I don’t know about you, but keeping my family on the same page is hard work. It is certainly helpful to have a plan.
Here are the 10 things we use in our household so we can make sure not to miss events and help our family “flow.”
1. Calendar it! Maintain a family calendar. Sometimes, like in our family, you need 2 systems. I keep all family appointments and activities logged in my IPhone and we use a wall calendar in the kitchen since it is a place where we all congregate.
2. Chore Chart. Set up a chore wheel or cleaning chart. No matter how old your kids are, getting them involved in keeping the house neat and tidy early will benefit your family in the long run. Invest in a kid’s sized rake and shovel for your kids to help out with shoveling and yard work.
3. The holidays. The holiday season inevitably brings more stress and worry than most of the year. There is so much to coordinate, organize, and prepare. Not sure about you, but I seem to make the same recipes for each holiday every year. I have made a master holiday binder with tabs for each holiday and have recipes in each tab as well as activities and a reminder for where the decorations are.
4. Have a goal. Get together on a family goal. Discuss what one thing your entire family would like to achieve together. This could be something like “Having a Monthly Family Night” or “Plan a family vacation to Disney.”
5. Watch your work load. Don’t take on additional responsibilities lightly. Sure, making brownies for the school bake sale does not seem like much work, but add that to the carpool and the sleep over, etc. and you have for a frantic family.
6. Weigh “Return On Investment” (RIO). One of the best decisions we have made this year was to take our daughter (age 1) out of scheduled music classes. It was eating up an hour a week, and the teacher was constantly sick so we were always making up classes. Instead, we found a local coffeehouse that has children’s entertainers who perform. It was a much more flexible atmosphere giving us a choice of at least 5 events a week.
7. Now versus later. Assess which tasks need to be performed now versus what can wait. We constantly have a list of house-related items that need to be completed. We discussed what was important to each family member and made a decision that all of the toys were being moved out of the living room/front entryway (Horray!) to downstairs. Even though it was a LOT of work clearing out the part of downstairs that used to be the office…the fact that we call all get through the front door without tripping is an achievement. A lower priority is replacing our kitchen cabinets and countertops.
8. Never go to the store without a list. Not only does this make sure you don’t forget an important item, but this helps from avoiding impulse buys.
9. Plan ahead for visitors and family vacations. Don’t wait until the last minute or that will hurt you in the end. Make sure you meal plan and do the grocery shopping a week ahead of when the houseguests arrive, and if you have the time, make a meal or 2 ahead. Same with vacations, start packing a week ahead so that there is no rush and you can make sure nothing is forgotten.
10. De-clutter your family room/play room. We use see through bins with labels. The kids love being able to sort through their things and have a “home” for each toy. We have a bin for legos, a bin for cars and trucks, a bin for action figures and dolls, etc. Less time trying to find something =more time for play time.
This post is part of a blogging contest from the TwitterMoms community. There is a chance this post could be randomly selected to win a $50 Target GiftCard, so wish me luck! For more details, you can view the contest page here