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How to keep your home running smoothly.

Running a home can be hard. Sure, when it’s just you, or possibly you and a partner, then it can be relatively straightforward, but add in pets and/or kids, and suddenly it gets a heap more complicated. Even if you are still in the straightforward part of your life, it is worth putting down foundations now so that if/when your life gets more complicated, you can hit the ground running.

I consider myself to be a “Manager” in my home rather than a worker, so whilst I may show leadership by occasionally cleaning the toilets in an emergency, it’s not actually my job to clean the toilets, it’s my job to make sure the toilets are clean. Just like successful businesses have Standard Operating Procedures that are written down so that anyone can pick them up and use them, so successful households should have the same. Get it written down so that you are not holding it in your head and so that someone else can come in and pick it up if you are unavailable. You can term this a “Home Management Folder” if that floats your boat, or I quite liked the title I saw on a Notebook which said, “I’m Dead, Now What?!”

Experts (other Professional Organisers!) are a little divided on the topic of what should go in a folder like this, and I think that the thing to remember is that it shouldn’t be too unwieldy for everyday use, so you may want to divide it into smaller files that live elsewhere. I am working towards storing my whole life digitally (and if it’s of interest, I can explain the platform that I am using another time), but I also like to have print outs that everyone can see and access.

Suggestions of things that you might chose to have in your folder/s:

Personal Information sheets for each family member, including medical information.

Information for pets, including microchip, medication, vaccination records etc. I have a sheet on which all the feeds and routines are written out so that when someone comes in to pet sit, they can just pick it up and go.

Kids Schedules and School schedules, including phone numbers and other contact details. I have a table written out which has the weekly schedule which can be picked up by any adult who walks into the house. As I Home Educate, I also have the lessons and topics that I expect the children to cover written out for each child. Again, so that if I’m away, or out, then any of the adults who might be covering for me can look at their sheet and see what they need to learn that day. If you are someone who regularly gets a babysitter in, then make a sheet specifically for the sitter, with all the information they might need written down on it. Then reuse this sheet every time you need it. It’s all about doing something once and not having to do it again.

Cleaning Schedule. Mine is printed out and stuck to the fridge so that no one has any excuse to not do their jobs.

Menu Plan. We have a 4 weekly rolling menu and it’s stuck to the fridge again (the fridge is our “Command Centre” – more on that another time).

Planner – ours is wipe clean and is (guess where?!) stuck to the fridge.

Maintenance schedule for the home such as boiler servicing, and winter prep.

DIY information, like the name and type of paint used for each room.

Guarantees and instructions – Have a separate place for these, and whenever you put a new one in, check to see if any of the old ones are out of date or have been removed from the home.

In a separate area (possibly digital and password protected), you might want to make a note of all of your User Names and Passwords. I would hesitate to have this information where it could be grabbed, but definitely useful to have it all written down. Again, if there is interest, I’ll show you how the digital platform that I use works.

Home Inventory, including valuations.

Finance - where are your bank accounts, how to access them, Mortgage information, insurance payments, debt payments if you have them.

I have considered making some printables for all this, but I’m not keen on putting the effort in unless it’s something that people will actually want/use. So if it is, then drop me a line and I can get some made up.

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