Last year, I did several posts on how to prepare for back to school and specifically the busy schedule that September brings. As a mom, teacher, blogger, DIYer and volunteer, I find that being organized is absolutely essential to surviving the demands of a busy life. Aside from writing everything down on my “Mom’s Family Organizer Calendar,” I use a weekly calendar to highlight the events for a given week and try to follow a menu plan to make meal time run smoothly. I also recommend having a family meeting to decide on expectations regarding chores and helping out around the house. If you’d like to check-out a sample chore chart, you can visit my previous post called “Many Hand Make Light Work.”
One week to go and a long list of “to do’s” in the days ahead. I will continue to put the finishing touches on our 6 week menu plan that was mentioned in yesterday’s post, but today it is time to update our September calendar and get back to using our weekly calendar. For us, late August is not only time for back to school shopping, but it also involves fall registration for the kid’s activities. This week, we will register the kids for dance, swimming and hockey. Piano and Girl Guide registrations were done in the spring, so the times for those have already been set. The registration process not only involves paying the fees and filling out the forms, but also examining the “family” schedule as a whole to see how we can juggle everyone’s individual schedules. Like other busy families, this includes quite the balancing act to fit in both of our regular work schedules plus additional meetings and work commitments as well as all of the other activities that we are involved in. For September, we are looking at juggling the following:
- Tim’s work schedule and meetings as well as compulsory over-time shifts
- my work schedule and extra meetings/school events like “Meet the Teacher” evening, Thursday night volleyball, volunteering at church
- Shay ~ soccer (extended play from the spring) and hockey try-outs (swimming starts in October)
- Eden ~ Girl Guides, dance and piano (swimming starts in October)
- Eden and I ~ “Mother’s and Daughter’s in Touch” program
- Additional events
General Organization and Planning
We purchase one of those large family calendars that have ample space for writing. In late August, once registrations have been completed, I sit down and fill-out the calendar as far in advance as possible. Generally, I will complete as much of the calendar as possible leading up to the end of December. I go through the calendar and add in all of the kid’s activities, my activities/meetings as well as Tim’s. Once the monthly calendar has been filled with those commitments that are not flexible, it is much easier to make decisions as to what other things we can commit to and when will work. I am a very visual person and need everything organized and neat in order for it to make sense to me (hence the colour coded system in my classroom). We keep our main calendar inside our basement door which is located in the kitchen. It is very accessible, but hidden so it is not out in the open and messy looking. You can see that the whole family writes on our main calendar. It always becomes very cluttered and full of scribbles as schedules change and adjustments are made. Here is an example of our April calendar. Not one of our busiest months, but still lots to keep track of.
Being a very visual person, I like to have a less cluttered version of the monthly calendar that gives us a “week at glance” instead of the whole calendar. Every Sunday, I transfer all of the items from our monthly calendar onto our weekly calendar that is posted on the wall in our kitchen. Like the menu board, the weekly calendar helps to give me an overall look at the week ahead and plan accordingly. It helps my husband and I figure out who needs to be where and which one of us needs to be the “taxi” driver. Here is our DIY weekly calendar. I originally got the idea from Pinterest (not surprisingly) and then made my own version of their weekly calendar. Here is the link to the original source for the idea.
Weekly Calendar Tutorial
This is an easy DIY project and the final look is “clean” and visually appealing.
- Purchase a multi-picture frame similar to mine. I think I bought this one at Wal-Mart for around $15. You need to have at least 7 frames to accommodate the entire week. I chose 8, but I have seen them done with more frames. The additional frames can be used for titles (like mine), message boards or just embellished to look pretty.
- Purchase coordinating paper that will fit with the decor of the space where you will be mounting the finished calendar.
- Purchase lettering or use your Cricut to cut-out the letters you need (that’s what I did). I chose to use a the initial letter only, to represent each day of the week. You may want to use smaller letters and spell the whole day. For the title, “THIS WEEK”, I used teal and black. I cut the teal letters on my Cricut, but changed the setting to shadow for the black letters, to make them slightly bigger.
- Assemble your frame with your new calendar pages.
- Use a dry erase marker to print the date (top right corner) and add in your schedule for the week directly on the glass. Use a kleenex, cloth or eraser to erase the board every Sunday and start all over again.
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