Apr 19, 2012

The Household Control Journal - Baby Step #1: Gather as you go

I first learned the concept of a "control journal" from Flylady, who recommends making one for your daily routines to help get you and your home organized. I haven't made one of those yet, but I've started making a different kind - one that has all the information my husband would need if something happened to me.

Since I'm the "Chief Family Officer," it probably comes as no surprise that I manage most of our household. I pay the bills, manage our investments, register the kids for their activities, and so on. My husband is well aware of all aspects - that is to say, he knows we have various accounts, but doesn't know the various passwords and logins I've set up.

So a household control journal is my way of organizing all of this information - bank accounts, bills, investments, school stuff, activities and anything else my husband would have to hunt for if the unthinkable happened.

It's an overwhelming project, and one I've put off for a long time because of that. So I'm starting with baby steps (another Flylady concept), and a very doable first task: Gather information as it crosses my desk or desktop.

As I file bills, or log in to pay them online, I enter the relevant information into a word processor document on my computer. A spreadsheet might be better but it's more complicated to set up. We'll see how it goes - I may end up transferring the info to a spreadsheet later, but for now, the simple text document is working. At least I'm making some progress on my control journal. My goal is to have it done by the end of the year, and then I will update it annually.

And hopefully, we'll never actually need it.

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