Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Home-keeping Keeps "Home" Happy, Part II

What Goes In Your Home Directory Notebook

Yesterday I promised that I’d post a list of the categories I have in my Home Directory notebook.    Categories for YOUR home directory notebook will probably not be exactly the same as mine.  In fact, they better NOT be!   Really…they should be tailored to the specific needs of your family.   For example, when we lived on a farm, I had a category called Livestock in which I listed animal feed rations, cattle records, and vets.   I had another one with the names of farmers from whom we bought hay.     So, please CUSTOMIZE your list!

Here's a customization I did recently.   

Since we’ve moved to West Virginia, near Washington DC, I’m adding a new category (actually a separate section) to our notebook called Sight-Seeing.   Back when we lived in Wisconsin (on that little farm I mentioned) we didn’t have TIME to go gallivanting.  But now we’re renting and have fewer home-owner responsibilities, so we’re making the most of it!   

The number of cool places to go around here is amazing:   historical, artsy, outdoorsy, cultural, biological and a slew of others!   Dear Hubby asked on Thursday or Friday “Where do you want to go this weekend?”  I had no idea—I mean the possibilities were practically endless.    

However.   Before the end of our second week here, Darling Daughter and I headed to the library (new library cards!!!) where I found a book with a listing of places on the eastern seaboard and DC-area.   Whoohoo!   From that list, I compiled potential sight-seeing destinations, sorted by state and localities.  Using the Excell spreadsheet program on our computer, I added columns to note entry fees, days & hours of operation, special passes needed, and which Metro line to take and the stop near the destination.   

Further customizations include a separate section to include recommendations from our friends.   Our Sight-Seeing list will be an on-going travel journal and a great resource for our out-of-town guests to plan trips into The City and the nearby attractions.   Now when Dear Hub asks that question, we pull out our handy-dandy Sight-Seeing list. 

So, your categories need to reflect your family (not mine—even though I’m sure you’d enjoy visiting us!).   Use these ideas for a springboard.   Don’t be a slave!


Of all the categories listed below, the only one that is always in the same position is the Utilities & Household (because I use that one the most).  And it's listed first, on the first page--easy access!   When I update the notebook, categories sometimes get rejuvenated, so they fit on the pages neatly.     

Also I try to keep things together that “go together.”  For example, kid stuff like sports or school goes on one page together.   Coaches’ names or school things.   Clubs and leaders.  The “boring” stuff (like insurance and banking) goes on one page together.    All the utility stuff is grouped under Household.  

Here’s another example from our notebook—just to give you ideas—these are all from the category I call “Utility & Household Info.”    Also notice, under library, I’ve used a smaller font, to fit it all in within the column without squishing it too much.

Hospital – Martinsburg                                                                 
                City HospitalDry Run Rd                     304-264-xxxx   

Internet & Television – Satellite                           800-825-xxxx  
Comcast                                                                      304-725-xxxx
302 N. Mildred Street, Ranson WV 25438 

Library     Berkeley County PL                               304-267-xxxx
                101 W. King Street
                                M – T – Th ~ 9:00 – 9:00       
W – F –  Sa ~ 9:00 – 5:00       Su   ~ 1:00 – 5:00  
Shepherdstown PL                                       304-876-xxxx
100 E. German Street, Shep’town
                  Mon – Thur ~ 10:00 – 7:00
                  Sat ~ 9:00 – 1:00     Fri & Sat ~ closed
Nick –     (card numbers)
Deb –      xxxxxxxxx
Lis –        xxxxxxxxx        

Lawyer   Mr. XXXXXX                                    608-XXX-XXXX

Utilities & Household Info ~ contact info for all service provider names & phone numbers for cell-phone, electric, floral, hospital, internet & television/satellite, library [hours & days open, too; library card numbers], lawyer, City offices, utilities, landlord, appliance recycling & parts, transportation, postal & delivery, State offices like DMV and Education.
 Neighbors’ ~ names & contact info (include addresses & direction where they live from your house—I figure this is more of “emergency” information).

Insurance ~ Life, Auto, Health, Homeowners (including agent name & contact info and corporate info, account / policy numbers & coverage, contact info, make & VIN on vehicles)

Church - pastor & church council contact info (membership directory is filed in another section of the notebook)

Banking – various accounts (checking, saving, mutual funds, money market, retirement; contact info for our agents; account numbers)

Medical – contact info for chiropractor, dentist, medical, orthodontist, family practice, optometrist; include hours & days open; names of nurses who triage or screen their doctors’ calls

Education – homeschooling group contact info, names of teachers & their contact info, home-room teachers’ names, names & contact info for any special groups or clubs; locker numbers & combinations; children’s school and sports schedules are filed in another section of the notebook.

Sports / Clubs – team coach contact info (team rosters & phone numbers in back section with game schedules)

Animals – pet names with birth date, surgeries & shots, meds, vet’s name & contact info

Periodicals & Newspapers – titles of subscriptions, renewal or expiration dates (number of issues), account numbers, Direct Marketing Association and Publisher’s Clearinghouse (assist with forwarding mail on subscriptions)

Government / Politics – Federal and State lawmakers contact info (note party affiliations, local offices); legislative hotlines and Congressional Switchboard phone numbers; party contacts

Miscellaneous – cellphone passwords, social security account numbers, drivers’ license numbers, home paint color brand names & numbers, telemarketing “No Call” list & renewal dates, road conditions (State Patrol), Department of Tourism for our state.

Stuff ~ a list of major and small appliances owned, date purchased or received, make, model, serial number, and any “parts” information. Once you compile a list like this (it takes a bit of time to do), you only need to update it when you get rid of or add something new to the household (this list ends up being the one that is the most “work”—tracking down info—so save this one til last). This list will probably take up a whole page. But it makes a great inventory, and you can keep a copy in your safe deposit box at the bank—then if anything drastic happens… Well, then you have a list to file with your insurance provider. Train yourself to update this list each time you bring a new appliance or “toy” into the house. A new DVD-player? A bike? An iTouch? Computer? Write it down!

I hope that's enough to get  you started!    Work on one section at a time or for a set period of time (say 15 - 30 minutes while the kids are napping).    Remember to SAVE your info--and save/file it in an area on your computer where YOU will be able to find it again when you need to make an update.

Tomorrow I’ll share a list of other items you may wish to keep filed in your Household Notebook.   

Til then, Dear Friend, think on these words from the book of Proverbs, ascribed to Solomon, and let the wisdom pour over your heart and soul!

My son [or daughter], if you accept my words 
and store up my commands within you, 
turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, 
and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 
and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 
then you will understand the fear of the LORD 
and find the knowledge of God.      
~ Proverbs 2:1-5

1 comment:

Eve said...

I am impressed, intimidated, and inspired. I am presently striving to clear the papers off my desk so I have some place to work at being organized.