This week contains an assortment of tips and tricks to keep yourself more organized.

advice

Inbox

Bills and other paper items that need taken care of go into an inbox, which for the Mitchells is a set of mini plastic stacking shelves just the width of a 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper on their desk. Dave regularly processes his inbox, then he puts it in Amy’s inbox where she enters into the budget and then files them.

Calendars

The Mitchells have a digital family calendar that all family members can access from anywhere. When the kids get a soccer game schedule, all their games and times go into the digital calendar so everyone can see them. If they receive a birthday invite or other appointment like orthodontist or doctor appointment, Amy enters that into the calendar and then tapes the paper schedule or birthday invite onto a board under that child’s name so the kids can refer to that paper later if needed.

Write it down as soon as you think of it

Dave uses a vocal dictation to add things to the calendar as soon as he thinks of them. To add to that, Amy suggests writing down or putting in a reminder the things that come to mind as soon as they come to mind. We often have so many ideas and schedules rotating in and out of our head, that it helps if you jot it down as soon as you think of it, before you forget it again. There are many notetaking apps for phones, calendar apps, or good old paper and pencil options for getting things onto and out of your head.

Mitchells use a combination of paper lists and electronic lists for shopping lists that all members of the family add to.

Assign One Spot for Coupons & Gift Cards

The Mitchell kids bring home lots of coupons from school for free pizzas or free ice cream. Amy and Dave get many gift cards they don’t want to waste. These don’t all don’t get used as soon as they come home, so Mitchells suggest finding one home for those kinds of things and be consistent at putting those in their home as soon as you receive them. Then you know exactly where to find them when you are ready to use them.

Desk Supplies

If you find yourself needing office supplies in several different areas of your house, then have a set in those areas. You are more likely to finish the tesk requiring office supplies if they are right at hand, wherever you are.

Wall Calendars

Though most of the day to day scheduling is done through their digital calendar, Mitchells have several wall calendars in their house. They are used as a visual layout for upcoming activities and extended family birthdays. The birthday calendar is in a location where it is seen first thing of the day, so if there is a birthday that day, they have all day to call or text that person to let them know they were remembered.

Neighborhood Friends Chart

Mitchells have a chart on their front door that help them know what houses their kids are playing at. It has the five Mitchell children names down the left side. Then coming off to the right from each name are 3-5 boxes, each one with a friend’s name in it that they often play with. The Mitchell’s front door is metal, so as the kids head out the door to play, they move the magnet off of their name and slde it over top of the name of the friend’s house where they will be playing. Then when Amy calls them all home for dinner, she knows where they can all be found.

Visual Reminders of Regular Tasks

When you have maintenance tasks that need to be done every few weeks or months, you can put those reminders in your calendar or other reminding app that works for you. You could also use a paper posted by the furnace, for example, to say when the filter was last changed or when it needs to be changed again.

Family Meetings

Mitchells have breakfast together each morning and briefly plan out what’s coming up that day. It’s a good look ahead to see that all the kids have rides to their activities and they know if Mom and Dad are going to be gone, etc.

Mitchells also have a family meeting once a week, usually on Sunday, to put upcoming activities on the calendar.

They also have extra meetings if vacations need planned with all the kids’ input, or other family business that needs addressed with all members of the family present.


The image in this post is titled, “Advice” by GotCredit (http://www.gotcredit.com). It can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/jakerust/16821469876/

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