Home Management Notebook: Choosing Your Supplies

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source: Nick Findley

source: Nick Findley

Hopefully this week’s series has inspired you to begin putting together a home management notebook — or revamping your system if you already have one that needs an update.

As you get started, you may be tempted to buy every office supply imaginable to make your system just right (please tell me I’m not the only one who’s compulsive about paper and office supplies!). On the other hand, you may be wondering which supplies are really necessary to make this system work. The good news is not much!

Let’s take a look at some of the most common supplies:

A Binder

The binder is the backbone of the whole system. You can start with a 1″ binder, but — depending on what purpose your home management notebook will serve — you may need to upgrade to a larger one at some point.

Binders can be found for as low as $1 in plain, utilitarian colors. However, if you have a little more to spend, buying a binder that appeals to you visually is a good way to motivate yourself to use the system consistently. I also think these zippered binders would be great for a household management system, especially if you use it on a daily basis and want to be able to take it with you on the go. And I’d never seen these before today, but how cool are these Flip Back 360 binders by Avery, which allow you to fold it in half like a spiral notebook so that you can easily use it like a clipboard to add notes and information!

Tab Dividers

Tab dividers are another necessity of home management notebooks because they allow you to divide the information into categories for easy reference. They typically come in packs of 5, 8, 10, 12 or 15, so you’ll want to have a general idea of how many categories you’re going to use before you choose a set.

Again, there are many different features to consider, but the least expensive tab dividers start under a dollar. You’ll want to choose between tabs that allow you to insert a label versus those that you write on. Some come with printable stickers and templates so that you can print your labels, and you can also get tab dividers with rewriteable tabs. And depending on your needs, you may choose ones with pockets or page protectors.

Truly, a basic binder and tab dividers is all you need to get started, and you can get started today for under $2, so don’t let cost be a factor in delaying this project!

Other Supplies

That said, there are other things that can help you take your binder to the next level:

:: Page protectors
*for holding temporary paperwork like permission slips, invitations, etc. or for recipes and crafts from magazines

:: Folders
*for keeping bills, paperwork and other important records together

:: Zippered pouch
*for holding your supplies, such as pens, post-it notes, calculator, etc.

:: Post-it flags
*for marking pages within sections that need attention or that you refer to frequently

:: Highlighters or colored pens (or these highlighters with built-in post-it flags!)
*for color coding your calendar, to-do list, meal plan and more

If you currently use a home management notebook, which of the supplies listed above do you use? Did I miss any?

About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5, 3.5, 2 and a new baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

3 Responses to “ Home Management Notebook: Choosing Your Supplies ”

  1. I have a couple of little file pockets that are 3-hole punched. One of them holds all my supplies for our morning meeting: our song book, Bible drill, memory verses, and any pictures we’re studying or little maps.

    I have a page protector in the very front of my notebook. In it is a card my husband gave me saying thanks for being our kids’ teacher.

    I, too, am an office-supply junkie. With that card was a $10 office depot card. What can I say? I’m a dork!
    Angela Mills´s last blog ..Hearing God’s Voice My ComLuv Profile


  2. I have just discovered your site…and am so happy. you have so many great ideas. I have also just started making meals ahead and freezing them..I would love the Once a month family cooking..cook book…


  3. Mandi- I am loving your blog!!! I love office supply stores…can you say addicted!!! Maybe that is why God made me a teacher because if I had a high paying job I would spend my paycheck at these stores!!! LOL! Thanks for sharing!
    Thea´s last blog ..Her Bundle of Joy My ComLuv Profile


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