I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Preparing a Family Notebook

I am known around these parts as being a bit obsessed with paper organizing. Do you remember the girl that sat behind you in the third grade that had an alphabetized/cross-referenced Trapper Keeper...THAT WAS ME!

Family Notebook

I have several different binders. In fact, at times it might seem like my binders HAVE binders!...but I digress. In the coming months in preparation for the upcoming school year, I will be sharing each one of my binders. But for now, I thought I'd start with my HOME COMPANION, as it details the daily operations of my home.

Unlikely Homeschool Binder

I maintain this notebook for two very important reasons...

  1. I have loose but important papers in different spots around the house and I wanted one spot to gather all of them.
  2. If anything were to ever happen to me, I would hate to think that the Hubs, or anyone else, for that matter, would have a difficult time maintaining status quo around here. I want to know that, as much as humanly possible, my children will be able to find comfort in the routines, meals, and stability that they have known thus far. Not that any of those things really matter in the long term, but a bit of "normalcy" goes a long way in a difficult situation.

My Family Home Companion has five main divisions and one additional section for Master Forms for use next year or years to come. I was fortunate to find several free printables for necessary forms and created the rest on my own. The sections and sub-sections are as follows:


  1.  The daily "docket":   A simple "to do" list that I've placed in a plastic sleeve so that I can use a dry-erase marker on it each day
  2. Suggested Daily Cleaning Schedule 
  3.  "Things on loan" page to keep track of books/school items I've loaned out to friends

Daily To-Do list


  1. A clear plastic business card sleeve for holding the business cards of all of our health care/dental providers (It wasn't until I started putting this notebook together that I realized that the Hubs did not know the name of our pediatrician. He still doesn't know, but at least he knows of the place where he can find that info if he needs it.)
  2. Our family Mission Statement and theme verse
  3. Our 12 house rules/parenting mantras (I will be posting about our mission statement, verse, and house rules in the coming weeks.)
  4.  Babysitter Notes Page
  5.  Emergency Info Page
  6. Basic medical health and insurance info on family members
  7. Children's cold/flu meds and dosage Instructions
  8. Current Clothing Size Chart (This has turned out to be very handy during yard sale season.  I can't always remember off-hand what size shoes everyone wears.)
  9. Gift Wish List (I can always think of gift ideas for the Hubs and the kids all year long, but as soon as Christmas or their birthdays comes around, I can not come up with a thing.)

Business Card Organizer


  1. Home Keeping Checklist
  2. Kid's Weekly Chore Chart 
  3. A great handout with a detailed list of age appropriate chores for kids. 
  4. The Fly Lady's Zone Cleaning Lists (I want to eventually type up my own as a few of hers do not apply to our house and we have a few that she does not list. But, this is a good reference for now.)

Meal Planning

  1. Detailed Weekly Meal Planner (I've put this into a plastic sleeve for dry-erase purposes.)
  2. Monthly Menu Schedule 
  3. My Main Dish List:  a list I put together several years ago of every main dish I make and the recipe book/resource where it can be found.
  4. A workable grocery list:  a list of everything that I normally buy written out in the exact order that I walk through the aisles of the store.  (During the week as I run out of things, I can just mark the item with a highlighter indicating that I need to buy it.)

Weekly Meal Plan


  1. Another business card sleeve to hold the business cards of different businesses we frequent for home/auto needs
  2. Car Maintenance Log 
  3. Home Maintenance Log

The binder is larger than necessary so that I can clip my Brave Homeschool Planner into it.

You'll notice that I did not include any financial/budgeting information.  Although those facts and figures would be more than appropriate to include in a Home Companion, I prefer to do all of that with Excel spreadsheets.

Although I devoted much of an entire Saturday afternoon to writing and compiling the different elements in this binder, it is a work-in-progress. Since life always has a way to "ebb and flow" I probably will never be completely done with the book. It will need to "ebb and flow" as well. But at least the skeletal plan is in order and I have comfort in knowing that my husband won't have to "doggie paddle" his way through the simple tasks of the day if I'm not around to help.

Be sure to stay tuned in the coming weeks when I share some thoughts on Portfolio Assessment Binders and Annual School Planners.  For now, here are a few more great resources for putting together a Home Companion.

Life Your Way
Simple Mom
Mom Agenda
Organized Home


  1. This is truly impressive! I wish I could be so organized, and this post shows a good way to start!

  2. I have wanted to do this and even started once but never finished. Loved your ideas and just pinned this! Vicky from www.messforless.net

  3. Wow! You are way too organized. I would never find time to put all that together let along maintain it. Great work!

  4. wow that is amazing. I am looking for to reading about your house rules.

  5. What an amazing idea to keep everything organized! Love that you shared this with us at tip toe thru tuesday, and can't wait to see more!

  6. This is a great idea! Thank you for all of the links, too. I'm looking forward to reading about the Portfolio Assessment Binders.

  7. This is fantastic. Not because I'm organized by nature, but because I'm the exact opposite and you've made it look really easy and user friendly (we'll see what happens after a week in my house).

    I especially like keeping the emergency and non-emergency information all in one place.

  8. I have a very similar binder that I use with my family, although it could be much more organized. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Did you design all these sheets yourself or is there a place somewhere with premade printables? I love it!

  10. This is such a great idea,every mom should try to do it.Being organized,saves so much time.

  11. This is amazing:)
    I really love your website and blog!! God has really blessed you as a writer and ever post or thing you write seems very simple!!!
    Thank you so much!