You may be wondering What IS a Control Journal?
My Control Journal is my personal manual for managing my home. In it, I can keep any information that will be helpful to me in keeping everything organized that pertains to home management. It can be a binder, notebook, or whatever form you want it to be in.
For my purposes, I am using a 1.5″ 3-ring binder.
It’s nothing fancy. In fact, it’s kind of boring-looking because we only have a black and white printer. Maybe some day in the future I’ll print the cover onto colored paper to give it a little oomph, but for now, this is what I’ve got.
I have divided my Control Journal into sections using file folders that I cut in half (so I could use just the side with a tab). The sections I currently have in my Control Journal are:
My first section is my Routines section. Here is where I will keep a list of my Daily Routines. Right now I have a basic Daily Routine for the flow of my day, a Morning Routine, an Afternoon Routine, a breakdown of the FlyLady Zones (which I plan to work on as part of my Afternoon Routine so that’s why it comes after that routine), and an After Dinner Routine. Since I am working through the FlyLady BabySteps, I am not using this section quite yet. I will work up to it as I get farther into the BabySteps and beyond.
This section contains a Basic Weekly Plan, a list of tasks to complete during my weekly Home Blessing Hour, and a Weekly Checklist of basic tasks to complete in various rooms of the house. Again, I’m not really using this section yet, it’s simply a list of things that I would like to work up to eventually.
Pantry List/Meal Plans:
The next section contains a Pantry List, a meal plan for the month, and scratch paper to make grocery lists. I am actually semi-using this section as I had already developed a menu plan for the month of January before I started looking into the FlyLady. Right now, I only printed my January menu and stuck it in this section, but my eventual goal for the rest of the section is to use the Pantry List as a a guide for all of the items I’d like to keep stocked in my pantry at all times. When an item runs low, I can add it to my shopping list for the week, so I’ll know to pick it up the next time I get groceries.
Detailed Cleaning Lists:
The next section is my Detailed Cleaning List. This section is for Advanced FlyBabies (I guess if they’re advanced they’d be more like FlyTeens or FlyAdults), but I have it in here as something to work up to eventually. All I did for this section was print off the Detailed Cleaning List from the FlyLady website, hole-punch it, and stick it in the Control Journal.
Once I’ve completed the BabySteps and have got a handle on my routines and reducing my clutter, I will be able to work on these. A lot of these tasks would be difficult to complete when there’s clutter in the rooms, so it may be several months before I get to this point, but again, it gives me something to work toward.
The next section is for Important Dates. This section isn’t meant for doctor’s appointments or work schedules and such. It is meant to be a place to keep track of all the annual things that occur each month — so birthdays, anniversaries, etc. I haven’t filled anything in for this section yet. FlyLady suggests doing this one month at a time. Choose a day at the end of the month and write down any events for that month that you want to remember.
For my Control Journal, I hopped on the computer and made up a simple document to keep track of these items. I just listed each month at the top of the page and then wrote a number and a line across the entire page; one for each day of the month. There should be plenty of room to write down my important dates.
This section may be a bit out-dated, but I included it in my Control Journal anyways, just in case. If I want to write down the name of a trusted mechanic or our doctor’s office or whatever, it would be a place to keep all the information together. I can use it for me if I ever need to without taking up extra space on my phone, or if something were to ever happen while there’s a babysitter there, they’d have a place to look for important phone numbers.
The Address Book section is not complete, but I have added pages and stuck sticky tabs on each page to separate it alphabetically. I will work on this as I have time.
This section is similar to the Address Book, but I decided to include it so that there would be a smaller list of information in the event of an emergency. I figured that if there really is an emergency where we need to call the pediatrician or poison control or something, we wouldn’t have time to sift through every page of the address book to find the number we need. All of that information will be included in the Address Book section, but the Emergency Numbers section will be a more compact version of those numbers.
This section also contains (or will contain) information on our family’s Emergency Preparedness procedures. This would be information on what to do if we need to evacuate our home quickly, a list of what’s included in our Emergency Kits, where different parts of our kits are located, etc. We’re not a family who is sitting here waiting for a disaster to strike, but in the event disaster does strike, we want to be ready.
The next section of my Control Journal is the Helpful Tools section. This is where I keep information from FlyLady’s site for ways to make my days easier. Here’s what’s included in this section so far (though I’m sure I’ll add more as I continue on):
- Information on decluttering: how to declutter, where to start, what to do to actually reduce clutter instead of simply moving it to a different location.
- Tips for not getting sidetracked: There are tips for each area of the home and how to continue on the right path without getting sidetracked during the process.
- Desk Chaos Control: This is where I divided our desk into zones (similar to the FlyLady zones for our house) and listed them out so I wouldn’t forget them in the future when I actually get to this step.
- Crisis Cleaning: This is a procedure for what to do if I’ve slacked off or backtracked in the FlyLady routines and company is coming over. It provides a way to get your house company-ready in just a few hours without getting burnt out.
- Vacation Planning: Next are steps to plan out family vacations. This includes making lists on what to pack, what to do before you leave, what to do when you get home, etc. We don’t have many family vacations planned for the near future, but I included it just in case something pops up.
- Sample Vacation Packing List: I typed up a basic list of things to pack for a vacation. In the event of an actual family vacation for us, I would take a look at what and where we’re planning to do/go, and adjust the list as needed.
Holiday Control Journal:
The last section of my Control Journal (at least for now), is the Holiday Control Journal. This is a minimized version of the Control Journal for my home, and is specific to the holiday season. Even though we’ve just wrapped up the big holidays for the year, I decided to include this so that it would already be in there for next season. Plus, if we end up inviting people over for other holidays for some reason, it’ll be in there and ready to go.
So that’s my Control Journal. Most of it is not yet being used (I pretty much only use the Menu section right now and my printed out list of the BabySteps), but it’s ready and waiting for me as I advance though this process. If you have any questions or if you’d like to start your own Control Journal, please feel free to ask me or to check out the steps on How to Build Your Own Control Journal at the FlyLady website.