This week’s challenge is a working Shalom Bayit Book (SBB). (If you haven’t read about the 52 week challenge, check here.)
A Shalom Bayit Book (or SBB, as we will call it from now on) is a sanity saver here in my OJH. So let’s start building yours, or if you have one, update and adjust it to make it more useful. (See the discussion on electronic vs. paper – or a combination of both here. )
First, do you want to be the only one to use it, or will it be open to your whole family? I have a notebook that anyone can use technically, but I am really the only one to use it. I am the driving force here, the one to do the planning, the preparation, and the note taking. That’s the bias in this weeks’ challenge, but you can add in all sorts of other possibilities if you want to make it a more communal book: a family calendar, school section for paperwork, etc – see some ideas here.
Next, get a 3 ring binder and some tabs. I printed a cute picture of my kids out for my cover, but do something that works for you. And don’t let perfection hold you back–just get started! You can always adjust as you go (and you should plan on it, since your needs will change as your situation does).
What works for you will vary from what works from me, but here are some ideas for tabs and contents (more links are coming as I get them up – these are some of my own as well as some throughout the web like this one or this one, which have links to a bunch of print-outs you could use):
- Daily routines: Morning Routine, Evening Routine, homeschool, etc.
- Weekly planner page or to dos
- Weekly routines and checklists
- Monthly routines and checklists
- Monthly family calendar (2012)
- Individual room cleaning checklists (See some cleaning checklist choices here)
- Household chore checklists
- Seasonal chore checklists (clean gutters out in the fall? Wash down deck furniture in the spring?)
- Household inventory
- Holiday inventories
- Holiday menus and notes
- Pesach countdown (starting with 6 weeks to go or Cleaning the house for Pesach)
- Shabbat planner
- Grocery list
- Meal planning worksheets (like this menu plan template and grocery list)
- Inventories: freezer, pantry, anything you have a bunch of and want to track
- A price book and the price points at which you should stock up (for example, $0.25 a roll of toilet paper)
- A list of recipes to try and/or a list of good recipes so you can find them again!
- Family wishlists and sizes (so you can get a good deal when it comes along)
- Children’s school things: lunch menu, schedule, etc.
- Financial papers: a bill pay schedule, lists of accounts, etc (be security conscious – tailor this based on who will have access!)
- Passwords list (see above!)
- Emergency plan and contact info
- Budget and budgeting papers
- Holiday/yearly card list
- Important contact phone list
If you are just starting this project, start small. Choose one or two things to start with and continue building as you go. If you are continuing to build your own SBB, take the resources and fix them to work for you.
This is the best way to get your household better organized and save your own time and money!
Do you have a SBB? What works for you? I’d love to hear your comments!