I feel VERY lucky that my husband and I are on the same page with things we want to accomplish on a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly basis. We work together to make our house a home and both help to raise our girls! Whether it’s understanding the social calendar, buying much needed items for the house or getting organized, we’re always evolving our systems as we’ve learned some tricks along the way.
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Today I’m sharing the ways our family stays organized in hopes that it can help your family tackle a game plan.
Let’s get digital!
- Shared Google calendar – We’re an android family and have a joint calendar that links to our phones and our gmail accounts. At any point we can look to see which appointments, parties or plans we have at any one date. (We also make sure to communicate before putting something ON the calendar so there aren’t any surprises!) There are options to add things as “private” as Derek doesn’t need to know every work conference call I have or a reminder to pick up the local museum pass but we live by our calendar.
- Shared Google doc spreadsheets – Along with a calendar of our plans we also use Google Docs spreadsheets for things we might need to access at different times. One includes addresses of family and friends (in case we are in transit somewhere or need to mail something from work) and another includes house data, like the type of filter we use in our fridge or the air filters needed for the furnace. While not shared with him, I also wanted to mention a “present log” Google doc I keep of all the gifts I buy during the year. I’m sure I’m not the only family where the women is in charge of ALL the gift buying and the husband only has to buy for her. This google doc helps me remember what I’ve purchased or hoarded for the holidays that I might’ve bought in advance. This year is my 10th year keeping this particular doc!
- Set up bill payments the day you get them – Yes, many of our bills are on auto pay, with notification going to our emails, but some are paid manually. Instead of putting them off and possibly missing one accidentally, we set up payments for the bill, even if it’s 30 days from now, the day we get them.
- Download useful apps – While we both have different apps in our phone, Keyring is one we both share, which holds all our store loyalty card numbers. From things like grocery store loyalty cards to AC Moore rewards, this app makes our key chain less heavy and has the convenience of taking advantage of a sale, even if we’re not with the other person.
Let’s get physical!
- Dinner menu chalkboard meal plan – The beginning of the week we look at our calendar to see what’s happening for the week (in case we have any night activities, class or events scheduled) and do our best to write out a meal plan so we can grocery shop. Once we know what we’re making we write in the menu chalkboard in our kitchen. This allows us to see what’s on dock so either one of us can jump in and take out meat to defrost or marinate or get the meal ready.
- Physical printed to do list – While most of our life is digital, we do take satisfaction in physically crossing off a to do list. At any point you can find a printed list on hung inside one of our kitchen cabinets with categories specifically for Derek (mostly things to fix, install or build), for me (things to craft, create or schedule) and “Things to research/buy”. This keeps us on track, especially me since mommy brain is real!
- Grocery store shopping list – As we usually end up making one weekend trip together and I make one trip later in the week, we keep our grocery store list in the same place so we can always scribble down our needs as we realize we’re empty of something or running low.
- Label it – I love me some labels! We use labels in many places in our home and for things we take out of this safe space. All the girls’ sippy cups, snack containers and small Tupperware containers include dishwasher safe NameBubbles labels in case we lose them when we’re out and about (which happened at playgroups more than once and they were easily returned to us!). Many of their clothing and items brought to daycare, like their jackets, backpacks, blankets and even sunscreens are also include these personalized labels.
In our home we also use their write-on labels for the pantry space since we now no longer have half opened bags and use pretty airtight containers.
Let’s get talking!
- Assigned chores – This is more of an unspoken thing but Derek and I both just seem to know who will do what in the house when it comes to chores. Sure, we both step in to do a chore if the other isn’t available or forgot but they mostly stay the same. I do most of the grocery shopping and cooking but any given weekend you’ll find him manning the grill or working on a homemade pizza. I do most of the laundry on the weekdays but he will certainly step in to switch from washer to dryer or fold the clothes if I need to catch up on work.
- Communicate –I left this for last but really this is the really first thing! While we do use technology and documents to keep us on track, psychically talking to each other about goals and little plans really keeps us organized. By Friday we usually talk about our goals for the weekend, in the beginning of the season we talk about what we want to accomplish before the next season. If we’re running low on a certain food or home supply item, we make sure to let the other know so it can go on the shopping list!