Friday, January 6, 2012

Home Management 2012: Getting-Started-Manual Mode

First week at work in the 2012 and this blog is dedicated to the moms who want to get started in managing their homes in 2012 in smart manual mode!! ( aka: no hi-tech smart home systems blah blah)...  January is great time to update your house manual for those of you who have documented the past year's house activities using a logbook, I call mine my home journal. For those who want to get started, I hope this inspire you.

Home Journal  I keep a home journal in each of the household I manage which is much like a personal diary. But instead of writing my crushes and my dreams, I write my household activities. First page outlines the basic terms of my agreement with my client and the following pages record my clients' household concerns that she thinks need attention - i.e.: items that need repair, needs to be cleaned better, personnel performance, an upcoming family activity/event/party that we need to prepare for,etc.. These are then discussed with me on a weekly basis and in turn after a day's work, I jot down my feedback: on how much has been accomplished, update of the regular household staff tasks accomplishments, items she needs to attend to - budget to prepare for, purchases etc-. All the entries of the 52 or so weeks  then become my basis for updating our house manual.




House Manual    This is my "Vademecum" , my little "red book" for every household.  I started with a basic house manual and kept updating yearly. It contains the following things with snapshot ofpages from one of my clients' manual:

1. House Policies - outlines the household policies that every staff must adhere to when at work.  ( I am showing here the native dialect version of House Policies since it is better understood by the staff).



2. Job Description and Tasks Schedule  - defines the job responsibilities and tasks of each staff and covers all the tasks required to serve the unique needs of Family A. I started with a very basic one: Laundry staff, Housekeeping staff, Cook...  and through the years, have been updating it to include the unique needs of this particular family as well as practical and functional for each staff to be effective in performing her tasks. Since every household evolves with the growth of the family;  lifestyle changes as family status improves:  schedule changes because kids grow up and activities change,  house moves or expands, this document must be reviewed, evaluated and updated each year.
This document provides stability and comes very handy during turn over of staff and is also useful as a tool during job interviews and orientation of new hires. It is most useful for me and I am sure it will be for you!!



3. Cleaning Calendar - is a customized monthly calendar of weekly and monthly cleaning activities. This serves as a monthly guide so that every cleaning task is covered and not missed out especially when the household gets busy or the staff gets smart and lazy !! I make mine color coded according to cleaning zones. The staff assigned follows her code.
I am not obessessive-compulsive person, so do not think this is too annal. It is a product of day to day, month to month and year to year experience.


I also included a room inspection checklist form which I attach  to my home journal as a monthly report of the cleaning and maintenance status of the house.




4. Yearly Calendar  is a summary of quarterly, semi annual and annual cleaning and maintenance tasks. This needs to be reviewed, evaluated and updated yearly as well. This comes in handy for 2012, it helps to and plan and foresee schedule and budget.


5.  Inventory-  Last year, I included an inventory of service items which I check every month or quarter.



6.  Monthly Grocery List  This is another update in 2011 and we began to implement its use with our family cook in 2011. Is this useful and functional? Yes!! with this,  our cook does not have to run to the mom and pop grocery every so often for items she forgot to buy or she run out of.  And of course, she has become more professional in presenting her monthly budget and purchase requisitions.



This year I will be adding the Equipment Maintenance History and Procedure from 2 years of journal records of experience.

For those of you who are in manualmode like me, I hope you do not find it daunting to produce your own. As I've said, i started with a rather basic almost generic household manual and employed a weekly home journal in order to come up with this. At this point, obviously there is still a lot of room for improvement  but it is a dynamic manual.

All the women and all you moms - Have a happy and daring 2012!!

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