With four children and a stressful job, organizing cannot be emphasized enough. If it organizes, I use it!
To start: Calendar! Try to share your calendar with your assistants, children’s care taker, and spouse. It is difficult to tell everyone a change of plans throughout the day and much easier to switch it on an electronic calendar. My assistant accesses and schedules my work calendar, my husband and I have access to each other’s calendars, but only change our own and my nanny can at any point look at my home calendar to see my trips, my children’s activities or a special event that may be coming up.
Schedule! With a tightly kept calendar, I try to schedule my nanny’s time with us 2 months in advance to allow her to schedule her own activities and weekends. Even if it is not a perfect schedule, it at least gives her an idea of what is in store. My husband reviews this as well for any big work trips that are coming up. It allows us to plan in advance if we need a hand from the awesome Grandparents.
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I then put together a weekly schedule for everyone that is sent out on Sundays with odd events/meetings for me, trips for my husband, special events for the children, or any special requests from school (ex/Halloween costumes on Friday). It also includes Tae Kwon Do times, swimming schedules, lacrosse practices, etc.
Emails! Try to respond to emails as soon as possible, even if it is short and to the point. It is hard to continually file emails, mark them as “unread” or “flag” them as then you have to go back. Certainly, for more extensive tasks that have to be done, but if you can—just do it as it comes in. If a child has to bring in a canned good to school—put it right in their backpack as soon as you get home. Check things off the list.
Hard-copy Calendar! It still is nice to have a day-planner on the counter to add in “pizza day” or “school early dismissal” so that it is seen when packing lunches for the children.
Bags! For my children: they each have a backpack, lunch box, lacrosse bag, soccer bag, tennis bag, and Tae Kwon Do bag. These can be as fancy as the specialized sports bag or can be just a reusable grocery bag. It makes it easy as you walk out the door to just grab the bag with their equipment rather than searching for each individual lacrosse glove or shin guard.
Clothes! Try to look at the weather and lay their outfits out the night before. They can start getting themselves dressed if possible (working on my 4 year old). It (attempts) to avoid huge clothing conflicts in the morning and just offers only “the” outfit for the day.
Bins! LOVE BINS. I have to stop there as I could write a whole blog on baskets and bins that I use in our house. But, in the same synopsis as above, for the clothing, they each have a glove/hat bin to keep track of their winter gear.
Well—that’s all for today! Stay tuned for future organizational posts!! (I secretly do like organizing—it is a weird stress reliever to at least know that I am “trying” to prepare).
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