Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Weekly Folders and the File Box **Post #2 in the MOMager Series**

After a couple years and a couple of versions of my MOMager I think I have finally honed in on what works. It took patience...and the ability to deal with chaos rather than immediatly jumping to a quick fix solution...and it involved some trial and error. I've been using this system for a little over 2 months now and I know it works...and omg I love it. 

I found the original idea for the "file box system" from pinterest (check out Dawn's Site for the original file box...she has YEARS worth of archives and shows you how even through evolution and change this system will always work) and though it looks's probably the most simple system I have found.

Here are the basics:

You get a file box. Fill it with 52 folders (one for each week). Label said folders with the corresponding week (my weeks go from Monday-Sunday). Then fill your folder with the items that you need to stay sane during the week.

Sounds easy enough right?

Here's a lookie at my File Box:

So the way I organize my file box is like this: The first hanging file holds all of the weekly folders for the current month. That way, as invitations come in the mail or fliers come home from school I can just stash them in the corresponding weekly folder. the next section you will notice is full of black folders instead of the manila weekly ones. These hold me "forms" that I use in my weekly folders. I keep them stocked with 3-4 months worth of forms so that I am not having to re print things every week (remember my whole "reload" issue with the other MOMager) I'll go in to more details about these when we look inside my weekly folder. Behind the forms files is the weekly folders for the rest of the year...mine go until the last week of December 2012. At the very back of the box you will find the used files from previous weeks...these are still full and I find myself regularly coming back to these to look at notes I made. (I also store any school work that I plan to keep for Samantha in here so I have it organized by week then when I get a chance I move those papers over to her school box ----more on that in a future post) 

Since we are in the middle of a move right now and nothing is the way it should be, my file box is constantly moving...sometimes its in the kitchen...sometimes in my office...sometimes in my "Office Bag" in my bedroom. When we move, I plan on creating an entire command center around this box, it will be located in my new kitchen so you won't have to wait too long to see it :)

Now. lets take a look at my weekly folders:

As I said before...each week gets its own folder...and I'm big on inspirational quotes so each week also gets its own quote. This week my quote is "out of Clutter find Simplicity. From discord find Harmony. In the middle of Difficulty lies opportunity." ~ Albert Einstein.

When you open the folder this is what you see. On the left hand side is my daily sheet...I rotate these through out the week...moving the "yesterday" one to the bottom of the stack but it remains in the folder. My daily sheet is one of those "super custom" kinda things...the far left column has time slots through out the day so I can track appointments and other scheduling items...the top right section has my day broken up in to 4 sections "Early morning, Mid morning, After school & Night Time Routine" within those sections are things that I do every day...everything from getting dressed to, checking emails, to cooking dinner, to daily chores. Having all of that listed out might seem redundant to some of you, but for stay at home mom's that struggle with the "Where did my day go?!?" rant...this really helps me to feel like I actually accomplished something aside from pulling my hair out. Under my routine boxes is the To Do section...this is where I will write daily to do's (a lot of time this is more of a "hope to do" section...between everything in my routines and keeping up with my scheduled items the to do's often get moved to another day.) As the day goes on I cross things off my list with a colored pen and at the end of the day I will highlight any tasks that didn't get done so I can move them to the next day.

On the right hand side is my "week at a glance" This is specifically for listing appointments, extracurricular activities and scheduled items...I also add my dinner menu to this. I use a color code system for this...each family member has a color and I have colors for Bills, Important dates, Household, etc. 

on the right hand side I keep all of my weekly lists...the first one behind my 'week at a glance' is the Weekly checklist...this mainly focuses on household tasks and breaks them up in to how often they need to be done on a weekly basis for me to feel on top of things...My schedule can go from running around crazy one day to drop dead boring the next so simply saying "vacuum at least 3 times during the week" keeps me from having to make sure that every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday I have a time slot for vacuuming. The Special Projects has anything from office work I need to take care of to house projects to crafting things...its whatever I need it to be. Same with the Notes section.

After my Weekly Check list is my weekly menu...self explanatory :) I also keep a list of things I plan to bake for dessert and snacks that I have on hand for after school. (I am also working on a REALLY cool menu planning system, but it won't be in full effect until we move...stay tuned hehe)

Next is my Grocery list...yup that is some plain ol' lined notebook paper with an address label stuck to the top....its just a grocery need to waste a ton of paper and ink.

And Lastly my blog planning..just the basics...I like having a basic idea of what I want to post, but most of the actual writing and what nots is done on the fly. 

So there ya go! That is my weekly folder...I LOVE this. it is so easy for me to take with me anywhere I go. its light weight and portable. and its got everything I need to manage things a week at a time. 

However...This is only one part of a 3 part system that goes with me everywhere I go...come back tomorrow and I'll show you my Seasonal Folder and my Ramblings Book :) 


  1. Wow. This is impressive! I like how you make things customizable for you. I have a similar file system, but found the 52 folders to be overwhelming, so I just have 12 - one for each month. When invitations or school picture forms or whatever arrive, I make a note of them on my calendar, and then put the paper in the folder for whatever month it relates to. I also have a "week at a glance" on a legal pad that sits in my kitchen. I think it is important that moms recognize the "manager" part of their job and create a system that works for them. Love your ideas!

  2. I loved getting a peek at what you do! I am so very impressed and would luv, luv, luv to do this as well. We are in the middle of getting our home ready to put on the market ;P and then will be moving from Washington state to South Carolina very soon (hopefully!). Since it looks like you a few steps ahead of me in this process...and we seem to have a similar organizing style (except-you have more STYLE!) I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with! Thank you!

  3. Shelly, can I ask...what do you put in your Monday to do, Tuesday to do, as well as the "blog plan" folder? If it's in your weekly file folder, you have me curious! :)

  4. Oops, nevermind, someone emailed me the answer! Sorry!

  5. Wow! So glad I stumbled upon your site! I love how much thought you have put into this system, tweaking it to make it work perfectly for you. ANd I love how thorough your explanations are! I'm working on getting my household (house, kids, meals, you name it) under control, and this has helped me tons.

    1. Oh, and I forgot to add, that I recognized your home pictures from Frisco! I just moved from there to far east Allen. The page I was directed to had a picture of your new home and I immediately thought "she has to be from Frisco"!

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  7. I am a visitor from Pinterest - loving your system and you have inspired me to adapt and personalise to have in our own home. Not sure if you've completed the meal planning yet but looking forward to reading up on that as well.

  8. Can you tell me what kind of markers do you use for the planner?