Monday, January 25, 2016

Family Management - How to get everyone on the Same Page

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Family Management.  What do you think of when you hear that?  For a long time I thought of it as a one person job, mine.  I am a mom, and so I believed that it was my job to manage my family.  It was my responsibility to make sure that everyone does their part during the day, that we get to all of our appointments *mostly* on time, and that the house is *relatively* clean.

That is a lot of work for one person.

Over the years I have come to realize that instead of me managing my family, we need to all be on the same page; my husband, my children, and myself.


A couple years ago, I felt like my children were too small to be of much help when it came to family management.  But, now that Emma and Jack are a bit older at 7 and 5, they can be involved a lot more in the day to day management of the home.  Of course I still have a toddler underfoot, but for some reason it seems much more manageable than when Emma was that age, and Jack.  Maybe because Emma and Jack are older now, maybe because I have been through toddler-hood twice and know what to expect, maybe I am more relaxed; whatever it is, I am more prepared this time around.

Family, and home, management, it seems, falls on the mother’s shoulders.  And while I embrace that role, I want to make sure that I incorporate the rest of my family as well. 

Before we get to the how, let us address the why. 


Honestly, I get tired of telling everyone what to do.  Going over schedules, making sure we are on time, getting the house clean, school, all of it can be a bit overwhelming.  I have come to realize that it is not helping my family for me to tell them what to do.  I need to show them how to take responsibility for themselves, and their schedule.  Of course, that is more for my children than my husband…for the most part!

After I mentioned our busy schedule last week, I had some questions on how I organized everything.  I know that everyone is different, and what works for me may not work for you.  But, when I was putting together my home management system, I researched like crazy and tried many ideas in order to come up with what I currently have.

I absolutely love organizing, and I especially love checklists.  Imagine my delight when my children decided that they equally loved checklists?!  No, seriously, I was incredibly happy that they wanted to follow a checklist.  That gives me such a relief.  If it is written down, and they can check a box, they do it.


I started out my new checklist idea when we started school last August.  The kids helped me make checklists for their school.  We didn’t use them over the past 2 months because we were on our long homeschool break (and then sick), but the kids found them a couple weeks ago, and they have been excited to use them everyday.

Knowing how they love checklists, I decided to look for a good chore chart for them. 

I always loved chore charts growing up.  I didn’t actually like the chores that went along with the chore charts, but I loved the chart itself. 


I looked but had trouble finding exactly what I wanted.  A lot of the pre-printed and magnetic chore charts had tons of stuff that I didn’t need, and they were missing some items that I wanted on the list.  I was incredibly happy when I found these custom checklist pages from the *ErinCondren website. 


What appealed to me about these specific checklist pages was that I could have them pre-printed with the tasks I felt were important, while it allowed for extra space below if there were other items I would need to include for the week.  I also like that the checklist pages are Monday-Sunday.  When I went to order them in December, they had disappeared from the website and when I talked to customer service they weren’t sure when or if they would have them in stock again.  However, I happened to check again two weeks ago, and there they were!  In stock!  Yay!

This will be the first week that we are using the individual checklists, but Emma and Jack are so excited about it.  I know it seems strange, but they have actually been talking about how they are going to start their checklists today, all weekend long.


The other part of getting everyone on the same page as far as family management goes, is a calendar. 

Now, I have said before, I love planners.  I may actually have too many calendars, but it keeps me on task, and so I will continue on with it.  I also have my home management binder, which has had a monthly calendar in it in the past in order to keep my husband up to date on all the appointments, sports practices, and other life events.


However, I realize that it is very unlikely that my husband is going to look in the home management binder to see what is on the calendar.  I don’t think he is the home management binder type…

I typically have a wall calendar, but I don’t necessarily put all of our info on it, because the boxes aren’t really large enough to fit everything in.


I was excited to find this calendar on Amazon.  It was exactly what I was looking for; a vertical calendar that has a place for everyone’s names.  It actually has space for 6 people, but since there are only 5 in my family currently, I am planning on using the last column for meal planning.  It also has a “things to do” list and a shopping list, each is perforated and can be detached from the calendar.  While I generally have a pad of paper that I make all of my grocery lists on, this list on the calendar will come in handy for my husband to write what he needs, or if someone randomly tells me something on the fly I can write it down here and then transfer it to my master list for whenever I run errands.

I am pretty excited about this new family management center.  Of course it isn’t the entire management system that I use, but it is what will connect the rest of the family to what we have going on.


Do your kids like checklists?  How do you manage everyone’s schedules?

*If you sign up for an account at ErinCondren.com through my link you will receive a $10 off coupon code e-mailed to you for you to use on your first purchase.

28 comments:

  1. My kids love checklists too, especially my oldest.

    Yes my husband carried the fully loaded pressure cooker outside. I would try it inside but we have a glass topped stove and they aren't recommended for them.

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  2. Looks like it could be a good system. After a while I find I don't need to refer to the checklists, but it's comforting to know they're available if I need them :)

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  3. My mom made me a checklist a few different times when I was a kid. It was simple, and while I liked checking things off the list, I didn't like doing the chores! So, uh, more times than was reasonable, I just didn't do things. Of course, that has happened to follow me along into adulthood, and more times than is reasonable, I don't check things off of my to-do lists that I make for myself, ha!
    My Mister isn't interested in home management either - he wants things organized, but he doesn't want to deal with it. Which means either I do it, or we end up with a pile of paperwork on a shelf (and random papers in there, some important stuff, mostly bills). So far as a calendar goes, we're lucky that we don't do a whole lot, but we do have a few things every once in a while that he needs to have remembered.
    Though, and I'm awfully proud, he made himself a list on his computer last week for things we wanted to accomplish this weekend! While he didn't remember to write everything down (there was one thing we remembered late Sunday night that didn't make it on the list so didn't get done) it was still helpful! :)

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  4. I like the calendar a lot - it's really neat how you can put everyone's schedule on one sheet that everyone can access! It helps especially when the kids are getting older and have more activities and commitments as well. That's a great system! Love the checklists too!

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  5. Those charts look so nice!! I can't imagine running the household myself -- even just with pets! My husband and I use Wunderlist to assign tasks.

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  6. I love the checklists. Great idea! I only have one child so it's much easier!

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  7. Checklists are a fantastic way of monitoring chores and it fills you with satisfaction when you have completed everything! Great post x

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  8. I have a planner in the kitchen that has a month at a glance and then weekly pages. I try to get all family items in there. But I forget to add my personal appts sometimes. That messes up my husband when he goes to add something. So I am trying to be better about getting those appts out of my IPhone and into the planner. My oldest daughter made me a wall calendar with a frame and paint samples. I use a dry erase marker to fill in the dates and items coming up. That hangs on the wall in the kitchen, but I am thinking about moving it by the door to the garage so as we head out we can check it for events we might have forgotten.

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  9. I love your checklists! My babies are 2 and 8 months, but my son loves to help me with laundry. I have a feeling they will be a big help with chores one day and I am looking forward to that. :)

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  10. I love the personalized checklists so much! This is such a cute way to keep track of everything and be able to organize your family!

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  11. We use a google calendar for the whole family and it works pretty well, unless like last week I forgot to put a family event on the calendar. Whoops!

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  12. I have the opposite problem - my kid takes responsibility for what she needs to do around the house but I feel like I need to make my husband a check list! He always needs 'reminding'.

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  13. We have a master family calendar system we've been using forever. We used a lot of checklists when my kids were little and now they're still using them with their own twist on the idea.

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  14. So great to see how you've worked it out!

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  15. I too get the impression that it's a one man job.. thanks for sharing.

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  16. I tend to like to share the responsibility of things. There are certain things I like to have control over and there are other things that my husband and I have just agreed that he does.

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  17. Checklists are awesome! We have a list on the fridge that we fill in for the week's meals. It is so helpful to keep track and also helps for figuring out what we need to buy at the store.

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  18. I love the checklists. I may have to order those. I have a printed schedule for my son but he doesn't seem to look at it. That keeps me always having to tell everyone what to do.

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  19. I ever thought of this, great idea, checklists are so helpful!

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  20. My kids have grown up with checklists! It helps everyone stay organized and allow the kids to take some of the responsibilities. I always found them helpful. Love your system!

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  21. Ah, yes, train them up in the way of the checklist! I used to love worksheets and stuff when I was their age, I wonder if it's the same. We didn't do chore charts but I think I would have liked them :)

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  22. Those are cute checklists. I love to do this, too because it keeps us organized.

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  23. I wouldn't know what I'd do without a planner it helps me stay on the ball with my family's schedule. My 9 y/o son loves keeping a planner, too.

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  24. I am a mother of 4. 3 are adults. All live with us and I use lists to keep everyone in check that they must help. It still works! I love your schedule and organizations skills!

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  25. Checklists are great! We use calendar system at home, it helps to organize things, event, what to do, keep up appointments, etc.

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  26. Great idea. I remember doing this whem my children were younger. I still keep a planner for appt and reminders.

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  27. I love planners and checklists like nothing else! You are doing a great job managing the whole family!

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  28. Love these tips and those checklists are adorable!

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