Spring is here!! Soon many schools will be out for summer vacation. Now since I Home School I really don't see too many changes within our daily routines, but many of you will see a dramatic change. How will you stay organized? TwitterMoms and IconApps have teamed up to ask you what your tips to organizing, scheduling, and managing your family are?
Here are just a few tips to help you organize, schedule, and manage your family year round:
1. Bins/Little Baskets: Whether you have 1 child, no children, or a houseful small bins or baskets can help contain every ones items. I have 5 mini baskets on my counter (purchased at a dollar store) each is a different color and each has a name tag attached. Through out the day, we place things in the baskets. School work, notes about appts, even the hair things my daughter takes out of her hair during the day will go into her basket. At the end of each day we go through the baskets and place things where they need to be, write any appts. on the calendar, write any notes on the white board, and empty the baskets.
2. Laundry Baskets: I make sure that every family member has their very own laundry basket. I also have gone through and made a set day to do the laundry. For instance today is Monday, Mondays are the day I wash my daughter's clothing and bedding. Having separate laundry baskets has made things a lot more easier on me. As the clothing, towels, and bedding are coming out of the dryer I can fold and place right into the basket.
3. Freezer Meals: This has been a major time saver for me. I don't pick one day to cook and freeze my meals, I just make up double or triple batches when I cook. We eat one batch and I place the rest into the freezer. This has not only saved me time, it has also saved us money. That is the Hubbyman's favorite thing about freezing meals.
4. Calendar: Having a calendar I feel is important. My children like to know what each week holds, they do not really like surprises, or having to rush out of the house last minute because Mommy forgot something. Each of my kids (well the 2 oldest) has a calendar in their room and then we have the family calendar that hangs in the dining room.
5. Sports and the like: If your children participate in sports every season, one of the main things is too keep up with each activity and each child. One rule I use is that no 2 activities will be on the same day or the same time frame. So if my son has cub scouts on Tuesdays around 6pm, then when looking for an activity for my daughter we can not choose one that meets during that same time or day of the week(if the activity does meet on Tuesdays, there has to be at least a 30 minute period between the 2). This keeps things organized and allows you as the parent to be about of each of your children's activities. You will never have to choose one or the other and you will never have to miss a special time with your child.
6. Meals on activity days: Do you tend to eat out or choose fast food on days where you have a lot going on? I know I used to, but now I make sure I am ready with quick and easy recipes or making sure I have items ready in the freezer (see above under freezer meals) This has changed our busy days so we are still able to sit down together and eat a nice meal. This takes planning, but if you peek at the above mentioned calendar you will see which days will be considered busy days and can plan accordingly.
7. Housework: When everyone seems to have something going on, the house can take the backseat or rather get pushed to the backseat. I chose not to let this happen. On our white board I have written up daily chores for each of us, myself included. This has been great. When one of the kids is doing some school work, the other can look at their list, checking off what they get done. If one of the kids comes up to me and says the dreaded "Mom, I am bored" I direct them to the white board. LOL
8. Exercise/outside time: To me every child needs a little fresh air daily. I know sometimes the weather does not cooperate, but when it does, this can be such a fun time. Each of my 2 oldest has a couple chores that have to be done daily and are outside, on the nice days they will run out and do the outside chores first. LOL I also make sure towards the end of the day we all go outside and play. This is the time period after dinner and before bath time. The baby is not quite sure about this outside stuff yet, but the 3 others will grab the bikes, scooters, sidewalk chalk, and just have a ball.
9. Bedtime routines: As important as sleep really is for everyone, for children it is essential. I have 2 that sleep and 2 that because of special circumstances do not sleep at night. This doesn't stop me from having a routine though. We do this routine all year long. Starting at dinner (which starts our routine) after dinner we play outside if the weather is being nice that day, otherwise we play the Wii, board games, or do a puzzle. After outside and game time comes bath time. Bath time includes getting PJs on, brushing teeth, and reading a book. A Bed time routine is whatever you make it to be. even if you are just starting a routine, once a routine is done enough times it can turn into a great habit.
10. Morning Routines: Mornings can sometimes be a little interesting around my house. We do have a routine but to some it may not look like it. Each of the kids has a different routine (remember me saying I have 2 that sleep and 2 that don't) Some of the items that are written down are waking up, making bed, getting dressed, eating breakfast, picking up from breakfast, and being ready for the day.
In all honesty, Daily routines, being organized (but not too organized), having lists written out, and all the other little things that I do each and every day have helped to make my house run smoothly. I hope you can take some of my tips and find use for them.
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 (http://icomp.ly/IconApps).