New Year Organization

So I’m sure a lot of you get the itch around January to re-organize and get your life back in order like I do.  My problem is that right around October, my motivation seems to go right out the window and all our daily routines go to pot. I’ve tried a lot of things in the past, but this one has helped me out the most.

It’s my “House Happenings” book.  I got the idea from my wonderful friend Sarah.  She is perfect.  Like 100% without flaw.  I’m not kidding.  A few years ago, when I asked her how her house always looks so nice and how she still has time for everything else, she shared her secret.  She pulled out a plain old 3 ring binder and forever changed my life.  When I put mine together I changed a few things to fit my family and our home a little better(and I tweak it every year), but the key point is the same…maintenance.

Spend 15 minutes a day focusing your cleaning on one major room/area of your house with a last minute “attack of the hot spots” (areas that seem to breed disorder & clutter) right before bed, as well as one day a week to different “chores” you have to do.  That way you spread your weekend load throughout the week and just maintain it as you go.  I’m not saying my house is now spotless and ordered all the time(I do have a 2 yr old) and that every little thing gets done, but it’s a heck of a lot better.

Here is what’s inside my book.

I have it split up into 9 categories –  Routines, Calendars, Menus & Recipes (for the upcoming week), Church Info, Missy’s Notes, Abbi’s Notes, Brad’s Notes, Budget, & Goals.

Under “Routines” I have a morning and evening checklist…

and a daily checklist.  It has a daily “chore” or theme that the day focuses around (Monday is the wash day, Tuesday meal planing, Errands on Wednesday, Thursday is paperwork and letter/thank you note writing, Friday is for any needed home projects, Saturday is a family fun day, and a day to relax on Sunday).

I also have a checklist of what to focus on for each of the 15 minute cleans under this section. It may take more time than the 15 minutes at first, but once you get it to where you want it the maintenance is easy.

The other sections are all pretty much self explanatory.  It’s a fantastic way to keep everything together so anyone in the family can be on the same page.

Do any of you have a system your family uses to stay on track?

*PS – Are you thinking about what projects you want to link up to our first Linky Party this Friday?  It doesn’t have to be new, or even this weeks theme.  Just something inspired by SYTYC.  I’m excited to see what you guys have to share!

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  1. Laura says

    This is awesome! I love ideas that combine little offsets of everything in my head 🙂 Would you be willing to share more of your book? Either more pictures or as a download? Thanks!

    • Missy says

      Thanks Laura! I’ll see what I can do about making it a download (i’ve never done one before). Watch for it in the next few weeks 🙂


  2. says

    Hi Missy,
    This sounds alot like the system. She calls them control journals and even has one for the holidays, finances, home maintenance and one for children “student control journal”.
    Congratulations on making a terrific “FLIGHT” plan for your family, I like the name of yours “Home Happenings” very cute and all the best for 2011!

    • Theresa says

      that was exactly what I was thinking that she must be a flybaby also! gotta love the flylady program, it is a great help in reducing chaos in my life!

  3. Jodie says

    Oooh, I need this! I definitely will stay tuned if you share this! (you can easily share things for downloading at

  4. Sarah says

    I am so happy that you are still using your house happening book and that you still love it. I too tweek mine every year. I still use it though. I miss you!!

  5. Alish says


    I love this post. It spoke to me. Organizing and planning two of my favorite things. I do something similar, but I like some of your ideas better. If you don’t mind sharing. I would love for you to send me you HTML code for this post so that I could share this with our readers. Thanks!

  6. Sally P says

    Love the book. I’ve seen many versions over the years online. My question is–where do you keep it? On the counter or in a cabinet? I’m trying to reduce clutter on my counters & just have handy the essentials. But I’m afraid it will get lost/forgotten in a cabinet.

    • Missy says

      I leave mine in my kitchen with it open to the current day. The only time it goes out of sight is if I need the counter space to cook or we have guests coming over. It always has to be visible or it doesn’t happen 🙂

  7. says

    your 15 minutes a day on cleaning is my new mantra. Today is top to bottom cleaning, establishing a baseline, but after today it’s maintenance. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. says

    you’ve inspired me … i used to have a binder like this and i let it slip by the wayside!! i need to get organized again … time to bust it out, update it and start using it again!!

    (and i agree with the others … similar idea to flylady)

  9. says

    I made my own binder because I wanted something that fit my life style and was easy enough for me to understand. I made some of my own forms and found some online. On my blog you can find a list of all of the forms to print for yourself. It’s more than just the cleaning side of it, but the whole binder. Feel free to print away!

  10. says

    Love the simplicity (and the colors!) 🙂 I’m vascilating between electronic and paper. I’m thinking of switching to Cozi or some other type of on-line electronic scheduling “thing” so that my husband can see what is on the agenda as well. That’d prove to be quite helpful but I’d like whatever I use to sync with my blackberry and well, Cozi apparently does not! Whine!

    I’m not ready to give up my paper (just yet) but … seeing everyone’s ideas really inspires to me to at least start getting this thing organized!


  1. […] – I have a few comments and emails about making my House Happenings book into a download for you.  I’ve never done a download before so I’ll see if I can […]