It’s Spring and family activities are increasing now that the weather is getting warmer and the days are getting longer. Ever feel that your family life feels like being stuck in the spin cycle of your washing machine? Family schedules don’t need to make your life hectic. Here’s a couple of things that worked great for our family:
COLOR CODE your family calendar. You can do this virtually in your calendar app on your phone (IOS, Google and Android calendar apps all enable you to choose a color for a category or person), and then share it with family members, but honestly kids do well with an actual physical calendar to see too…you don’t have to get fancy, you can actually print a blank calendar each month and put it somewhere where everyone can see it. Each family member has a specific color—hubbies, kids, even pets---and it’s oh so VISUAL and super quick to look at rather than opening up your phone, launching the app…. you can do both too if you want: update it at the end of the day if anything needs to be added or edited (tip: for the paper calendar use an erasable colored pencil, super easy). If digital is absolutely what you are tied to, make sure updates are sharable with everyone.
Have a FAMILY CONTROL CENTER. You can make it cute and decorative, or it can be something as simple as a plastic file box with hanging files for each family member (tip: have the file folder be the same color as that family member’s color on the calendar…). Don’t forget pets! Hang the calendar near the file box and make sure everyone knows it’s there. When kids get home from school and empty their backpacks, file necessary papers in their file and then check it regularly for any action items like signatures or fees to pay. Don’t forget to have a separate file for medical visits and scheduled activities to eliminate last minute searching for important papers.
Have a designated ACTIVITIES REVIEW TIME each week for the upcoming week. This is a good time to remind your family members what they have going on the following week—Sunday nights are great for this. A simple 10 minute “this-is-what-next-week-looks-like” session keeps everyone informed and helps do away with “hey mom, I forgot to tell you I need to have cupcakes for school tomorrow” and “honey can you grab the dry cleaning for my business meeting on Tuesday” discussions.
MEAL PREP AND MENU PLAN : Even something as simple as a menu for dinner for the week makes a huge difference and cuts down on the last minute fast food runs after work. If you can pre-prep some of the food, great! But if not, even just a menu to remind you what to take out of the freezer for the next day alleviates a lot of stress. Family input on the menu for the upcoming week also helps with the picky eaters in your family.
Have a tip that absolutely works great for your family? I’d love to hear it! Shoot me an email here: [email protected]. I might even share it with our readers!