This year is the first year I have had three children at school. On one hand this is wonderful and freeing for me but on the other hand the number of things I need to keep track of and juggle has increased.
I have shared before some of the key ways I keep my family organised but I have tried out a few new structures in Term 1 this year as well as using some of my old favourites. I wanted to share some of these with you.
WEEKLY OVERVIEW FOR KIDS
This was a new initiative for Term 1. I created a very basic weekly snapshot of all the key activities for the kids.
I am just putting together one for Term 2 now but this is what life looked like for Term 1.
Not only does it show me what after school sport and activities are on but it shows me things like what day each child has library at school so that we can make sure their library books are in their bag.
This worked really well for me in Term 1. The key was to look at it the night before and then again with the kids when we got ready in the morning. The days we forgot to take things to school were the days I forgot to look at the chart!
MONTHLY FAMILY PLANNER
A family planner on the fridge has been a part of my structures for a long time. It is where I note down all the events happening in the our lives outside of the standard weekly routine. It could be kids birthday parties, special school events, my husbands work trips, visits from friends and family and so on.
Because it is on the fridge the whole family can check in with what we have going on.
Until this year I used this planner from Oti which I LOVE. I love that it has a magnetic back so easy to put on the fridge. The squares are just the right size for what I want to write down. With 50 blank pages it lasts me 2 years!
Unfortunately last year when I needed to replace mine they were out of stock so I had to get a different planner to use in 2018. I decided to try this one from kikki.K
It is OK but I don’t love it. I don’t actually like having a different column for each person – I find this harder when I am working out what is happening on a given day. Because it isn’t magnetic I had to put a stick on hook on the fridge and so we have ended up with this hanging on the side of the fridge. I know other mums who use this planner and absolutely love it. I think it just comes down to the way different brains process information.
The Oti planners are back in stock so I have just ordered one so I will have it ready for 2019.
I still really struggle with this but I have made more of an effort this term. Mostly because the number of afternoon/evening activities has increased so it is helpful to think about what kind of meals I want to prepare on the hectic days vs the more relaxed days.
As you can see the meal planning process is VERY basic.
CLICK & COLLECT
OMG – this has changed my life! It amuses me that I can get so excited about the way I do my grocery shopping.
Click & Collect is an online shopping system run by Countdown (NZ) which is Woolworths in Australia. I assume it is run in Australia and I would also think other supermarkets have their own versions of it.
This is what I love about it:
- I can shop anytime at home – for example while the kids are having their pre-bed snack and TV show.
- I select which day and time slot (1 hour window) I wish to collect my groceries. I simply choose a time that I would drive past the supermarket anyway – such as after dropping my daughter at dance.
- I don’t have to drag kids around the supermarket!
- I simply go into the store and ask for my groceries. They are ready and waiting for me. I can be in and out within 5 minutes … even with 3 kids in tow.
- It doesn’t cost me a cent if I spend $40 (not hard to do in a family of 5) and probably saves me money because I don’t buy things I happen to see if I am walking the aisles.
Keeping family life running smoothly is still a work in progress but I feel like we are off to a good start this year.
Do you have any extra tips for me?