Use these tips to plan your monthly family calendar of routines and activities to reduce stress and keep the whole family running smoothly as you transition from Summer to back to school.
Your “month planning day” should ideally happen on the first day of the month, simply because it will be an easy reminder for you. This will give you a long-term idea of what is to come, how far you need to plan ahead, what resources and materials you need to buy or schedule and best of all when you will have free time for yourself and for your loved ones.
As we move towards the end of Summer and get ready to transition into another school year, these monthly planning days are an indispensable part of keeping your family routines and schedules on point.
1. Gather Your Supplies & Information
For this planning I suggest you have with you:
– Your personal calendar
– Your spouse’s calendar
– Your family calendar, if you use one.
I use a calendar that has a 2-page “month view” space where I write down all the appointments, events, and deadlines I need to fulfill in the following month. It also has enough space to write my
2. A Task List and
3. Daily Notes.
Find one that fits you the best. There’s really no ideal calendar, one-size-fits-all. Electronic or paper, make sure you stick to one that fit your needs and how you like to use it.
2. Review Your Information & Schedules
Now that you are ready, go through your notes, all those pieces of paper you have scattered around the house, close to the phone, or in your purse and go through them, one by one, putting down on your calendar the appointment that was made, the phone call you’ll have to return or that deadline you have coming up.
Using the information of your spouse’s calendar, fill in – I use a different color for my husband’s schedule – any information that is relevant for your family schedule, like “dinner on 05/18”. Knowing when you can count on your spouse for dinner, kids pick up or drop off has a direct impact on your planning – and your sanity.
Next, enter all the kids’ classes, practice time, appointments, school exams, play dates, and parties. If it’s easier for you, use different colors here too.
Now that you have everybody listed on your calendar, you can already see which days are going to be tight in time – and therefore require a more flexible dinner, homework, house chores schedule and the days you will actually have time to do the laundry, enjoy your family sitting around the table or even your favorite TV show.
I also like to include my household chores in my planning. I like to know that the kids won’t be living out of laundry baskets or that there won’t be dinner because I didn’t shop for the week. So, checking on your already planned calendar, look in what day of the week you could include your laundry and your grocery shopping.
Many moms like to cook some of the week dinners on Sunday and freeze them or that prepare double batches and freeze one (my personal favorite). This is a great solution if you work out of the house or if you spend your afternoons driving the kids to their practices – or in my case, both. Nothing better than getting home knowing you are ready for dinner!
3. Plan Your Menu For The Month
Plan your meals ahead, make a list of what you need and while you are at it, check your pantry. You will have accomplished 2 great things:
– A month’s worth of peace of mind, because you know what’s coming.
– A list of dinners for the following weeks and
– The grocery list of all you need to feed your kids hungry tummies!
4. “Sync” Your Calendars
Finally, if you use a family calendar (like the kitchen one), put down all the main events you marked in yours. This will give you a source of information when you are answering the phone while cooking and need to give an answer there and now.
5. Celebrate & Stay On Top Of It
Now go ahead and give yourself a round of applause. You are on your way to enjoying a smooth month and a smooth transition into the new school year!
Get organized and start saving time, for the rest of your life!