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Starting a Family Control Journal

3 ring binder (opened)

I have mentioned before in several posts (“Office in a bag: A great Flylady tip,” “Setting up your Pesach Control Journal,” and “When did we repair that last?”) the benefits of putting together helpful tips and forms in one place for a specific purpose.

  • My routines list in my planner helps me stay on top of things at home (I also have one for work).
  • My menu planning, grocery list forms, and price list make menu planning and shopping easier.
  • My Home Maintenance Journal helps me keep track of home repairs and information about our home and appliances.
  • My Pesach Control Journal helps me keep track of all that needs to be done before Pesach and all the articles and tips I have gathered for it.

But I have been thinking a lot lately about how many things that I take care of in our home that my husband doesn’t necessarily help with. He is definitely a big help with so many things (cooking, dishes, changing the laundry, errands – to name just a few). However, I do a lot of the “home management” stuff. It made me realize that if G-d forbid something were to happen to me, my husband might not know where all that important information is (or even where important things in the house are!).

I decided that I am going to babystep my way (as Flylady says) in putting together a Family Control Journal. A fellow blogger at OrganizedJewishHome has her own Control Journal called a Shalom Bayit Book. She uses hers mostly for her own purposes, but she has some great tips and forms, which complement those on my blog.

What I am proposing is a slightly different book – one that would be good for emergencies, long-term stays away from our kids, etc. It will have a variety of information in it that my husband may not know where I keep. Now, I have had two long-term stays in the hospital on bed-rest where my husband had to take care of everything at home without me. However, some things were just too complicated for him to handle – like the bills. He didn’t quite know my system or where everything was kept. One part of this control journal will include that.

First get a 3-ring binder just for this use. We are going to add one component at a time.

For this week, print and fill out a “Medical Consent Form for your Children.” If you are single, this is good to have for yourself in case of an emergency. A good friend of mine, Michelle, keeps this information by her door in a marked envelope.

Here are two resources to create yours:

When might my child need a medical consent form? – can come in handy in a variety of situations

Printable Medical Release Form for Children - just print and fill in your information

You might want to put the finished form and the article in a page protector. Step one complete to starting your own Family Control Journal!

* If you decide that putting together this binder is too much for you, print this form and keep it with your babysitter information, so you will have it if needed.

 

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Setting up your Pesach Control Journal

English: Festive Seder table with wine, matza ...

Being successful in preparing for Pesach depends a lot on being organized. There are so many details to keep straight with cleaning, shopping, meal planning, cooking, guests, etc. In my single days Pesach was much simpler because I didn’t have guests. I went out for all my Yom Tov and Shabbos meals and had a much smaller place to clean.

With each year and each child, Pesach preparations became more complicated. I started out with a spiral of notes of grocery lists for each year and my cleaning list. Eventually that spiral was not enough.

Now I have my typed list which you saw in my last post “Pesach is coming!” Each year I add a few things to it and make notes of what worked and didn’t work, what other things needed to be done, etc.

But the list alone is not enough either. Now I have a Pesach Control Journal (to borrow a term from Flylady), which is basically a binder of all my Pesach information. The following are the sections included:

Pesach Prep:
– my Pesach Prep list and the ebooks I bought from Rivka Slatkin, of “Review: Jewish-LIfe-Organized.com”
- class notes from various Pesach cleaning classes I have been to with one of our wonderful local rabbis
– various articles on Laws of Erev Pesach, Kashering, and Selling Chometz that i have collected from various sources

Reference Lists

Shopping guides:
– like the one I told you about from CRC which lists products that are acceptable without Passover certification, what must bear a reliable Passover certification, and what is not acceptable for Passover. Also includes several articles from the OU Passover guide. See my previous post “Pesach is coming!” for the links to these resources.

Tips:
– includes an article on purchasing Chometz after Pesach (see the Star-K resource below)

You may have other resources you like — these are just some ideas to get your started or to round out what you already have.

* Another great resource I did not mention in my last post:
Star K’s Passover Directory – includes many helpful articles as well as comprehensive product lists and shopping guides

 

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“Office-in-a-bag” – a great Flylady tip

At the recommendation of a co-worker, I found Flylady my second year of teaching, when I also had a child under one. I love Flylady’s website, which features organizational, time, and home management tips. Since following her tips, I have gotten much better at managing my life and time. She has helped me create routines to get things done at home and work.One of my favorite tips is having an Office-in-a-Bag,” which basically provides a way for you to get things done when you are out-and-about. She recommends that you keep a zippered binder with things like pens, paper clips, paper, stamps, address labels, paperwork to do, etc.

I have my own version of this. I keep a pencil bag in my bag with various office supplies (pens, highlighter, post-its, correction tape, scissors, chapstick, post-it tabs, fine-tip permanent marker, paper clips, and my zip drive).

Then I have folders for different tasks:
– thank you notes/cards
– calls
– priority
– articles to read/sort
– typing
– reading
– etc.

Then I can grab what I want to work on that day when I have downtime. It is a great way to always have stuff with you. There are never enough hours in the day, so I am so grateful to be able to take advantage of any snippets of time to get something done.

This can work for anyone regardless of your job or schedule:
– if you work full-time and work on things at lunch
– if you have a doctor’s appointment and want to make the most of your wait time
– if you are taking a child to a sporting event or lesson or wait in long carpool lines and have to sit and wait
– etc.

Even when I was teaching full-time I found it helpful, because if I need to take care of a bill or phone call, I had everything I needed with me.

Click here to see Flylady’s official “Office-in-a-Bag.” You can either create your own, use my system, or buy hers. Happy organizing!

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Family ideas, Other savings tips

 

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