone numbers.  And of course, 911 is printed in bright red.  :)

Photo Courtesy

The second page is "Business Phone Numbers."  These are numbers that we use on a fairly normal basis.  The top section are those numbers for the bills I deal with for paying monthly bills - our landlord, phone companies, internet company, garbage company, power company, etc.  After that I have our insurance, bank, doctor, and other various phone numbers listed in an organized fashion.

The third page is "Family Phone Numbers."  While our parents and siblings were listed on the emergency phone number page, I relisted them on this page, along with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and close friends who are like family.  It is not a complete list of everyone we know (I have another filing system for those) but for the people I need to get ahold of on a regular basis, all of the information is listed.

Family Information
The second section of the notebook I have listed as "Family Information."  The first part within that is the child information section.  Now, since the baby is not yet born, there is little in there.  However, I have a section set out where I will put the full name, date of birth, height, weight, physical characteristics, and medical conditions on one sheet of paper -- along with a picture and fingerprint art.  This way if, heaven forbid, anything were to happen I have one quick sheet with all of the necessary information on it to present.

Photo Courtesy

The second part within this section is the "Family Car Information."  On this page I have both of our vehicles listed with the year, make, model, color, VIN number, license plate number, and insurance policy number.  Below this information, I have a photo of both vehicles.  Once again, this means that if a car was severely damaged or stolen, I have one sheet of paper with pretty much of all of the necessary information to file reports and claims with.

The last section (as of right now) that I have in this family information portion of my handy notebook is a "Where We've Lived" page.  We haven't gone through many moves quite yet, and we're already having issues remember our exact addresses and dates of where we've lived in the past.  And those things are quite important to remember when you are in the military and moving around quite a bit.  So I have started a page that I have no doubt will be speedily updated with current, as well as previous, mailing, living, and residency addresses.  (Yes, we have one of each of those and they are not necessarily all the same.  For instance, our residency address is in Colorado...but our mailing & living address is in Oregon.  It can be confusing!)


Photo Courtesy
The third section of this notebook I have entitled "Checklists."  I am very list-oriented and they help keep me straight.  So I printed several checklist forms that I want to have on hand - some of them I came across through Amy Bayliss and others I have collected or found through my internet searches.

The first list is the Hope List -- what we hope to accomplish, when, by whom, and key information about each item.

The second list is the Home Maintenance forms -- by quickly glancing through it, it reminds me what I should make sure I take care of every season and just check on from time to time. 

The third list is the Travel Packing Checklist.  Ben & I have found we travel quite a bit since being married (together or individually) and I am always trying to rack my brain of what I need to remember to bring.  I've started using this checklist to help my brain come up with things to pack!

The final list that I have thus far (again I am sure I will collect more and more lists as time goes by) is the Before We Leave Checklist.  This is, once again, for traveling -- but it reminds me of certain things I need to do around the house before we leave.  For instance, stop the mail and shut off the water.  Okay, so those are the two I usually REMEMBER to do...but there are several others that I need to remember to do and often don't until the last minute (or after we walk through the door).

My last section that I have in my Family Management Notebook thus far is my "Coupons" section.  I feel like I have a lot of work in this area to do still, but I am slowly figuring out what to do and how.  For right now, I have 6 envelopes slipped inside the slip covers that I am using for my whole notebook.  Each envelope is labeled in this manner:
  • Envelope 1: Dry Goods
    • Paper items
    • Kitchen storage
    • TP/PT
    • Lightbulbs
    • Etc
  • Envelope 2: Hygiene/Baby Items
    • Shampoo/Conditioner/Soap
    • Deoderant
    • Diapers
    • Medicine
    • Etc
  • Envelope 3: Dry/Canned/Boxed Food Items
    • Canned soups
    • Mayo
    • Crackers
    • Cereal
    • Etc
  • Envelope 4: Baking Items
    • Boxed cakes
    • Flour
    • Sugar
    • Yeast
    • Etc
  • Envelope 5: Frozen/Refrigerated Good
    • Frozen meats
    • Boxed/bagged frozen goods
    • Eggs
    • Milk
    • Cheese
    • Etc
  • Envelope 6: Large/Various Items
    • Oil changes
    • Dump vouchers
    • Shutterfly
    • Etc
I am sure there is a more efficient way of keeping coupons organized...but for right now, that is what I've got.

So far I am very pleased.  I am getting things under control and this family management notebook is almost completed to my satisfaction.  I am sure it will expand, but I think I have all of the items that I wanted thus far completed!


  1. Organizing is fun for me.... so I always enjoy seeing how other people do it :) I still have to come up with a good way to organize coupons too. Mine are in sheet protectors in a binder, but I know thats not the best way either. I just found a blog you might enjoy: there are some neat organizing ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks Julia!!!! That is a great blog! Thanks for sharing! :)