My family developed our House Binder out of need. To manage our chaos.
Origins of the Binder
At the most stressful point in my life, my family was in chaos, my house in disarray, and I was almost in tears trying to stay ahead of it. In addition to that, I had a scheduled surgery date in February. We got a call that my grandmother was in hospital and decided to go see her, 16 hours away by car. The trip gave us a lot of time to talk and realize the extent of our situation.
We spent hours of the drive discussing the logistics of February and how we would handle it. Z would be walking, while for 8 weeks I wouldn’t be. My dad would be having his second hip done and mom would be looking after him as best she could. John was out of vacation after Z’s birth and would need to use what he could to care for Z while I was in the hospital. We knew we couldn’t do it alone, we just weren’t sure how to manage it.
Trial and Error of the Printables
We decided on a full-time housekeeper/nanny, and already had a house cleaner, realizing we would need other help over time. When we got back we put our plan into action, and hired the help we needed.
By the time February rolled around, we had a huge number of people running around the house:
- Full time housekeeper/nanny doing cooking, childcare, dishes and laundry
- Cleaning person once a week to take care of the heavy cleaning
- Nurses for each my dad and myself to change the dressings on our incisions
- Physiotherapists for myself, my mom and my dad to help with our recuperation
- Deliveries for groceries, staples, clothes and children’s supplies; anything I could order online and have delivered
My mom helped with childcare, my dad pitched in wherever it was needed and John ran himself ragged every day filling in the gaps. My job was to keep it all running smoothly, to be the hub in the wheel, as it were: pay bills, schedule appointments, maintain everyone’s to do lists and keep supplies stocked.
Organized Household Routine
Our Family House Binder is the only thing that kept us all afloat. That many different people juggling the chores and trying to make sure everything was covered was a chaos. But we had one central source of the truth, so it was organized chaos. We each had our own schedule and checklist, and a copy in the binder so that we knew what everyone else was up to. If something came up, we could check and see who could help.
It kept the house from falling down around our ears as well. There was a list of things that needed to happen and each of us just made sure stuff got done and checked off. We could put our initials next to a task and everyone knew just to take the next one. We dipped into our savings, and found helpers online to do everything from rearranging furniture to picking out preschools.
Now that the chaos has settled, the binder has lost its urgency, but it has become a great habit that saves us a lot of time.
- Allows me to leave instructions and feedback, even when I don’t see my house cleaner for months at a time
- Gives John and I the means to stay in sync without spending all of our time talking about chores
- Helps us to be consistent parents with Mackenzie’s rules and chores
- Provides a list for Mackenzie to know what she needs to do and build good habits