Organizing Life in a Large Family

BlogHer Original Post

I get asked a lot how I can possibly keep our family organized. Sometimes people are asking out of genuine curiosity and sometimes they are asking with that sarcastic tone in their voice that makes me smile sweetly and unleash a barrage of Southern "bless your heart" charm with a raised eyebrow. Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. So today I thought I would share a few of the ways I organize our daily life.

1- The Master Calendar

master home calendar

This is vital to the management of our household. Everything goes on the calendar- Matt's work commitments, the kids school schedule and after school activities, Mase's pre-school and speech therapy schedule, doctors appointments....everything. It hangs across from our fridge where it is highly visible. I can take one look at the calendar and know exactly what is going on that week and where I need to be.

2- The Pocket Planner

I bought a wall calendar that came with a pocket planner to keep in my purse. I make a lot of appointments on the go while I'm waiting in the car rider line, or waiting for dance to be over, so I need to have access to the master calendar. Every appointment that goes on the master calendar goes into my pocket planner as well.

3- The Weekly Calendar

weekly calendar

I found this awesome notepad in the Target Dollar Section awhile back and bought 8 of them. What can I say? I get excited and giddy about new organizational products. It's a sickness really, I call it Type A Syndrome. I fill out 2 weeks at a time and hang them on the fridge. I write anything happening that week- appointments, parties, school stuff to remember, etc on the top part. At the bottom of each day I write what I'm making for dinner that night. It's perfect because as I'm planning my weekly menu I can see what days I need to plan a fast and easy meal or plan to start a crockpot dinner early in the day.

4- The Dry Erase Board

dry erase board

I have several of these dry erase boards and I love them. The one that hangs on the front of the fridge is the main one I use every day. On Sundays I write out my to-do list for the week- all the things that must get done that I might forget about when I get busy. Below my master to-do list I also have a daily to-go list where I list the things from the master list that I plan to do on that particular day. Once they are done, I erase them off both lists. I also use this dry erase board to keep track of the kids medications. Zoey is cutting her 2 year old molars and Maia has an ear infection so I need to keep track of what times they've had medicine so they don't end up with a double dose. The last thing on the board is the kids daily chores. Each day I fill in what chores the kids need to do before bedtime. They come home from school, do their homework, and check the chore chart.

5- The Meal Planning

I have been working on organizing my recipes into a system that works for the way I do my meal plans. I'm using the website Key Ingredient because it allows me to make separate cookbooks and also has an app that I can use on my iPhone, handy when I need to double check an ingredient while at the grocery store. I've been transferring my favorite recipes over for the past week. I had recipes saved on pinterest, in my bookmarks, on pocket....they were just scattered everywhere and it was taking me forever to sort through them all each week. I am separating my recipes into main categories to make it easy for me to pick meals for the week. My categories include Chicken: Crockpot, Chicken: Bake, Beef: Crockpot, Beef: Bake, Pasta: Crockpot, Pasta: Bake, Seafood, Pork, Soups, Fast & Easy, and Kid Approved. I'm sure I'll add more as I go along but for now these are the main categories I use each week.

I hope that answers a few questions on how I organize life in our large family. In the past I have shared how I organize our household files, how I cut the kitchen paper clutter, and how I organized the front entryway closet.

How do you organize your family?

This post is part of BlogHer's The Smart Mom's Guide to Being Busy editorial series, made possible by Rice Krispies.

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