28 May 2007

Being organised

It's nothing special, just a recycled ring binder and old plastic sleeves.

I've never been an organised person, and never had a good reason to be until now. Living simply gives you a reason. It makes sense to me now to make lists, collect recipes, keep records, have up-to-date information and generally know what I'm doing around the house.
A few years ago I started a housekeeping journal that turned into a kind of all-purpose record of the practical things we do here. When I started making soap I collected recipes from the web, from people I know and from books - they all went in the journal. Bread was the same - I collected a lot of info about technique and ingredients and placed it in my journal. Launching the household into a more natural cleaning regime added yet more non-mainstream information to the journal. Then came vegetable garden plans and planting times, seed catalogues, harvests, egg numbers, the dates we bought new chooks, chook names, how to knit mittens, weather and rain records, telephone numbers and email addresses, well, you get the idea.
I love that journal. It's nothing fancy, just an old ring binder that I can easily add new pages to, but it's like a map of our journey into simplicity. It's not just random pieces of paper, it's the information we need to run our home and garden - it's like our simple key.
Do you have a journal like mine? I'd love to hear about how other record the changes in a simple home.


  1. It's a great idea. My 'journal' is unfortunately scattered in about 6 different places including my brain, various pieces of paper, internet bookmarks, blog entries, magazines, catalogues and books.

    I do like the idea of bringing that all together into one accessible, paper version.

    Regards, Gary

  2. this is a really good idea especially for people like me who is not organised...i think i might start doing the same thing to at least finish my misery as i keep losing track of all my stuffs.

    thanks for sharing this one :-)

  3. I did that with my favorite recipes, whether my own or from books. Pulling them together in one place saves me a lot of time.

    Doing a notebook for other things like you have is on my list!

  4. Terrific concept. I have many notebooks that are evolving and it is so handy to look up to my shelf and grab the one that holds the info. I need. They are by no means complete but certainly positive works in progress.

  5. I think a home journal is a great idea. As I get older I think often about leaving a legacy for my grandchildren. How I would love to read my grandmother's home journal about how she managed her household, I'm sure it's a great deal different than how things are done now.

    Love your blog, Jo

  6. I love your blog. It is the most interesting that I have found so far on how to lead a self-sustaining life, especially the time you now have for doing work for others. I have a ring binder for recipes that I collect, many of them from blogs now, and another one for cleaning, gardening, home decorating ideas, and things to make ideas. I use them both, especially the recipe one. They are not quite journals, but I like to keep things together in an easily to use form, and ring binders, which can expand so easily, seem to be perfect. Thanks so much for all your ideas and tips.

  7. I have a 'seasonal' journal. this way I know what to plant, prepare in the garden, and cook. I even have seasonal deep cleaning projects. So in May I know its time to till and wipe down the cupboards and I have several recipes for in season vegetables. It is mostly made up of magazine articles. Unfortunately, I'm the only one who can find anything in it!

  8. This is a brilliant idea! I have something similar to this but I have one for recipes and one for cleaning recipes and such. This year I'm planning to copy some recipes and some home-made cleaning recipes and put them into pretty folders to give to my family as a chistmas present - with a little sample of homemade cleaner with it.
    I am so inspired by your blog! I'm a newcomer who is already addicted! :)
    Kindest regards,

  9. Wat a great idea. I have slips o papers & note books all over. Makes since to keep it all in o spae

  10. Hi Rhonda,
    I love to scrounge thru peoples rubbish that they chuck out and often I find note pads and exercise books, mostly empty, so I turn these into my diaries.
    I have many diaries for recording my projects, they are: Gardening -some with magazine articles and some with notes about whats happening in my garden; preserving; cheesemaking; quilting; wine making and soon to be started -soap making, thanks to you.
    Unfortunately my hand writing is atrotious, (so is my spelling) so I pity anyone who comes after me and tries to read them.

  11. Thankful goat, please see the commenting guidelines below.

  12. I do have a Home Management Binder. Right now it just contains menu lists and recipes, but I plan on expanding it more as time goes on.


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