Guest Blog - 8 ways to help keep the family organised by using a planner
Here at Daily Orders we love to help other small businesses like ours thrive! We've recently run the Small Business Sunday campaign, but are now thrilled to introduce this guest blog from Erin.
Erin is a Mum of two, wife and Primary School teacher as well as the Founder of and Blogger at //celebrate play//. She lives a busy, yet simple and enjoyable life in Sydney. Her greatest passions are family, organisation, gift-giving, helping others, celebrating events and lifelong learning. You can find her at the //celebrateplay// private online support group or visit her coming soon website.
The secret to 'near effortless' organisation always begins with the right tools and ensuring you are using them the best way you can so that it fits your life. So whether you are on the hunt for ideas to help with working more productively, or ready to adopt a new system or combine more than one system together or perhaps just simply wanting to revamp an existing system that already works, the one tool you will need is a planner. Today I'm sharing the ways in which a planner can help organise the family, including what works for us over at //celebrate play// HQ.
Meal Planning - Meal Planners are a place to record meal ideas for a specified period of time. They can be found in the form of a laminated poster, paper planner, ceramic wall planner, whiteboard or chalkboard. Planning our meals (breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks) has made cooking and food preparation easy, alleviated stress, eliminated waste and encouraged variety in our household. After trawling online for ideas and inspiration, lots of trial and error and changes as needed, we finally have a system working for us (most of the time) and are continuing with this for now (yep, it will change as required). This system involves using a laminated weekly meal planner but soon to be a small planner from Daily Orders, along with doing a weekly grocery shop, having a planning day and a baking day (half a day). The planner is filled in once a week on a scheduled 'planning day' and the recipes come from a master list of family favourites, including Little Bento World Sandwich Filler printable, online sites such as My Lovely Little Lunchbox along with The Organised Housewife.
Morning and Afternoon Routines - Mornings set the tone of the day for us - they either energise us or drain us. Our morning routine came about with the combination of trial and error and inspiration from our favourite authors and bloggers. And even now, it still doesn't always go to plan - as that is the nature of life, but the key to success for us has been to keep it simple. We have kept it simple by choosing 5 things to complete each morning (aka Daily 5) because this is what we can manage. The children's morning routine has also been simplified to 5 daily tasks too and their routine is displayed visually with routine cards (more on this further down). The intention was to keep these five tasks the same until they became daily habits and once they were a part of our everyday life, consider introducing new tasks as needed. Afternoons - work much the same way with daily tasks, however, there are only 3 tasks. This fits in our current afternoon schedule. If you choose to adopt this idea, you may find you can fit in more or less daily tasks pending on what works for your family.
This concept was inspired from Leanne over at Organising the Four of Us. Check out the Leanne Baker Daily Range by Padtastic and The Leanne Baker Daily Facebook group to see how the morning and afternoon routines can be recorded in a planner.
Play Planning - This year we combined two of our greatest passions (organisation and play) and created a Play Planner for use in our home . It is a place to schedule our weekly play activities, set goals, store an inventory list of our play resources, record our children's current interests and achievements along with ideas for purchasing new play resources which makes it easier to come up with gift ideas for ourselves, family and friends come birthday and Christmas times. I can also foresee the Daily Orders small weekly planner being an ideal place to record our weekly play ideas.
Daily Schedule/Diary - A daily schedule/diary is one of the most common planners used. They are available in stores, online and often come in a huge variety of styles to cater for personal preferences. These days they are also available digitally in the form of apps. I like to keep a track of our daily activities on paper or a wall planner (I am a list person) even though our schedule is often jam packed, seeing it on paper/wall planner makes me feel like I have a handle of things. Our usual planner wasn't available this year, so we created our own. We record our daily schedule (appointments, social events etc), daily 4 (priorities for the middle of the day) and a to do list (aka the rolling to do list -the jobs that seem to roll on for a few days until they are completed) - surely I am not alone in this, right? This planner is our most used planner at //celebrateplay// HQ.
Goal setting- Goal setting is an important aspect to any type of plan. It helps determine direction, encourage persistence and allows for moving forward in life. Every month we use our planner to record personal and family goals. Personal goals vary from different sources such as work, experience, interests and aspirations whilst family goals tend to focus on what our family needs and wants. After browsing the Daily Orders range, I can see the monthly planner working well to record monthly goals in the Notes section.
Self Care - Self Care isn't always a first priority when leading such busy lives. For us at //celebrateplay// HQ, it is something we've grown to realise as not needing to be anything fancy that takes several hours, but moreso, something that needs to be planned for. It can be something simple that allows us to take a breath, feel great about ourselves and improve our overall well-being.
Shopping - Shopping lists are another very common type of planner and are sometimes combined with other planners such as daily planners or meal planners. For us, it is combined with our daily planner in the shape of a small section to note top-up items needed when shopping eg. Groceries, play resources, clothing, gifts for social events and other items. However, we also use another planner printable for grocery shopping.
Visual Timetable/Routine Chart - Creating visual timetables with routine cards for all family members is a great way to keep track of schedules, responsibilities and holds everyone accountable for their organisation. Did you know that our brains are hardwired to love routine? ...so even if things in our homes seem chaotic and somewhat disorganised, there is a pattern in there somewhere. There is a multitude of information and routine cards online to find which ones best meet the needs of your family. I have linked the routine cards we use above.
I know that the Daily Orders community are sure to have some clever organisational hints, tips and hacks that help keep their family organised particularly when it comes to a planner and perhaps even a favourite Daily Orders planner that works for them. I would love to hear from you!!
One organisational tip that comes to mind for us at //celebrateplay// HQ is colour co-ordinating each aspect of our planner onto the Daily Orders planner eg. Goals (green), Play Ideas (yellow), Top-up Shopping Items (blue), Self Care (pink) and Meal Ideas (orange).