Five Tips for Success in a Packed Schedule Family

My family is so busy. I realize that’s kind of crazy to say given how young my kids still are and the fact that we haven’t even scratched the surface of after school activities and play dates yet. Even still, with all of the doctor’s appointments, therapy, birthday parties, school schedules, and everything else we handle each week, we are insanely busy! Since becoming a stay at home mom, I don’t even feel like my schedule has gotten any less busy. I DO feel that I have gotten way more organized and this has helped our days run much smoother than they ever have before. Today I am sharing my top five tips I have adopted over the past year that are sure to take some of the stress out of even your busiest weeks.

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1. Organize for the Week on Sunday

Every single Sunday, no matter how busy the weekend has been, I pick outfits for each day of the week for each kid. I check the weather, review their schedules for activities and specials at school, and then place an outfit in each cubby of our day of the week organizers complete with socks and clean underwear. The kids are welcome to help with this task if they would like a say in what they are wearing for the week. This way, there’s no thinking required in the morning and there’s no asking my child a million times to choose an outfit. I know without a doubt that their clothes are ready for the weather, appropriate for whatever special class they have that day (like PE), and that I have a change of clothes ready for any after school activities. I can’t even explain how much stress this saves us in the mornings!

2. Have Morning Essentials Close By

Second to the clothes organization, my other favorite hack for making a school morning go smoothly is to make sure that whatever you are going to need is close by. Why go back upstairs if you forgot to brush teeth or do hair? Why run around looking for shoes? At our house, we use baskets for everything. Like really I might have a certifiable problem, I love baskets so much. Each kid has their own shoe basket so we are never looking for a pair. Boots and winter shoes go on a cart in the garage. We have a hair basket in our main floor bathroom so we are never running upstairs at the last minute for a brush or detangling spray. (Also so helpful on dance days when I only have 5 minutes to get a ballet bun handled.) We have a toothbrush basket also in the main floor bathroom so that those are accessible. Basically, my goal is to never return upstairs for something after we’ve come down for the day. I like to think this also saves precious seconds in the crazy mornings and it’s also just super convenient.

3. Meal Plan… At Least Sort Of!

On Sunday’s I also try my hardest to set a meal plan for the week and order groceries to pickup the following day after I drop my daughter at dance. I find that if I don’t do this, the week is way more chaotic trying to figure out meals and fit in grocery store runs. We certainly don’t always follow our meal plan, changing out for easier recipes or choosing to eat out instead. Even though I kind of dread this part of Sunday, I just think giving the grocery order my best effort sets us up for so much more success during the week!

4. Do a Load of Laundry Every Other Day

This is something I learned from my mother in law and it really has changed my workload each week. She taught me do laundry often instead of letting it pile up to be done all in one day. As hard as it was to get used to, I spend significantly less time each week on this task than I used to. As soon as our hamper gets just over halfway full, I run a load and (TRY) to get it all put away. This happens about every other day for my family of 5. The putting away doesn’t always happen but it’s much better than spending an entire day on laundry!

5. Talk Through Your Schedule Often

Lastly, this one is for you and your partner. We use a family calendar on our phones that we both share. I try to add every single thing into this calendar the moment I know about it. Monthly, I go through the next month or two to see if I can spot any conflicts that require my husband to take off work or for me to ask for help from my mom. Weekly, my husband and I review the following week’s schedule to make sure we are on the same page about anything he is helping with. Nightly, I look at the following day to make sure I am ready. This system has worked great for us lately!

So, I’m curious… any organization or planning tips for me? I love organization and I would love to learn any tips or hacks you have. Leave them for me in the comments!

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