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Starting school has been a bit of an organizational game changer: my youngest is still in daycare which means two different pick-ups and drop-offs; there are a lot of communications from the daycare and from school; and both girls are in various activities with different schedules. I’ve been using a planner, a bulletin board, a binder, an IKEA bookshelf, and bag tags to manage who needs to be where, when, and with what.
Managing Who, Where, and When
In the previous post, I chatted about my Gallery Leather Family Planner which I use to track all work, personal, social, and kid-related commitments as well as everything I need to get done. You can read more about it here: The Gallery Leather Planner: Why I Like It and How I Use It.
Bulletin Board and Weekly Calendar
We put up a bulletin board (amazon.ca*; amazon.com*) and a calendar between the kitchen and the dining room . The calendar is very simple and is mainly for my children and husband to refer to. I used images for the regular weekly activities because the kids do not read yet. There are three rows, one per child and then one for reminders. I put the calendar in a plastic sleeve so that I can use a white board marker over it. The reminders are for anything out of the ordinary and I cross out activities if they are not happening that week. I update it every Thursday night along with the planner. On the bulletin board, I post things that will be needed for that week, e.g. invitations or signature/permission slips to be returned.
We have a cabinet underneath the bulletin board on top of which we keep a binder (this one is from zazzle.com). Any information to do with school and the kids’ sports/activities are housed here. It has 5 plastic divider tabs with pockets (amazon.ca*; amazon.com*) and plastic sleeves so that we don’t need to hole punch anything and can pull things out and re-file them easily. The sections are:
- To Do
- School Calendar/Info
- Communications from Teacher
- Sports & Activites
¹after school care program
Managing With What
We set up an IKEA Kallax shelf in the closet in the laundry room. It’s close to the front door and the garage and I can put what the kids need for their activities into the applicable bag as it comes out of the dryer. I attached a packing list to each bag (amazon.ca*; amazon.com*) for quick reference. For a closer look and a printable and editable version, see: What’s in My Kid Bag. When a bag needs to be packed or is missing an item, it is turned so that the tag faces out. When the bag is packed and ready to go, I turn it around so that the tag is facing the back of the shelf.
What are your strategies for managing who needs to be where, when, and with what?